Zombie Battleground is a new digital collectible trading card game (DCCG) from Loom Games, who also developed Crypto Zombies and the Loom Network. The developers have recently announced that they will be changing the name of the game to Relentless in the near future, so you may also hear the game referred to by this new name.
Zombie Battleground is getting some attention in the blockchain community because the developers are selling cards backed by ERC-721 tokens. This means that players will be able to truly own the cards they collect, and the developer will not able to delete them or prevent players from trading them.
This is in stark contrast to many popular DCCGs today, such as Hearthstone and MTG: Arena, in which players are not allowed to trade the cards they collect.
Zombie Battleground is now available as an open beta for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. In this article, we will explain exactly how you can get started playing it.
We will also explain the features and rules of the game so that you can decide for yourself whether it is worth checking out. And we’ll weigh in on what we think of the game after having played it for a few hours.
Getting started with Zombie Battleground (Relentless)
To get started with Zombie Battleground, first navigate to the official website of Loom Games. Scroll down the page until you see the words Download for Free On. If you want to play on a mobile device, click Download on the App Store or Get It On Google Play. This will open the iOS or Android app store entry for the game.
If you want to play on a PC or Mac, the easiest way to do so is to just download the Windows or MacOS folder directly. You can do so by clicking on the correct link beside where it says “Or download directly.”
Zombie Battleground/Relentless is also available on STEAM. If you have a STEAM account and prefer to install the game using it, feel free to do so. In addition, if the Google Play store ever removes the game, you can download the .apk file from the site and sideload it onto your Android device.
Installing Zombie Battleground using a direct download
If you download the game using Google Play or the Apple app store, the game should install automatically. But if you install to a PC by downloading the game folder directly, you will first have to extract its contents before you’ll be able to play.
Here are the instructions for doing this in Windows. For a Mac, the steps should be similar.
First, right-click the folder and select extract all.
You’ll be asked which folder to extract the files into. Click the browse button and decide on a place to put the new folder for the game.
Choose a place that is easy to find, such as your desktop or documents folder. Next, click new folder and name it “Zombie Battlegrounds” or something similar. When you’re finished naming it, click select folder and then push the extract button. The files will start extracting into the new folder.
Once you’ve got the files extracted, navigate to the place where you put the new folder. Inside it, you’ll see a number of folders and files. Click the green icon titled ZombieBattleground to launch the game.
Playing Zombie Battleground (Relentless)
When you first launch Zombie Battleground, you’ll be asked if you want to play a tutorial. If you select no or when you finish the tutorial, you’ll be brought to the main menu.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to click login in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then click not yet registered. Fill out the form to get a unique screen name. Once this is done, you can start collecting cards.
Building a new deck or editing an existing one
Along the left side of the screen, you’ll see a number of icons. Click My Decks to enter the deck editing main menu.
From here, you can click the default deck and push the edit button to switch out cards or click build a new deck to start an entirely new deck.
If you decide to build a new deck, you’ll be asked to choose a hero zombie. Each hero zombie has one class of cards that is not available to it. For example, Brakkus cannot use life cards and Razu cannot use water cards. So choose wisely.
When you finish choosing a hero, you’ll be presented with the option to choose “overlord skills.” However, this feature has not yet been developed. So just skip over it by clicking continue. Next, choose a name for your deck. Once you’re finished, click save to open the deck editor screen.
You’ll see your card collection at the bottom of the screen and the cards in the deck at the top. Double-click the card in the bottom section to add it to the deck or double-click at the top to remove it from the deck. You can also drag and drop the cards if you prefer to add them that way.
A Zombie Battleground deck must have a minimum of 30 cards to be legal. And, obviously, you want to have as few cards as possible so as to maximize your chances of drawing your best cards. In our testing, we could not determine what is the maximum number of copies of a card allowed in a deck. But we could verify that you can use at least four copies of most cards.
Viewing your card collection
If you want to view your entire collection, you can click the My Cards tab at the bottom-left of the screen. The cards will be sorted by color or “type.” There are six types of zombies in Zombie Battleground: fire, water, earth, air, life, and toxic. There is also a seventh “item” type of card that does not represent a zombie, but is used by them.
You begin your collection with all 172 cards from the free set. This includes cards of all seven types. So there are quite a few different kinds of competitive decks you can build with just the free cards.
If you want even more cards, you can earn them from playing matches. We’ll also explain later how to buy packs from the developer if you don’t want to spend time grinding for them.
In addition, you can buy the cards from other players if you think you’ll get a better deal.
Starting a battle
Once you’ve got the cards you want and a deck you are happy with, click battle and select change mode. Then select VS to change from CPU opponents to human ones.
Now click the big, red battle button on the lower-right side of the screen. You’ll get a few notices saying that the game is matching you up with an opponent. Within a few seconds, the game should begin.
In our testing, we found that we sometimes got error messages in this stage claiming that our Internet was not working, even though we could browse the web and do other online activities just fine. However, when we rebooted the game, we found that it worked just fine. So although the “VS” feature does seem to still have a few bugs, it works pretty well for an open beta.
Zombie Battleground gameplay
Zombie Battleground gameplay is exactly what you would expect from a DCCG. It’s a fairly straightforward copy of Hearthstone, but with zombies instead of World of Warcraft characters.
On the bottom-left of your screen is the number of “goo” bottles that you have. You begin the match with one bottle of goo. Each turn, the number of bottles increases by one. Some cards will also grant you additional goo.
To play a zombie or item card, you must spend a number of goo equal to the play cost listed on the card. More powerful cards cost more goo and can therefore only be played late-game. Unlike Magic: The Gathering but similar to Hearthstone, Zombie Battleground does not have different colors of “mana.”
Another similarity between Zombie Battleground and Hearthstone is that creatures can attack either the opponent or the opponent’s creatures. This is in contrast to Magic: The Gathering’s rule that only players can be attacked and that the opponent can choose to block with his creatures.
In short, if you like Hearthstone, Zombie Battleground’s simple and fast-paced gameplay will probably feel very familiar to you. If you’re a fan of slower games with more complex game boards and lots of “combat math” though, you may be let down by this game’s constant clearing of the board.
Still, this game is essentially Hearthstone where you own the cards and can trade them to others. There may be quite a few players who will find this idea to be appealing.
How to buy Zombie Battleground cards
If you find that you really like playing Zombie Battleground, but want to skip all of the grinding for cards, you can purchase them from the developer. Just go to the buy cards page of the official website.
You can pay with credit card, WeChat Pay, AliPay, Loom Tokens, or Ethereum.
We were surprised to find credit cards on this list. So we decided to test out the system by using a credit card to buy the cheapest pack of cards we could find. We got a nice, friendly message telling us our purchase went through.
But after several hours, we found that our cards were not available to play with. So it looks like buying these cards with a credit card produces a significant delay.
If you want to buy Zombie Battleground cards, we recommend using Ethereum instead of a credit card. It can easily be purchased from Coinbase.
But with Zombie Battleground, it appears that the cards you own are associated with an email address and password. This could potentially pose a security risk as usernames and passwords are notoriously easy to crack when compared with private keys stored on a device.
We would be surprised if Loom Games did not provide a means for players to transfer cards to a private wallet so that they can be held securely. So we have to assume that we have simply misunderstood the process.
Still, we want you to be aware of this risk if you decide to purchase cards.
Zombie Battleground: should you play?
Zombie Battleground is a very simple digital collectible trading card game. It has fast-paced action that Hearthstone players will find familiar. Still, it has less mechanics than Hearthstone and is overall a much more simple game.
So should you play Zombie Battleground? This question really comes down to whether being able to own and trade cards is important to you. If the answer is yes, then Zombie Battleground is probably just what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if being able to trade cards is not very important to you, then you may want to just stick with your current favorite digital CCG. Zombie Battleground is certainly a decent game in this genre, but we found nothing spectacular in its gameplay…nothing that would make us think it’s going to surpass MTG: Arena or Hearthstone without significant changes.
Still, Zombie Battleground is one of the the first digital CCGs to use blockchain technology that actually works. And for that, the team at Loom Games should be commended. They have now joined the developers of Splinterlands and Mythereum at the forefront of this new genre of collectible games.
And it’s possible the game could become better as it continues in development. After all, this is a review of the open beta. We don’t actually know how different the game will be when its “public” version is released.
We will definitely be keeping an eye on Zombie Battleground/Relentless as it continues to be developed.