I played my first “three minute” game of Star Realms today. Why did I leave it so long before doing this? it was intense!
So let me step back and explain what I'm talking about for those not familiar with Star Realms and specifically the Star Realms app.
With Star Realms the app there is an online play option that allows you to play against a specific player (if you know their ID) or you can rely on pot luck and let the Star Realms servers pick a suitable opponent for you.
Naturally when setting up a game you can choose to play with the Gambit expansion or not, plus choose between being given upto forty eight hours for a turn. Which is brilliant for allowing life to happen during a game. And this is how I've been playing the online side of things since that fateful day earlier in the year to test my mettle against other Star Realms players.
However the second turn time I hadn't tried, which was the three minute turn.
I'd seen comments on the Facebook page about people losing games because their app hadn't refreshed in time. Which hadn't really endeared me to trying this faster version of the online game. Yes you can play the other turn time just as fast but there isn't that pressure to do so.
So today I decided to throw caution to the wind and give the three minute turn a go.
Wow! What an intense experience. That time pressure makes such a big difference. No switching between multiple games. You need to remain focused on that single game. As I pointed out above people have lost games because the timer ran out due to lack of refreshing in time.
I was determined not to have that as an issue, and with the iPad version of the app it wasn't.
Three minutes may seem like a long time to take a turn. But let me tell you it isn't. During that brief down time when you are waiting for your opponent to take their turn, you are working through scenarios of what to buy in the trade row, working out how to best play your cards. Then throwing it all to the wind because they have just bought the cards you wanted and they have been replaced with cards you don't want. Yes this all happens in the normal game but it's more compressed.
How best to describe this for none players? Well you have seen the chess players with their little chess clocks and their timed games? Three minute turns in Star Realms is like that but fun!
Oh and for the record I won the game!