Live from Origins 2003: see, there are these dots, and they hack enemies

Decipher announced this game what, a week ago? And they’re running demos here at the show. This newest salvo in the .hack multimedia assault (anime TV, anime features, PS2 games and now a CCG) has gameplay that will be familiar to players of, well, anything in the medium, but most explicitly the LotR game. For those unfamiliar with the .hack storyline, .hack//ENEMY is about a virtual reality experience gone horribly wrong. (I mean, come on, were you expecting it to do something else?) I was kinda intrigued by the fact that “mana” (it’s not called that) is basically whatever has that icon that you can see, anywhere on the board besides your discard pile. That introduces a lot of strategy, but not being a player of Decipher’s other stuff, I can’t say how new it is. The rest is extremely straightforward, without feeling dumb. Although I still think you could make a pretty quality game about all those power pills Pac-Man’s eaten over the years coming back from the grave to exact justice.