Lotus Games releases Didgery which is a combination of strategy and card games. It is a pleasant surprise to see something that isn’t just a rehash of the basic card games. Didgery reinvents the genre by creating an intriguing fantasy story mixed with fun gameplay.

Didgery setting is an evil curse has inflicted the four sacred elements: Heart, Spade, Diamond, and Club. It is your mission to maintain Earth’s harmony by using the Forgotten Cards. These cards have the power to restore balance into the four sacred elements. If you fail at your task at bringing harmony to the elements then it will send Earth straight to Hell.

The idea behind Didgery is creating chains with cards that are the same suit and/or descending order. For example, you can chain together an 8 of spades to 6 of spades to 6 of hearts to 5 of hearts and so on. There are limitations as well like not being able to chain different suits unless they are the same face value. You also must face against the clock before each individual sacred element runs out of power. These rules provide interesting and different out comes as you must decide what combo you shall use. Should you take a long time trying to create a long combo or do small quick combos? This creates a different experience out come for different strategic players. As I for one am not a good puzzle player, which makes me the person to get quick bursts of combos.

Didgery’s story unfolds by chaining combos around locked cards or “Forbidden Parchments.” This does provide great incentive to chain large combos or replay the game again to view the story. The game does not penalize you either if you miss out on unlocking the Forbidden Parchments as you can miss it and unlock another later while continuing the story. Lotus Games promises to add new parchments through updates every month. This is a fantastic way to keep players interested and increase their incentive to play more.

The Forbidden Parchments are not the only things that you can unlock in Didgery. You can receive different cards that alter gameplay. Some provide the ability to jump across other cards and another lets you combine the card with any other card in a chain. This does provide a leeway in helping you race against the clock and help with unlocking Forbidden Parchments.

The presentation Didgery possesses is incredibly slick. The simple interface is mixed with a heavenly aura that fits the atmosphere perfectly. For being a card game, Didgery has a tremendous amount of graphical prowess. Every time you complete a long chain you see an explosion of cards and visual effects. And when you are doing poorly and start to run out of time the screen begins to shake and darkens until you lose which represents a skull for your failure to save Earth. This does make it in intense game to play and watch.

The music is very charming and relaxing for a game that can get really intense. It has classical music to cool the nerves. This is much needed as the game does ramp in difficulty in which the time quickens. When you are racing the cloud ominous sounds of thunder and other effects that let you know you’re in danger of losing.

Didgery has only has minor faults and one of which is only providing one game mode. The adventure mode is the only thing to play, but it is a never ending mode. There is also a local high score leaderboard to try and boast the best scores, but without a co-op mode or versus it does little to add to the overall experience. That being said, Didgery does have a fun gameplay mechanic and it just needs to have more of it.

Overall, Didgery is a fantastic game with a new take on the puzzle/card formula. For your 240 :MSPoints: it provides great replay incentive and has simple gameplay. The combination of story, presentation, and gameplay makes Didgery a must play game. This is one of the gems of XBLIG, even if you’re not a puzzle gamer or card player it is worth your time to at least try the demo.

You can find more information as well as the trial and full versions of Didgery on the Xbox Marketplace.