Rating: 4-Stars Systems: Pathfinder, OGL 3.5
I have been a fan of Paizo’s Game Mastery cards for a while now. Their treasure cards are great, especially when playing with new and younger players. For new players a sheet of cards in a binder makes it easy for them to keep track of what they have and what it does. For the video game set, the tactile reward of getting a card is engaging in the same way that achievements are.
The fun my group had with the treasure cards opened my mind to the possibilities offered by Paizo’s Critical Hit Deck. This a deck of 52 cards. Each card contains 4 critical hit results, one for each of slashing, piercing, bludgeoning and magic damage. When you confirm a critical hit, you simple draw a card and apply the appropriate bonus. This is a fun way to make every critical hit different and more exciting.
Given the simple fun provided by the physical Critical Hit Deck, I expected iCrit to be pretty good. I wasn’t disappointed.
You don’t expect much from an app that simulates drawing from a deck of cards, but still I was pleasantly surprised by simple UI for iCrit. When you start the app, you see a screen that is very easy to understand. There are 4 blank areas labeled: bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, and magic. When you confirm a critical hit, just touch the appropriate symbol on the left and the special result of your critical hit is displayed next to it. You then apply the result and move on with your combat. Couldn’t be easier.
I had expected that I would touch the screen or swipe and get a whole new card, but the apps interface is even better. When I draw a card, I see results for 4 damage types, 3 of which I don’t need. Part of the fun on these effects is the surprise of getting something new. So, I like that this UI only shows me one result at a time. I also like that it will keep old results up for review, at least until I use that damage type again.
There are sounds effects that play when you touch the damage type symbols. Each is different, and fun. Critical hits don’t happen often enough that they get annoying.
The help screen is straightforward, containing the same basic information as the instruction cards in the deck.
USEFULNESS & VALUE
Critical hits are one of the most fun parts of Pathfinder. Nothing gets people out of their chairs in excitement like a critical hit at the right time. Two bucks to make that even more fun and interesting? Yes, please!
If you are using other apps, on the same device, I could see it getting tedious switching to iCrit to get the special effect. I think the best usage would be for 1 or 2 players to keep it up on their phones, ready for use. However, I suspect with a little practice, the 4 clicks to get a critical result can be done efficiently so as not to interfere with the moment.
iCrit is an excellent app. It does a simple thing, really well. It is probably even better than the deck of cards that inspired it, if for no other reason than it is cheaper and just as easy to use. I’m having fun with it, and I think you will too.