Breaking Down the First Days of Star Wars Card Trader

It has been a whirlwind of fun for the last few days as the launch of SWCT has been a crazy experience. So far, its clear that Topps has made a huge impact, garnering tons of national news attention for the app. That rarely happens, but that’s how big Star Wars is. Here are some thoughts.

Card Design

It should come as no surprise that Topps has picked their designs carefully, and as a result, the cards look amazing. Each new insert is better than the next, and I cannot wait to see what is in store over the next few weeks. I dont think we have yet seen the BIG card set released, the one that functions as the sig equivalent, so I would guess that is still to come.

Additionally, from teaser images posted on Starwars.com, the upcoming sets will range from Movie elements to the animated series that occupy the Star Wars Universe. Shows like Star Wars: REBELS and the Clone Wars will likely get their time in the sun, and I know how popular those sets will be.

Verdict: Jedi Master

App Functionality

As of right now, the game has been relatively bug free for me, which is a first for the Topps apps upon their first release. Considering the traffic they have had, that is a big deal. Additionally, the way the game is put together keeps things simple, which will appeal to a lot of different people. There was a lot of difficult aspects of the gameplay for Bunt Huddle and Kick that made it difficult for newbies, but this app is a lot more accessible from day one. Again, a big win.

Verdict: Jedi Knight

Insert Structure

As mentioned above, I am not sure that we have seen the best of the best yet, but we did get our first weekly insert in the Vintage series. The set was tried in previous apps, sometimes with big success, which is interesting because I think it fits the Star Wars universe just as much.

Additionally, we also saw our first scene collection, which is three yellow cards that combine to provide a coin reward. A fourth gold card was also released, which will unlock a special purple card if all four can be collected. Think about the key cards from Bunt, as this is a very similar concept. My biggest complaint is that you have to buy coins to get access to the pack that holds the yellow cards, which is a bit frustrating. I did see that the Hoth pack has yellow inside, so that may solve a bit of the issue. I doubt they will continue to hold the yellow cards hostage in that manner.

As for the Hoth series, this is where I think Star Wars gets really interesting. We are seeing that they have all sorts of elements that will be available in packs, including weapons and vehicles. I am especially excited to see if they have lightsaber cards in the works, or even some celebrating other fun elements of the movies.

Verdict: Jedi Knight

Pack Availability

One of the main advantages of a Star Wars app is a huge audience, but it is a double edged sword in that everything goes very fast and any card with an unlimited print run will be in the thousands.

The “On the Move” pack that was used to house all 8 of the Force Awakens packs sold out in a matter of minutes, which was very frustrating. The push notification came right as the pack sold out, so most of the user base was left out.

I did like that they split the Force Awakens cards into a bunch of different packs, which made it easier for non-pay users to get the cards if they wanted.

As the app gets older, I think many of these issues will work themselves out, but to keep all the attention around, they will need to make these first few days as best as possible. Trust me, we want the new people to stick around.

Verdict: Padowan Learner

Special Touches

I think that the main designers behind the game were obviously huge Star Wars fans, as there are some really nice touches that makes the game a bit more special.

First, the Star Wars scene wipe that transitions screen to screen is nicely done, and I was excited when I first caught it. It improves the look and feel of the game, and gives an homage where its due.

The R2D2 beeps that play with push notifications have replaced the organ sound from the other apps, and it caught me off guard the first time it happened. I remembered that Push actually works for this game on IOS8, so I was very happy to have it back.

Also the little icons at the bottom were almost too perfect, with the Death Star as the home screen and the Storm Troopers as the Fan Feed. Really neat little emojis.

Lastly, the articles are littered with movie references, the way they should be, and I think its still new enough that it isnt corny yet. I think its going to take some creative ways to avoid sounding like a PR blast each time, but they should make it work.

Verdict: Jedi Master

Again, as a Star Wars fan, I am beyond pumped to see this game going and off to a great start. A big hat tip to ToppsSteve and ToppsIan for all the work they put in.

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2 Responses to Breaking Down the First Days of Star Wars Card Trader

  1. TOPPSLARRY here. Your comments are spot on. Star Wars: Card Trader has had the most work detailed work put into it of any app. Freed from the constraints of a hard, season kick-off deadline the team were able to spend far more time on refinements and that last 10% that is needed. Also, Ian, Steve, Neil, Matt and Mike L. put in herculean efforts to get this out the door. The amount of work put in just mind boggling. Very glad you are enjoying and getting “stuck in”

  2. jct0503 says:

    The yellow cards are available in the Boba Fett pack (albeit at a 1% drop rate). It’s the gold cards that are linked to the Master Packs requiring coin purchases. Not a fan of the structure but hopefully they change that at some point.

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