Rhino Games is an independent game studio located in the San Francisco bay area and made up of game industry veterans. Rhino’s founders and employees have contributed to some of the best selling and most recognizable games and franchises of all time.
Rhino Games was established in 2016 by Peter Hu and Paxton Mason based on their shared passion for collectible card games and their deep dissatisfaction with the current titles in that genre. The pair have intersected many times in the past at various companies: first meeting at Flagship Studios where Peter Hu was a founder, then intersecting again at Gazillion Entertainment and even at Google, where Paxton was a member of the secretive X team.
They developed the core game engine working for half a year out of cafes and libraries before renting a small one-room office in San Mateo and bringing on their dream-team of collaborators: the absolute best of the design, art, and programming talent that they’d worked with in the past 25 years in the games industry. With the backing of the entire founding team of Blizzard North, Rhino Games is stealthily working towards their dream of revolutionizing the CCG genre.
Rhino’s first effort is Mythgard™, a free-to-play online CCG (Collectible Card Game) in the vein of Hearthstone with the depth of Magic: The Gathering. Mythgard is set in a modern-day alternate reality where the gods of myth are real. Over the centuries, most of the most powerful deities have disappeared, leaving the remaining gods and mythical creatures to find their place in a world now overrun by man. Mythgard draws inspiration from American Gods, Fables, Grimm, Harry Potter, and True Blood, among others. Its modern-mythology/urban paranormal setting, while extremely popular in most other media, is greatly under-served in the gaming space.
Mythgard has already garnered significant acclaim, having been voted 2nd best game of 2019 by r/AndroidGaming during Early Access, and listed as one of Tom Chick of Quarter to Three’s Top Three Games of 2020. It has received universally best-in-genre scores on Steam, Google Play Store, and Apple App Store.
One of the key challenges in creating a CCG is in designing its resource system. The team’s goal was to present a system that not only impacts deckbuilding by tying resources to the different factions (no generic auto-incrementing mana), but also that limits the number of dead hands (aka “mana screw” or “mana flood”) that occur in most other games.
Mythgard brings multiple innovations to the table: every card doubles as a resource and can be “burned” to generate mana and gems or played normally. Burning a card doesn’t destroy it - instead the card is shuffled back into the deck, reducing decision paralysis and the potential angst of forgoing expensive high-value cards in the process. In addition, the unique dual resource system (mana and gems) supports complex multi-faction cards without incurring the UI burden of choosing which resources to deplete when playing cards.
Mythgard features an incredibly fun “doubles” mode that pits one team of players against another. It uniquely lets both teammates play their cards at the same time, not only creating some intricate sequencing opportunities, but also reducing the the downtime of waiting for multiple players to make their decisions.
Just some of the other standout features include: full replay and spectate, in-game tournament system that allows players to create and manage their own tournaments with custom rules, in-game deck tracker, the cutest animated emotes ever, and much more.
The collectible card game genre is infamous for having extortionate economies that just get worse as more cards are added and it becomes harder for new players to catch up. Rhino Games plans on addressing this issue head-on by phasing in a completely free day-one core set which includes many of the game’s most iconic mythics like Sapo the Devourer and Armageddon Angel.
This is on top of an in-game economy that already leads the industry in respecting the player, as well as a devotion to continually rebalancing even legacy cards to be meta-competitive.
2021 introduces the first ever Mythgard World Championship Series, with a total prize pool of over $20K. Over the course of the year, players will compete in six ranked ladder seasons and six Qualifier Tournaments to gain entry into the Championship. This qualifying system complements a game that already greatly emphasizes strategy over luck by being uniquely designed to reward skill over grinding to finally determine the best player of the game!