Play this MOBA-like PvP game's public alpha this weekend so I can stop trying to describe it

Spellcraft character team
(Image credit: One More Game)

To really understand Spellcraft, a new competitive PvP strategy game from ex-Blizzard and Riot developers, you just have to play it.

From now until April 16, you can see exactly what the game is about. Spellcraft is available as a public alpha and you can try it by visiting its Steam page and requesting access.

Spellcraft is a mix of existing genres, but leans heavily on MOBAs. Its developer, One More Game, calls it a "real-time battler." You face off against another player with your team of three heroes. Each hero has a basic ability and an ultimate that you can deploy as they come available in each round. The goal is to score enough kills or team wipe your opponent to win four rounds.

Each hero slots into familiar tank, DPS, and healer roles. Rounds begin with a short movement phase where you can pick up and place your heroes on the board like a tabletop game, and then you're let loose to start fighting.

Every character performs auto-attacks without your input—sorta like an autobattler. But it's your job to identify how your abilities interact to shut down your opponent before they try to do the same. Mech character Reset has the ability to pull enemies towards them, and then Europa can call down an AoE orbital strike attack to do loads of damage. Or a character like Cage, who carries a massive hammer, can leap across the board and take someone out when they're low health. There are tons of combinations of characters and abilities, and you'll have to be flexible based on your opponent and the ability-altering items you can equip in between rounds.

Spellcraft has a ranked mode, unranked mode, custom games, and a practice mode where you can learn characters against bots.

One More Game has already had "a few thousand players" test out alpha versions of the game with its goal for "alpha-driven development", which it details in a lengthy post on its website.

Spellcraft doesn't have a release date, but its public alpha will be available until April 16.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.