Artifact beta: Learn how to play Valve’s first card game… and how to pay

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Artifact beta: home screen

Enlarge / It's a beta! A beta that will take your money. (credit: Valve Software)

Valve's next video game, a card-battling computer game called Artifact, will be a tricky one to review for a few reasons. For one, it inevitably comes with the baggage of being "Valve's next video game." Whatever Artifact is, it isn't one of the company's innovative first-person shooters.

But the bigger issue, for a review's sake, applies to any modern card game: cards, cards, cards. The genre's fun and strategy depends on hundreds of these things. Exactly how many are there? How do they interact with each other? And how do players get their hands on more of them?

We can start answering those questions with the Artifact beta, into which Valve sneaked us ahead of the closed-beta period (that period is supposed to start on Monday the 19th for anyone who claimed a beta key at various expos like PAX West). With only one day of play under our belts, we cannot come close to "reviewing" what's on offer thus far.

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