Yesterday the SEGA Blog announced a series of Sonic the Hedgehog digital trading cards to be distributed by Stampii, a Madrid based digital trading card company. Per SEGA, the cards are digital trading cards that can be collected and viewed on a number of platforms including Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, Facebook and iPad. Social networking comes into play via referrals and card trading. SEGA also promises “challenges and promotions designed specifically for users as well as the chance to win new digital cards and official merchandise”. What SEGA does not mention is that only the first four packs are free, after that users will have to trade or spend money on new packs in order to complete their collection. Now before you cry foul at SEGA for making us spend money on digital things (the horror!), hear me out. In a day and a half I was able to complete a collection of cards at no cost. How? I’ll tell you after the break.
To start, I registered an account with Stampii. Doing this is free and can be done with Facebook if you wish. No credit card info is needed. In fact, as I said, no money is needed at all! Each new user can select a card set to “activate”, and I obviously chose Sonic’s set. There are other sets, but given the company being based in Spain, the only other choices are popular tv shows I’ve never heard of from the country and local sports teams. Every new user gets two free packs for activating a collection, and each digital pack contains four randomized cards. Aside from three cards which are locked, possibly for the promotions SEGA talked about, all 90 cards are the same level of rarity. So you have an equal chance to get any card in a pack. If you hit the store section of the application, where you can purchase additional packs, you’ll note that you have 3 euros worth of prepaid credit. You can use this to buy two more packs at no cost, aside from spending your store credit. In the end you’ll have sixteen cards.
Now all you have to do is find a network of folks who are trading cards and listing each other as referrals. A referral can only be done with a new account, and all you need to do is give the account name of a friend who told you about the site. Such as BarryNomad (hint hint). That user will then receive additional store credit for more packs, and if you’re lucky they will gift you some cards as a thank you. As for trading, it’s just like trading real cards. You input a user name, list what you’ll give them and then list what you want. After a little while you’ll find that you have a complete collection! Other methods are a little underhanded, so I won’t get into them, but all I’ll say is that you can have secondary accounts if you wish. Just sign up your little brother and take his cards.
How are the “cards” themselves and is this whole thing pointless? The cards are pretty cool, and yeah digital trading cards are pretty pointless, but for Sonic fans it’s a fun diversion. Certain cards have more than just an image on the front. Some cards have image galleries and short video clips. Fans have spotted a few obscure renders and cool little images showing how the characters compare on a height chart. Each card has an info section, and the grammar is pretty bad at times. No doubt due to somebody badly translating spanish to english. Also, some of Sonic’s animal friends are assigned the wrong names. Still, the design of the cards look nice and hopefully SEGA will have Stampii fix these goofs. You know what? This just became a review.
Want to check out all the cards? Here are iPhone screen grabs of the fronts of all 90 cards!