|Playing time||Approx 10 min|
The Serpent's Tongue is a collectible card game/Alternate Reality Game set in an alternate reality where magic is supposedly real and players take on the role of Magi to battle together or against each other. The game was released with support for both solo play and up to 8 players. The game was designed by Christopher Gabrielson, and produced by UnBound Games. The game was launched using a Kickstarter funding drive in 2012.
Each player in the Serpent's Tongue plays the part of a spell caster. The players each receive a hard bound 'spellbook' that holds 27 of their spells or 'incantations' as they are called in the game. Most of the game components are printed on 4" x 6" cards and players are free to choose which cards to add to their books. Players then take turns playing cards from their book for either attack or defense.
Serpent's Tongue contains a unique mechanic where each card is accompanied by a Serpent's Key. The Serpent's Key is a series of intersecting lines which have several highlighted points. This sigil matches up with coordinates on a circular map containing 27 words and symbols; following the key will allow players to put together phrases from that map. In order to cast a spell, players must correctly decipher the key and accurately speak the command words. These words are printed on the reverse side of their card allowing their opponent to verify their success. This element has led to comparison with other verbally active spell casting games such as Sorcery! and Waving Hands while the collectible element to the cards has drawn comparisons to Magic: The Gathering
Players can select up to 27 different cards to play with. These cards are drawn form a pool of offensive spells, defensive spells, artifacts or character Specializations.
Specializations are unique in that they affect how players play rather than having a direct, in-game effect. An example would be the Flame Sculptor, where the player benefits from all fire spells as opposed to the Bulwark where players can enhance their defensive spells.