There are a lot of customizable card games out there from Hearthstone to Gwent. So if you want your CCG to stand out, you have to really shine. Does Cosmos Invictus? Short answer: no.
Let me say that there's nothing inherently wrong with Cosmos Invictus. It's a perfectly functional game. But that's all it is: functional. It not particularly bad, but it's also not terribly fun. It's a typical CCG. You pick a side, either the Galactic Union or the Frontier Alliance, and are given access to a certain deck. As you play you'll unlock more cards from both your side and the opponents, with the catch being that your opponent's cards cost more to use. Like any other game in the genre, you spend energy per turn to play cards, but then it gets a little unique. A little.
Each card you play is either an event, such as destroying an enemy unit or directly attacking your opponent's mother ship, or a mecha. These mecha each have fuel, which after playing them, becomes the energy needed to utilize them in combat. Use up all the fuel in a mecha and it has to go back to your ship to refuel. Be wary, though: if you don't have enough fuel ports and a mecha leaves the field to refuel, it will be destroyed. Along with these, you can also attach pilots to each card to increase their stats or add other interesting effects. Even the field layout is up to you, with formations changing game play or stats based on where you put your cards.
Early on in the game you'll find yourself constantly losing until you earn enough XP and in-game currency to buy better cards. Of course this wouldn't be a CCG if they didn't offer you the opportunity to skip all that nonsense and just buy a better deck (with some of the higher transactions hovering around $70).
There is a campaign mode, but the story feels completely secondary. With no voice acting or cut scenes, you're given just a block of text insisting that this next game represents saving a mining colony or fighting off rebels. In actual game play, however, every round looks identical. I never remember why I'm fighting, just that I need to get through another round to hopefully earn enough XP to get better cards... to get through another round.
If you're more into PVP, there are duels and online events that pit player vs player, and while the game doesn't significantly change, you'll learn quickly what the worthwhile formations and cards are. Why? With the game still in early access, there's a bit of a balancing issue with the cards. I won't go into detail on the card/formation combination that means you might as well quit, but know that it's out there and it's frustratingly annoying. Well, if it's played against you, anyway.
If you're into space marines and are looking for a CCG to kill some time, Cosmos Invictus isn't a bad choice. It's free to play and you can have a lot of fun without succumbing to dreaded in-app purchases. The unfortunate part is this game might be better as a mobile app. With limited story and nothing to really tax your computer (and yet it still froze multiple times for me) it hardly seems worth sitting down at a desktop to play. Throwing down a couple of rounds while waiting at the DMV or between classes, however, seems a perfect fit for the title. Still, it doesn't do anything that other games don't do better, so if you're looking for a world-shattering experience, maybe move.
Final score: 6.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.