Scrolls (video game)

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Scrolls (Mojang game) logo.png
Developer(s) Mojang
Publisher(s) Mojang
Designer(s) Jakob Porsér[1][2]
Måns Olson[2]
Artist(s) Markus Toivonen
Writer(s) Jerry Holkins
Composer(s) Mattias Häggström Gerdt
Josh Whelchel
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Android
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X
3 June 2013 (beta)[3]
11 December 2014
11 December 2014
Genre(s) Tactical collectible card game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Scrolls is a strategy collectible card game developed by Mojang, which aims to combine elements from trading card games and traditional board games. Scrolls was originally conceived and developed by Jakob Porsér, who along with Mojang founder Markus Persson, intended to create a type of game that was currently missing from the market. The game is developed using the Unity game engine,[4] allowing it to run on multiple gaming platforms. Scrolls was announced on 2 March 2011, as Mojang's third game.[1]


The game revolves around the use of cards, or "scrolls", to work toward destroying three of the opposing player's five idols, which are static objects on either end of the battlefield. There are four different types of scrolls in Scrolls: creatures, structures, spells and enchantments. Creatures are played on the board and can attack to destroy enemy creatures and idols. Structures are also played on the board and, unlike creatures, are immobile. Spells have a wide range of effects, but are often played against creatures or structures. Enchantments are played on creatures and usually provide a lasting effect to that creature.


Each unit (creature or structure) has three basic statistics associated with it: Attack, Countdown, and Health. Attack specifies how much damage the unit will deal (some units do not attack and instead have a "-" for that stat). Countdown specifies how many turns the unit waits before it attacks. Each time it is your turn, all units (with some exceptions) count down by 1. If a unit counts down to 0, then the unit will attack at the end of your turn. When the unit is finished attacking, its countdown will reset to its base countdown, which is typically 2 but can range from 1 to 6. Health is the amount of cumulative damage a unit can take before it is destroyed. As a basis for comparison, all idols in a standard match start with 10 health.[5]


Once it becomes your turn, you either have 90 seconds to perform your actions (in multiplayer) or unlimited time (in singleplayer). At any time during your turn, you may move creatures to adjacent, empty spots, up to once per creature per turn. Structures cannot be moved without the help of specific spells or enchantments. You may also, once per turn, "sacrifice" a scroll in your hand. You may either sacrifice it to draw two new scrolls or to gain a resource point (see below). It is a good idea to sacrifice your scrolls before playing any. You may play as many scrolls as your resources or hand allow. A turn is finished when the hourglass icon at the bottom left is clicked. You draw one new scroll each turn.[6]


Resource points are used towards playing scrolls: each scroll has a "cost" (1-8 resources). There are four different resources in the game: Energy, Order, Growth, and Decay; and one "super-resource", Wild, which can be used in place of any resource but has limitations on when you can sacrifice for it. Each scroll belongs to a different resource, or faction. For example, the scroll Cannon Automaton costs 6 Energy to play. When you sacrifice a scroll for a resource, your maximum resource goes up. Thus there are two values per resource: current resource and maximum resource. Your current resource is depleted when you play scrolls, but at the beginning of your turn your current resource is filled back up to your maximum resource.[7]


Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft and Jakob Porsér were inspired to make a new type of game missing from the market, envisioning a game which would include elements from collectible card games and traditional board games. The result "would be a strategic game with a strong foundation in tactical game play".

In July 2012, Scrolls moved into a closed alpha phase, with a small portion of those who signed up given full access to the game. Additional invites were given out as the testing period expanded into an open beta phase.[8] In June 2013, the game entered an open beta stage which allowed public purchase of the title.[3]

On 11 July 2013, it was announced that Scrolls would implement crafting. With the addition of this feature, three of the same scroll could be crafted into one scroll of a higher tier which had additional visual effects. Scrolls tier two and up would save match statistics, and in a later update tier three scrolls were made to give their owner a small gold boost when drawn in a match.[9]

In October 2013, Scrolls announced 'Judgement Mode', a mode where players draft cards into a new deck from a card pool, then play several games with those cards. After these games, the player gets to keep an amount of cards proportionate to how well they did in their matches.[10][11]

On 10 December 2014, Mojang announced that Scrolls would be leaving its beta phase to officially release the next day.[12] Scrolls was ported to iOS, however Apple Inc. rejected the submission for release because of the game's account system which required players to register before playing. The iOS version was ultimately cancelled once Mojang announced they would cease active development on the game in June 2015.[13]

As game development continued, upcoming features were pushed to a "test server" before being implemented into the game. This allowed the developers to gather feedback on new features and perform balancing tweaks and bug fixes before they were officially implemented into the game. The test server was accessible via the "More Options" button in the game launcher.

In June 2015, Mojang announced that they would cease developing further content for the game. They also noted that all proceeds from the game will go towards maintaining servers, which they confirmed would continue running until at least July 1, 2016.[14]

Bethesda lawsuit[edit]

Mojang was involved in a legal disagreement with Bethesda Softworks, who claimed that the use of the name Scrolls would cause confusion with its own The Elder Scrolls series. Mojang won the interim injunction regarding the issue with the name "Scrolls", and is allowed to continue using that name for future development.[15] In March 2012, Mojang and Bethesda reached a settlement, in which Mojang would not trademark Scrolls, but Bethesda would not contest the naming of Scrolls, so long as it would not be a competitor against The Elder Scrolls.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 73/100[17]

Upon the release, game received mixed to positive reviews, scoring 73 out of 100 on the review aggregator site Metacritic, based on 14 reviews.[17]


  1. ^ a b Porsér, Jakob (2 March 2011). "Introducing our New Game: Scrolls". Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Olson, Måns (6 February 2014). "Team changes". Tumblr. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Hill, Owen (3 June 2013). "We’ve hit open beta! Scrolls is now on-sale!". Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Scrolls: Mojang To Release Game On Multiple Platforms". Game Bandits. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2012.  Archive from 13 February 2012.
  5. ^ Description of Scrolls on official website.
  6. ^ Description of Scrolls on official website.
  7. ^ Description of Scrolls on official website.
  8. ^ Schramm, Mike (6 July 2012). "Mojang's Scrolls moves into closed alpha". Joystiq. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Hill, Owen (11 July 2013). "Introducing… crafting!". Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Hill, Owen (14 October 2013). "Judgement Week is almost upon us…". Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Hill, Owen (21 October 2013). "The Judgement Update is live!". Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Hill, Owen (December 11, 2014). "Watch our launch trailer! One day to go…". Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ Lazarides, Tasos (16 July 2015). "Now We Know Why Mojang's 'Scrolls' Never Made it to iOS". Touch Arcade. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (June 29, 2015). "Mojang is shuttering development on its card combat game Scrolls". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  15. ^ Rossignol, Jim (18 October 2011). "Mojang Can Still Use 'Scrolls' For Now". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Graft, Kris (11 March 2012). "Bethesda, Mojang settle 'Scrolls' trademark lawsuit". Gamasutra. 
  17. ^ a b "Scrolls for PC critic reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 28, 2015.