The Last Kids on Earth: Hit The Deck! – Review
Follow Genre: Card battler
Developer: SMART Technologies
Publisher: SMART Technologies
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Last Kids on Earth: Hit The Deck! – Review

Site Score
Good: Fully animated cutscenes, Fun gameplay
Bad: Soundtrack repeats too often
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

If you’ve never heard of The Last Kids On Earth before, we won’t fault you. It’s a rather obscure Netflix cartoon (which in itself is an adaptation of a children’s book series) that had a short run starting in 2019 and has since been canceled. Despite this, it had a pretty good reception among viewers when it first aired and somehow spawned two video game spinoffs. We reviewed the first one here and didn’t think much of it. But recently Software company SMART Technologies developed and published a lighthearted card battler called The Last Kids On Earth: Hit The Deck! and we discovered that the result is actually surprisingly enjoyable, both for kids and adults.


As the name might have you guess, The Last Kids On Earth is set during the post-apocalypse, where the town of Wakefield finds itself home to a large vortex that spawns various giant monsters and zombies of all kinds. Optimistic teenager Jack Sullivan, a regular kid, is the main character who seems to see the bright side even at the end of the world. He’s joined by his friends: a smart and sporty girl named June, the nerdy Quint, and meathead Dirk. All four of them take refuge in a tree house and try to survive this insanity – or maybe even try to find a way to stop it.

The game follows a similar plot to the cartoon from what we can tell, dividing the story into episodic quests which don’t happen in a strict order, so the plot isn’t linear. Every quest has several cutscenes, which are in actuality short clips from the Netflix show itself being played at relevant times. That’s not exactly a bad thing though: they’re well-animated, fully voice-acted, and give us the needed story without being boring. So while some might call it lazy, it really feels like a good call on the developer’s part.


Aside from those mentioned cutscenes, which are of professional quality since they come straight from the show itself, the rest of the game clearly tries to mimic the same style but in a more static fashion. The developer did a good job and while the animations aren’t as smooth, they still look fine. The cards themselves have fun designs and there is a good variety of monsters to fight against. The game also spends time visually explaining things to you, with basically every card, object, and button telling you what it does if you hover your mouse over it.


In terms of music, we don’t really feel like we have anything to complain about here. The soundtrack is nostalgically reminiscent of adventure cartoons and fits the rest of the game perfectly. While the short cutscenes are fully voiced, the actual combat segments and such make do with simple sound effects. It’s not really a flaw, but it would have been nice to get something beyond slight grunts and groans out of the characters. During fights that drag on too long, the music also starts to loop sometimes.


The Last Kids On Earth: Hit The Deck! is a simple but entertaining card battler game where you slowly progress through the story by completing a bunch of quests. Quests get unlocked as you complete old ones, allowing the game to steer the story and difficulty (on top of there already being four different difficulty levels to choose from at the start to accommodate different players). Before you start a quest you can gear up, which means you build your deck and pick which cards you’ll take with you on your adventure. The quests themselves consist of a few graphic novel-style segments that often offer choices and several combat encounters. You can see when picking a quest how many encounters you can expect.

Combat works the same as any other card battler and as such it is turn-based. During your turn, you draw a bunch of cards and use them either as attacks on the enemy or as defense to keep yourself safe. How many cards you can play per round depends on your energy, as some cards cost more than others. Hovering over a card will tell you exactly what it does and hovering over enemies will give your character a vague idea of what their next move will be. Being strategic is key. It’s also important to keep in mind that some cards disappear from your deck once played, meaning you can only use them once per encounter. Others return to your deck over and over again. Cards can inflict negative buffs on enemies, though enemies can also inflict those on you in return. You also can bring consumable items to heal or otherwise help you win your fights.

After each fight, you’ll earn bottle caps, which are the post-apocalyptic currency (wonder where they got that inspiration from, hm?). Caps can be spent on more consumable items or cards. There’s also a specific coin that you can rarely find and use in a rather amusing gimmick called the ‘card maker’. There you can construct custom cards to your own liking, with unique names and everything. Another interesting thing to note is that each character has their own perks and deck, and you often find yourself controlling two characters during a battle. This means you can have a lot of fun customizing your cards to work well in a team.


The Last Kids On Earth: Hit The Deck! is a good game to waste some hours on, especially if you like card battlers. While it’s very much geared towards kids to play, adults with some nostalgic sentiments and a sense of humor, who don’t mind if the game gets a bit silly at times, will also have fun with this title. Don’t expect the hardest challenge in the world, but you can certainly enjoy yourself reliving your childhood dreams of becoming a monster hunter.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Last Kids on Earth: Hit The Deck! - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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