Do you like games where you jump into a swarm of enemies and fight them? How about card games? Then there’s a good chance you might be interested in Hand of Fate from Deviant Development which takes the deck building genre and smashes it together with an RPG.
With each game there are several important resources the player should keep track of. Health, which can be depleted by being hit while in battle, or by doing an action that results in drawing a pain card. Food, which will deplete for every card you move to. It can also be given to certain characters you meet in your travels in exchange for a range of benefits such as blessings or equipment. Last but not least is gold, which like food, can be used during certain dialogues for benefits. It can also be used if you land on a merchant space, allowing you to purchase equipment, blessings, food or health.
Each card acts as a space as you move, trying to reach new areas until ultimately, you defeat the boss for that particular round. As you do this, you’ll land on cards that will present you with a variety of options. Some cards such as Ambush, will draw an enemy card that will determine the type of monster and how many of them that you will face before putting you into a combat mode where you have to defeat all of the enemies before moving back to the table view.
The combat will feel somewhat similar to those who have played games such as the Batman Arkham titles. You attack an enemy and have a small indicator display if wielding a shield that will allow you to easily counter the attack with a single button press. Unfortunately, the combat doesn’t feel as polished as the Batman games and as such is one of the weaker elements in this game.
While it has elements of a deck builder and an RPG, at its core, this is a game of luck that depends on the cards in your deck and the order in which they show up. Some cards will give you various options to choose from. The card Mister Lionel for example, has a goblin that sits next to you. He tells you to “give him what he needs” and you have the option of giving him some of your food, some of your good, asking him what he needs, or simply ignoring him. Depending on your choice you may draw a shield or food card.
Some cards, after selecting an option will have you test your luck further, presenting you with a set of 4 cards which will contain success or failure. Depending on the task, there may even be a huge success or huge failure card. The cards are shuffled and shown face down, allowing you to choose the card. If you fail you might draw pain cards, causing you to lose some of your current health, lower your max health, lose equipment etc. Failures can hurt, so hopefully you can get lucky and make the right choice when faced with selecting a card. Even some events that seem like they could be harmless can end up hurting. I played a game where I stumbled upon a carnival. There was a guy breathing fire into the air and then I was suddenly met with a success/failure selection. The man sneezed and caught me on fire. Beware the carnivals!
At the end of the day, Hand of Fate is a solid time waster because of it’s sheer randomness offered by the decks you use. The more you play, the more cards you unlock, the more random the game becomes. Some of the games may be a walk in the park, while other ones might have everything working against you, from carnies to goblin ambushes.
~ Final Score: 7/10 ~
Review copy provided by Deviant Development for PC. Screenshots taken by reviewer.