Building a deck of deckbuilders

Colour me unsure what deliberate means in this context. Too slow? Too much? Too intense? I am however only approaching the end of the first tournament, which itself follow tutorial stages, and has an interlude that includes further tutorials.

I am not very tolerant of games which deliver much non-interactive narrative at their beginning. This one does not trigger that issue for me AND much of the backstory is optional to consume via choosing to talk to characters about specific topics. If you have played Ash of Gods Redemption, the backstory connects very strongly to the events in that game. If you have not, it may not land quite as well, and might seem generic and a bit over-much. I did play Redemption, so for me it was a treat to read references to the events of that game, and changes since, and to recognise some of the characters from that game.

For example, one of the major secondary characters throughout Redemption was an officer called Eik, who accompanied one of the main protagonists. You never got to play as him, but he was a frequent dialogue companion. Eik, but 20 years older, is the mentor for the protagonist in The Way.

If Krosmaster Arena is like The Way, I may give it a try! I boardgame a lot, and Krosmaster Arena has always been just on the edge of my interest and potential play.

Krosmaster Arena always struck me as Final Fantasy Tactics as a board game and Krosmaster Quest made it an open world dungeon explore

Spent the weekend running Wildfrost long enough to get the true ending. Great game! Best deckbuilder I’ve played since Monster Train

I think I might be recalling the issue. On top of the story feeling a touch contrived (what deckbuilder story doesn’t, to be fair), there sure were an awful lot of tutorial fights. The tournament itself dragged on as well. It gave me the impression they game might be a bit of a slog.

Mind you, it looks really good. I’d love it to be great. But I couldn’t get into Thronebreaker either.

Oh, was that from a pre-release prologue? I did not try any, but I have read others have the same or similar complaints about it. I also read the release is rather different, but not having experienced both, I cannot quantify that.

There are maybe 4-5 tutorial fights. I am a grizzled veteran of these types of games. They did not feel onerous or overdone to me. As ever, YMMV.

I did enjoy Thronebreaker but . . . also stopped playing it. I loved the free-flowing fights, but the puzzle fights just irritated me. I was not interested in finding the one (or two) very specific solutions to their problems. For a while, I would alt-tab to watch a solution and apply that, but this eventually grated enough that I just stopped playing.

In The Way, I am having play sessions of 25-30 minutes, maybe just enough to slowly play one or two fights, like doing half of a Slay the Spire or Monster Train run :-)

Monster Train? That’s a good endorsement. I really like this genre, though I’ve only played a few – Monster Slayer, Slay the Spire, and Monster Train. They have all been a lot of fun to play.

Oh, interesting! I am referring to the pre-release. Maybe they got a a bunch of feedback and ditched most of it.

By true ending do you mean winning with some vase, after winning some games with the chalice modifier turned on? I didn’t realize there was a true ending until I looked it up and I haven’t’ played any games with that option on yet. I will start now though!

I’ve only won 3 games out of 30 something, so my win percentage is not the greatest!

Yeah. Basically each time you beat the game (after the first time ) with all the bells you youve unlocked enabled you unlock another bell after winning.

If you play the game with 3 bells enabled there’s a vase you can reconstruct during the run and if you beat the last boss with the reconstructed vase you unlock one additional battle with the real last boss - winning that battle wins you the game

Gentle persons, I present to you, my take on the deck building roguelike adventure Game of the Year.

The basics are that in the adventure mode, you pick one of eight types of ‘Summoner’ and embark on a 3-act series, very much Slay-the-Spire like.

However, it gets interesting right away, in that you get to pick the ‘biome’ you start in, determining visuals, challenge and enemy types and you get to perform your first initial deck build customisation by choosing the 3 cards you will begin with. Initially, you have no choices, but as you unlock the 400 or so cards through play, you can choose from them all.

As you explore the overland you reveal the contents of map tiles. Whenever you encounter a battle you always have the option to immediately flee, no penalty, which means you can really plan out your order of encounters, by gaining the preview, and taking them in the order you want.

Exploring, battling and stores give you new cards, both for the run, and the meta-progression. Once you are an act or so deep into a run, you will have more than 20 cards - the deck limit - to choose from, at which point the deck building begins in ernest, as you can choose which 20 to take.

Here is a hook . . . . whenever you play a card during a battle, it is discarded until you rest again, no shuffling. This might feel uncomfortable at first, but it nudges you strongly to experiment and make the most of your cards. The tactical battles range from quick and simple to epic and hugely memorable, and I would compare some of them to the best from Trials of Fire and Urtuk the Desolation, very different, but just as interesting.

Here is another hook, some of your cards can become ‘Guardians’ or ‘Loyal’ units that persist from battle to battle, rather than disbanding at the end. So you pretty quickly build a bit of a party, and arrive into battles, including with other summoners, very tooled up.

Oh, yeah, the battles versus other summoners? Epic. You are summoning, they are summoning, it is a crunchy bloody sometimes messy tug of war between powers, and some of the powers are just crazy. You have everything from swarms of ants to titans and dragons, and every unit card becomes something on the board - just like in Faeria - and gets to move when you play it.

Splattercat has covered it, and after watching the first 10-15 minutes of his video, I was going to pass, but reading a comparison of this to a Magic The Gathering RPG intrigued me, so glad it did.

A couple caveats . . . maybe three. There is a specifc art style that has the units look directly up at you, at the screen. It feels uncomfortable to look at, for some, and there is an option to disable that. Second is that the walking around between fights, which Splattercat shows in the first 10-15 minutes of his game, is kinda pointless. However, I think you might welcome the mental downtime between fights, since they can get very taxing. Lastly, on “middle” difficulty and above, this might well offer some brutal challenge. I sure as heck got stomped by a very special undead dragon boss on my first three tries, but then learned how to beat it, and won on the fourth. Some tolerance for failure required!

The way this is worded made me think the game was called Game of the Year, which would be kind of hilarious a la A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Even as is, the year isn’t even half over!

Still, this kind of recommendation from you carries a lot of weight. Going to need @Hereafter to weigh, in, too.

By the way, Abalon was previously known as Summoner’s Fate. I think we have discussed it before, but the search sucks, so tough to say.

You mean aside from the ones you buy?

I absolutely hated this, but I think maybe it’s not as bad as it was before. Feels like they adjusted it to not be as severe.

Yup, I think the ways you can gain Guardian units are -

  1. Inviting another adventurer to join you, via an event
  2. Hiring a mercenary
  3. Liberating a prisoner
  4. Acquiring a unit card with the potential to be a guardian, removing the card from your deck, then choosing them as a Guardian during a camping event

I actually felt discomfort, probably psychosocial, from just looking at the characters lifting their heads towards the screen. Dang it, necks are not meant to do that! In addition to offering a setting to disable it, there is in-game lore which pokes fun at it. Kinda amusing.

Thanks for the poke lol. but I actually haven’t played it. Mainly due to:

I was hovering on buy then I saw the some lets play (Splat, Wander, Retro, etc) and immediately deleted it from my queue. The perspective made me extremely uneasy and it was quite off-putting. I don’t mind difficulty as I finished Urtuk and ToF on the highest diffiucly dozens of times.

However, Urtuk and ToF are two of the favorite games in the last few years. So I might give this a chance but I have another problem. Steam is threatening to no let me refund games because I refunded too many on the spring sale (Bought ~20 refunded ~10) so I’m quite a bit more choosy for a little bit.

No, Valve, why? Maybe it will take the EU weighing in again, but people should have the option to refund regardless. And here we’re taking about the store’s best supporters.

At some point, there’s saturation of total dollars spent. Does it matter to Valve whether that’s being spent over the course of several refunds to find the gems or once and folks are dissatisfied? It should. Even if the size of the pie is fixed, either as a corporation Valve should want the biggest piece of it or as humans providing a service they should want to do right by their customers.

That said, it doesn’t really reach me. They’ll always get my money because 'tis the rare title I play at all within 14 days of acquiring.

Not to derail the thread but I’ve tried lots of games with the ‘yellow’ steam deck compatibility and lots of them are not up to my satisfaction. To Valve’s credit they never did deny any refund. Threaten might’ve been too strong of a word. Here’s the text:


It’s not “regardless”. The right to a no questions asked refund for digital goods stops when it’s downloaded. To have a right of return after that, there needs to be an actual defect or misleading advertising.

Keen, that sent me down a little path to look up those policies. So I guess that’s the EU statutory right to withdrawal you’re describing. Which…huh…ends as soon as you begin downloading the digital product. I would not have guessed the termination of the right would be on that side of the download.

Rejoining the topic, I tried a little more of Across the Obelisk. I thought I could crank up the difficulty to get more unlock points. That was a bad idea. It just meant I was failing sooner, getting fewer unlocks per time played. I’m resigning myself to having missed the spark. Oh well, next. Abalon, Lykurgos says?

Shuffle Tactics has a terribly generic name, but pitches with this question:

What if Final Fantasy Tactics and Slay the Spire had a baby?

Looks pretty interesting.

I turned off that “look up at the screen” option very early. After that, the art is rather impressive. The one guy that made this has created a pretty amazing bestiary and the art is good enough that you can recognize everything from look alone.

Abalon has taken over from all my other games. The rogue-lite runs deliver a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich level of “just rightness”, definitely alongside Slay the Spire and Monster Train in that regard. The tactical battles, whilst having simpler controls than XCom, begin to reveal greater and greater depths as one progresses from just having fun flinging cards around to trying to eke out every sprinkle of survivability whilst also pursuing the swiftness resolution possible for a higher score. Viable tactics include, for example, loading up suicide units with debuffs that will have them explode when they die, and sending problematic units into the future.

There is also a lot of nuance you miss initially, such as whether to enter a new tile from the narrower side edges or wider top and bottom edges, as this will influence your initial placement. A ranged units heavy team for example will often want more distance between them and opponents, making the side edges preferable.

Abalon also has some great humor. This screenie shows it off well!