Man. This game. I’m not gonna be able to even touch on everything there is to talk about in an opening post. But here goes:
What is it?
A deckbuilding roguelite. Probably the most famous example of the genre at this point is Slay the Spire, although I don’t think Erannorth Reborn has that much in common with StS in the final analysis.
Dear god, my eyes? Why would you recommend a game with such hideous art? Also, why isn’t anyone wearing any clothes?
Yeah. Um. The art is not a selling point. I absolutely wouldn’t blame anyone for being turned off by it. (I was.) But for what it’s worth, the excessively horny art (and low effort Poser 3d rendering) don’t seem to carry over into the actual play or most of what writing there is in the game. Also, the game is highly moddable and there’s a mod to replace all the enemy art (so far as I can tell, at least) with information and a representative icon:
as well as a mod that replaces enemy art with (based on the examples) higher quality if still not always fully clothed fantasy art off Pinterest:
I just found those today, so I can’t vouch for their 100% efficacy but they are options.
Okay, so why should I look past it?
Some really innovative ideas and an astonishing amount of depth. Here are some really interesting things the game does:
- Everything in the game is handled through cards. Weapons generate cards in your hand every turn that you can optionally play. Armor, accessories, etc generate and automatically play cards every turn. You can have allies, which stay in play and can attack things or create/play special cards. You can have hideouts that are permanently in play and supply you with an infinite supply of particular allies and card effects. There’s a backpack you can fish potions, treasure maps, and other consumable cards out of during combat.
- You can edit your deck and equipment load at literally any time, although changes to your deck won’t actually affect what you draw until you’ve run through it or manually reshuffled everything (which takes a turn), and equipment card plays happen at the start of a round so mid-round edits won’t hit until then.
- All of your cards (and yes, this includes allies and equipment) gain experience as you play them, up to a certain cap, which makes them more powerful each level.
- Synergies. The single trickiest design feature in the whole game, probably. Synergies apply an effect to the next card you play. This is often based on the level of the card and the elemental alignment of the card (they all have one), and can radically alter the function of the card. For example, apply a Damage synergy to a buff card, and suddenly in addition to buffing you, it’ll deal a level+damage synergy-based amount of that card’s aligned damage type to a target enemy. (It’ll also up a card that already does damage but this is actually much less effective.) Apply an Amplify synergy, and that card will buff your damage of that type for the rest of the round. Etc.
- There are sandbox adventure modes where you can move around a map freely and obtain all sorts of loot, allies, encounter narrative special encounters, visit towns and shop, and so on. There’s also a full deckbuilding mode where you aren’t limited to a specific class, and a draft mode, and…
- This isn’t specifically limited to Erannorth, of course, but it’s fully workshop moddable and moreover has robust tools for customizing your own game modes even if you don’t want to go as far as making mods.
It has a substantial learning curve, but I think it’s well worth it. PS: Races and classes are both organized in order with the top being the least complicated and easiest to learn and proceeding down from there. The locked ones are locked because they’re harder to figure out, and the more expensive ones more so. Be warned.