Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

I think the thronebreaker could be better as after the hype it built around its release didnt meet my expectations personally.


Allow me to do a silly comparison.

Thronebreaker is a

-single player game where battles are fought with cards
-you can gain new cards and even upgrade them during the game
-playing cards willy nilly will get yo nowhere, the game is geared toward synergies and combos, you have to deckbuild for it

Slay the Spire is a

-single player game where battles are fought with cards
-you can gain new cards and even upgrade them during the game
-playing cards willy nilly will get yo nowhere, the game is geared toward synergies and combos, you have to deckbuild for it

Both have a similar price, in the 20-30€ range.

So it can seem curious that one received mediocre sales, and the other sold more than one million copies.

The key, of course, is in the things they don’t look like the other.

Cd Projekt strength as a company is in the story and characters, in the narrative aspect, so they decided to do a single player story with cards. It makes sense to try to use your own strengths, but in hindsight, Slay the Spire formula is much better.

Slay the Spire on the other hand don’t have a story (the few lines hidden here and there are more like lore than story), and instead focused on the gameplay, very well balanced and varied. And that’s is a formula to success, because I would say the audience of card games are very ‘gameplay-first’ geeks.
The game itself is a quick, very random, replayable roguelike, instead of a long not-so-replayable story, so the game itself is geared perfectly towards a card game. Most card games are random, you can of course influence that randomness, but it’s an important factor. Every hand can be different, every time you can make a different deck, this type of game borrows himself perfectly to the roguelite template.

I admire your persistence in reminding us that this game exists @TurinTur.

Well, that was more a “what they did wrong” post than a “buy this game” post.

I forgot I bought this during the winter sale!


I dunno where I plan to fit it in.

Good breakdown. Lately I gravitate toward games that are easy to pick up but have a lot of depth — either in case I want to get into it, or at least knowing it exists. It makes me feel like I’m playing a worthy game.

The reason I hesitate on Spire is I want games that are easy to stop playing whenever I want. So multiplayer and endless roguelikes are usually too risky.

Plus I still dislike the art style, but that’s for the other thread.

It’s easy enough to stop a run at any time and continue later. Also, each level is a natural stopping point. It is a nice game to play when you don’t have a lot of time but also good enough you can play for several hours (at least in the beginning).

Yeah we had this discussion before in the context of Paradox strategy games. Mechanically, you could stop pretty easily. But the game is addictive enough that it’s tough. All the addicts are testament to that.

This goes beyond my initial post, and it should go to the Spire thread, but I suspect the high randomness of the game has contributed to its success. I guess some fans will negate it saying how good the player is what it matters, but in addition there also is a bit of ‘slot machine effect’ on it, as there are some high luck streaks and some low luck runs, and that randomness contributes to the addictive feeling, as with a slot machine.

I’m finally playing through the W3 expansions and at the same time started on Thronebreaker. Its a bit confusing switching between the 2 different Gwent mechanics. Not sure I like the changes that they’ve introduced in TB. (or was it in the Gwent game? I never played the early access version…)

I’ve been playing this a fair bit the past few week s and have been enjoying it more and more as I get deeper in.

I do think they made a bit of a design error in how long they made the initial map and making map walking speed an upgrade you need to buy though. The first few hours is pretty slow.

Also, I gotta say that some of the puzzle battles are pretty unique and entertaining. I just did the one that was a homage of Hearthstone, which was pretty cool

I think they went way too heavy on the puzzle battles, especially early on. I want to play the proper game with my own deck, not try to find the one pre-defined and probably unintutive path to an arbitrary goal.

Oddly enough. all the hardest puzzle battles are in the first couple of levels. In subsequent levels, the puzzles get easier (and I think that’s objectively, not just that I got better at them).

Puzzles were some of my favorite parts of the game :)
And antlers is onto something, there were some hard puzzles in the first maps, and strangely some puzzles that almost solved by themselves in the last two.

I just got this in the current sale. Haven’t played much but was impressed how good it looked. Interesting design for the game. I did like Gwent and the implementation here seems fun so far.

Took me a long time but finally finished it today. Great game and I wish it had sold better. Would love another game in this style. Suits perfectly to the short burst play schedule I have currently.

It’s been a while since I played this and tried to pick up where I left off. I have no idea how to play anymore.

I am currently playing as well and enjoying myself! Just reached the middle of act 4, so I am nearing the end.

This game gives me Banner Saga vibes: very tough decisions with unpredictable outcomes, great art, great writing, but a set of game mechanics which feel a bit disjointed from the actual narrative. Also, I really preferred Banner Saga’s linear caravan movement to Thronebreaker’s ‘open world’ approach. Ressource collection is tedious and I am doing all quests anyway, so I’d rather not bother with map movement at all.

Even though I am playing on the hardest difficulty, I am finding the game too easy. I haven’t touched many of the cards, because my standard (non-cheese!) strategy almost always works. I wished there was more push back, forcing me to experiment more. On that note: why do you need to load the last checkpoint in order to alter your deck when you are stuck with a battle!? That is an insane design decision!

The number of trinkets to choose from gets out of hand way too quickly.

Not a fan of so many cards being animated. Creates wild fps swings (fire on rows a notorious culprit) with little to no benefit. Coming to think of it, I would prefer a cleaner, static look of the battlefield that is easier to read.

Isbel can be downright broken, but is a lot of fun!

Is it just me or were the puzzles in Act 1 the hardest? A lot of the more recent ones seemed way easier than the initial ones. I laughed about the Hearthstone/ Magic homage puzzle in Act 3, actually fumbling my first attempt.

Would be nice to have puzzles where you have to design your own deck to solve them.

I’d imagine the learning curve of this game is rather steep if you have little experience with Gwent or similar card games. Many things don’t get properly explained at all, though the tooltips are decent…

I was ready to quit because there was a story battle that I couldn’t get past in the elven forest, I couldn’t figure out what deck composition I should use. Then when looking at the details of a card in the command tent I saw what I had forgotten - that I could use resources to create more copies of a card. Once I did that the battle wasn’t bad.

I’m definitely enjoying the writing and artwork. Gwent is OK, but not one of my favorite card games. Overall a good experience.