“Digital Card Games” take many forms, and there are many attempts to execute them in ways that do not burn up when entering our atmosphere. This is my particular obsession, I don’t expect everyone to follow me into these - particularly as it’s not really feasible financially to seriously play more than one at a time. I get in on launch or just before to see how they’ve tried to survive in the hot, terrifying jungle of the form, which doesn’t cost much. Usually.
You have games like Monster Slayers or Slay The Spire - slaying is a real theme here - that are rad but outside the space I’m talking about, which are really TCGs that you play on the computer. Gwent and Faeria range outside the Hearthstone experience - Gwent is completely alien, while Faeria has players building a tactical board out of their mana cards. If you like tabletop, weirdly enough, this in an amazing time to play videogames.
I don’t know how Fable Fortune escaped all the collapses in its path, but it’s not hard to imagine them tucking the game in the crook of their arm like a cursed idol and running just ahead of a massive stone orb. I talked to somebody on the Tweeter about it, and how it looked more or less like something they were already playing, so they couldn’t get the appeal. I’m not saying you have to buy a starter pack or anything, but if you like card games I would not skip it. It does a few things you might find interesting.
For example: you put creatures, any single creature, into a “taunt” or “guard” state by spending one mana. Or, Gold. It’s gold here. Anyway, having easy access to taunt in this way extends games, but it does so as a decision you can make, and it’s this extension that allows more textured and interesting games. What’s more, the “Safeguard” keyword allows for special effects when being granted Guard. It also makes creatures with Last Laugh abilities (“Deathrattle”) more interesting. This is a cool dynamic.
You choose from one of three quests when you start, and once you’ve satisfied them, you choose if you’ve completed them in a Good or Evil fashion. This does a few things:
- One, being Good or Evil changes how some cards work. It definitely changes your character art and character power, offering you two novel sidegrades that it can be very hard to choose from. You also get a unique card that goes to hand. At least, in my experience. There might be something I don’t know. I’m new!
- You also gain a “Morality Point,” which has no polarity good or evil but is a value some cards key off of.
You choose a new quest after you’ve solved one, and if you complete it, you gain another Morality Point and can choose a different alignment if you want, based on how things are playing now.
The moment I really felt like I understood it wasn’t business as usual was when I started investigating the Merchant class. The way it models the idea of “investment” and “return” in card form was clever, fun, and quite frankly worthwhile. Look, I play a lot of these fucking things. In a medium as dense as this one, that’s no guarantee.