With the tried and true games coming out on a weekly basis with months of hype behind it, it’s always incredible when a game comes out of nowhere that feels unique and plays really well. Hand of Fate is that game. Taking some aspects from a few genres, Hand of Fate only draws you into the lore created the more that you play.
Hand of Fate begins each map with you building your character with a deck of cards. You can do this manually or have the computer create a recommended deck which always seems to be pretty good. Upon that, you will meet the dealer who lays all his cards, your cards, and the cards on the table. You have three gains: health, food, and gold.
The cards laid in the middle of the table basically becomes your level to progress through. Each card is face-down and when you move on to it, it turns over and is a random card that may lead to meeting a character, shop, battle, or trap. This is when the Collectible Card Game becomes a Dungeons and Dragons-styled game as a story is told and you must react to it. You may yield buffs, curses, armour, gains, or even battles ensue depending on what you choose. This is a really captivating aspect.
The end goal to each level is to defeat the boss. To do that, you must make your way through the level which is usually multi-tiered and defeat them in the second major part of the game: the brawler. The easiest comparison to the combat in Hand of Fate is that of the Batman Arkham games. However, Hand of Fate’s brawling mechanic is not nearly as tight or satisfying. This seems like a game that cares about the numbers in a battle based on your equipment and the combat is merely acceptable.
As you complete quests which end in defeating a boss enemy, you will unlock a whole host of new cards to make each new quest be even more unique and unpredictable. While some games may be incredibly easy and others unfair, the games are never long enough to feel truly frustrated. Plus, the core game is simply so good that you don’t mind playing against the same enemy again.
The card game is where Hand of Fate truly shine. Receiving food which allows you to move through the table can even be exciting, especially when you nearly run out. Sacrifices are an option in some encounter some of which reward players with their unselfishness, but not all the time.
It’s an entirely unique concept in a lot of ways coupled with some great personality in its presentation. The creator of the card game can be very self-aware of what is going on in the video game and results in an even more enjoyable experience.
When a game comes out of nowhere and is decent, it’s a nice surprise. When a game like Hand of Fate comes out of nowhere it’s a must buy. It may not be perfect in its presentation, visuals, or combat but the culmination of all of its ideas make it for one of the best games to release this year so far.