I’ve always thought that trading card games have an excellent place among gamers, and that more games should incorporate this element in some sort of way. The PC’s Hearthstone is an excellent example of just such a concept, laid out into an extremely well received title. That’s why I was very excited to hear about Hand of Fate, a game that draws its inspiration from building decks of cards, Dungeons and Dragons, and Tarot. When I got the opportunity to check out them game at PlayStation Experience, I jumped at it.
The deck of cards is laid out like a game board, and the goal is to reach the end and defeat the boss card. For each card that is flipped, a scenario is presented to the player, again, very reminiscent of D&D. These scenarios can range from the menial to the extreme, sometimes containing great reward, and sometimes risking everything. Do you give this starving traveler some of your food? Do you attack the band of goblins? The risk and reward is a key aspect of Hand of Fate and lends a lot of unpredictability. The game is a roguelike RPG, so elements like food to move forward, attack, and defense are all present, and are each determined by the cards that are drawn, and everything is randomly generated by the deck of cards, so the possibilities of Hand of Fate are near limitless.
The battle cards send you into a third person battle mode that plays much like the combat system in the Arkham games. These battles are helped or hindered by your preceding journey meaning you may have an awesome weapon or shield to help you out, or you could just end up down on your luck. After playing one short deck, I realize that this is a game I could see myself going back to consistently, even if it is just to play a quick hand or two before playing something else. I do the same thing with Rogue Legacy most days before going on to play another game. The possibility of progress, no matter how slight, entices me to pick up and play just a bit more.
Hand of Fate combines a variety of pieces that I really love, from the collectible card game aspect, to the Arkham style combat, to the punishing and rewarding roguelike elements. This blend makes Hand of Fate a game that I will be eagerly looking forward to as we move into 2015.