I’ve spent loads of my gaming time over the past 5 plus years duking it out towards all method of foes utilizing essentially the most highly effective weapon of all of them… playing cards. And in that point, two of my favorite card-based battle video games have been Faeria and Slay the Spire. With Roguebook, these worlds are colliding. Nicely, to be extra exact, developer Abrakam has introduced its Faeria universe throughout to the roguelike deck-builder style and created one thing of a (literal) storybook tackle Slay the Spire. Roguebook doesn’t fairly attain the identical dizzying gameplay heights as that recreation, nevertheless it has so much to supply, from its intelligent twin hero battle system and lovely presentation, by to its puzzle-like overworlds which are constructed across the premise that you simply’re trapped inside Faeria’s lore e-book.
Misplaced in a Dangerous E-book
Considered one of Roguebook’s most attention-grabbing factors of differentiation is its overworld exploration. Each map begins out with massive swathes of clean parchment and it’s solely by utilizing brushes and ink pots that you may reveal what’s on every tile. As you paint, you’ll come throughout alternatives to draft extra playing cards, to transmute present playing cards, and to construct up your in-battle vitality reserves. You’ll uncover piles of gold that may be spent at every chapter’s store, you’ll acquire relics that may probably energy up your gameplan, and you may come across standalone occasions and legendary creatures. Figuring out greatest collect and use ink makes for an absorbing layer of overworld technique.
Every enemy encounter, in the meantime, is a chance to check the playing cards, talents, buffs and modifiers you’ve cobbled collectively thus far. How effectively does your technique match collectively, and are you taking full benefits of the 2 heroes you’d chosen firstly of the run? Are you able to take care of a number of foes or work round standing results? And do you’ve sufficient lethality to topple enemies that steadily construct their energy? There’s typically so much to remember, particularly because the row of relics and abilities on the prime of the display will get longer and longer. These perks, in any case, essentially inform your selection of playing cards to draft, in addition to strategy any given battle.
In case you have the relic Sturdy Shell, for example, it offers the outfitted hero 5 block every time she or he takes injury. If an enemy’s seeking to assault for low injury repeatedly, then, you’ll wish to finish your flip with that hero on the entrance to mainly negate the injury. With blocking taken care of, this additionally means you possibly can prioritise attacking or deploying allies that flip. In case you have the relic Flame of Ignus, you’ll get an additional vitality orb any time a card grants you one, which implies it’s best to aggressively draft playing cards that just do that – in addition to dearer playing cards and card draw, as you realize you’ll be capable to make the most of them.
Even the playing cards in your deck might be modified because of Roguebook’s gem system. It’s possible you’ll wish to cut back a card’s value, add card draw or maybe at all times begin a battle with it a selected card in hand. Cleverly utilising gems can have a large affect in your deck’s energy degree and I actually loved in search of build-defining synergies.
There and Again Once more
Roguebook’s turn-based battle system has many layers. Like Slay the Spire, you’ll spend vitality to play playing cards, you’ll level assaults that do injury at enemies and also you’ll discover methods to construct up block to mitigate incoming injury. Extra uniquely, you’ll additionally deploy allies into the battlefield – a few of which supply up distinctive advantages like returning a card handy or letting you swap hero positions, whereas others merely do injury on the finish of each flip.
The design factor I discover most compelling, nevertheless, is the back and front dynamic for the 2 heroes. Swapping their positions is baked into lots of the playing cards – forged one among Sharra’s Defend playing cards to realize block, for example, and he or she’ll transfer to the entrance. Playing cards with Cost do the identical, whereas playing cards with Retreat ship the hero to the again. Swapping heroes can be repeatedly used to keep away from position-specific debuffs and to set off results, whereas ending the flip with a selected hero on the entrance is an enormous a part of the technique as they’re the one that may take any injury.
Some heroes utilise a selected place effectively too. Being on the entrance offers Sharra a lift to her assault energy, for example, but when she’s paired with Seifer chances are you’ll wish to finish turns with him within the lead. Not solely does he have larger native well being, however any injury he takes provides to his rage meter which, when full, permits him to play a supercharged model of one among his playing cards.
Swapping positions can be an enormous a part of gaining incremental useful resource benefits. Melee playing cards, for example, value one much less when performed by a hero who’s main, whereas Ranged playing cards are the identical for the rear place. Weaving these reductions in whereas additionally listening to different key phrases like Combo (which drops the price of the Combo card by one when you play a card from the opposite hero first) is integral to taking advantage of your turns.
Hero in a Half-Shell
Every hero additionally has strengths, weaknesses and distinctive mechanics to pay attention to. Sharra, for instance, can generate Daggers, that are basically zero value injury spells. She additionally has loads of sturdy single goal assault playing cards and may trigger ongoing bleed in enemies. Sorocco’s playing cards, in the meantime, are typically a bit dearer however hit tougher. He’s extra centered on AOE, on boosting the facility of heroes and on producing block – and generally turning it into injury.
As talked about, Seifer has the fashion mechanic, so has playing cards that generate rage or make the most of rage, in addition to methods to sacrifice well being after which heal again up. He also can deploy aggressive allies after which bolster their assault… or sacrifice them to save lots of his personal cover.
The final hero is Aurora, a low well being, spell-casting tortoise who can summon a military of frogs, which all stack atop each other to create a single heavy-hitting ally. A lot of her playing cards are both involved along with her well being or are dual-sided. Sip is an instance of each, therapeutic for 4 if Aurora is broken, however dealing 4 to the lead enemy if not. Sips are generated by a number of assist playing cards, and Aurora additionally has loads of card draw instruments.
Roguebook Evaluate Screenshots
Constructing a successful deck with playing cards from two distinct swimming pools is kind of enjoyable, however Roguebook’s heroes aren’t all that mechanically attention-grabbing. I didn’t wish to discover Seifer’s rage mechanic in the identical approach I turned obsessive about orb methods for the Defect in Slay the Spire, for example. A lot of Roguebook’s greatest concepts really feel game-wide reasonably than hero-driven. Compounding this, having playing cards from two heroes in your deck makes aiming for a slender technique notably tough.
You’re rewarded for having extra playing cards in your deck too, with new expertise selections unlocked at sure thresholds, and that is very a lot a combined blessing. With this model of recreation, the extra playing cards you draft, the extra watered down your technique will inevitably develop into. Deciding how massive your deck needs to be is an attention-grabbing push and pull every run, however having rewards tied to bigger decks doesn’t essentially make Roguebook a greater recreation.
Run Plus Room
After you beat Roguebook when you’ll get entry to New Run +. This Epilogue has 15 ranges of problem to work by, and an entire host of modifiers to unlock – after which choose – that may radically alter every run. Your lead hero would possibly take injury every time she or he performs a card, for example, or the again enemy might at all times begin stealthed. It’s an attention-grabbing strategy, however I discovered myself wishing every row was unlocked without delay, versus unlocking every modifier individually, as some had been far more interesting to try than others.
The upper the Epilogue degree you clear, the extra Pages you’re rewarded, and these are spent on vital meta recreation upgrades like boosting the beginning well being of your heroes, including extra vitality wells to every map and rising the chance of rarer playing cards or treasures dropping. For essentially the most half the gildings assist make you extra highly effective for future runs, however chances are you’ll wish to suppose twice earlier than unlocking a few of the choices. Randomising the playing cards in your starter deck, for example, definitely has excessive roll potential, however it may possibly additionally depart you at a drawback. There’s one thing to be stated for beginning with a vanilla deck that’s dependable sufficient within the early recreation and that you simply then construct on, whereas transmuting away the weaker playing cards over time.
New Sport + represents vital endgame part, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a disgrace Roguebook doesn’t have something outdoors of it. I’d have cherished a further palate cleanser mode, like every day challenges or the flexibility to create customized runs for enjoyable by which I construct my very own starter deck, swap starter relics and so forth.
Roguebook additionally has a couple of points to clear up. I encountered quite a few bugs in my time with the sport, from playing cards not working as supposed by to a run by which one among my hero’s starter relics merely went AWOL. I additionally misplaced a couple of hours progress at one level because of a problem with cloud save performance. Fortunately, the sport has already obtained a few vital patches, together with one after the majority of my playtime, so issues are on target.