The genre of card games has a offering virtually infinite. If we count all its branches, we can probably fill this article only with the names of the titles around the management of your bunch have entered the mechanical variety. This is because, in truth, the card itself does not represent a genre, but a different way to deploy the skills, characters, skills and resources to use in other mechanical properties. Of course the ‘deck building’ is a mechanical legitimate but, still, it is a different way to decide on the mix especially of their own characters/groups/skills/inventory objects.
This takes nothing away from the fact that the mechanics that revolves around the deck of cards to handle one of the most rich in possibilities and, above all, one of the most flexible; for this, the games that use it end up to be so different, and numerous.
The interface of <shout
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Nowhere Prophet, the last born in the house, No More Robots (publisher very active recently with Not Tonight and Descenders), is a title that around the management of the deck of cards has invented an interesting adventure and, to a certain extent, the original.
The basic idea is that we are in a post-apocalyptic, and that we, as a prophet endowed with powers more or less paranormal, we have to lead a group of survivors across the wastelands full of threats, opportunities, but, above all, lots of enemies to defeat in tactical combat. To do this, the main resource are just our followers, twenty poor at the beginning, seeing that each of them corresponds to a paper, and then ourselves, with powers that come from a second deck of cards. In second-order resources such as food and hope (counted numerically) keep the group alive while the batteries and luxury items, respectively, allow you to buy objects and ‘reload’ the moral of the followers.
The mechanical that moves the plot and the entire game is a very simple voyage in which we move on two-dimensional maps (always randomized) with points of interest that can contain a variety of activities. There are events such as meetings, multiple-choice, the settlements that we can heal characters injured and visit the markets and locations in which, in practice, there are proposed exchanges of resources (especially cards) and some more information about the universe that surrounds us. These two-dimensional maps are linked in a strategic map in which is explained the progression from the starting point at the end of the adventure, in a manner very similar to FTL, for instance. At the end of each map you expect a clash with a sort of boss.
The victory is often accompanied with a loot of food and luxury resources to raise the morale; in the most fortunate cases, you will also find followers and ability card for your leader!
This part of the game is organized in a very simple and clear, and also given that resources are limited and the interface is a little masterpiece of simplicity and minimalism; after half-an-hour the entire operation of the game will seem natural and you will not have any trouble navigarne the areas quickly. In this the game resembles a lot to Slay the Spire.
Where the game gets more and more convoluto is in the tactical combat.
When you encounter enemies, the first thing you can do is to prepare their decks, this means select what you bring into battle. First of all, the followers. Each of them corresponds to a paper, but they can also be injured and this means that a second injury would destroy the paper. In second order of your character, in addition to the card leader, has an inventory with several special slots and some cards have leader fit in these slots specific ensuring additional skills. Then the management of the deck pre-combat is not trivial, especially if the situation is critical.
The tactical combat takes place on a map, definitely one of the original on each of the two sides there are three columns by four positions each, so twelve possible slots, for each of the two factions. In these slots you can place your followers by playing the corresponding card, or you can visit us of the obstacles or resources with particular properties. The only units that can fight are those in the column closest to the area of the enemy, so we say ‘to the front’. The drive in the other slot can’t attack but can use the passive skills.
Each card has an activation cost in terms of energy; your leader starts with three energy resources which are recharged at the end of each round and increase by one; each card has a health value (came to zero (the paper exits from the game, wound, or deleted if previously wound) and a value of damage it can cause to the enemies.
The cards arrive on the map that are inactive for the turn in which they were played, if not for the skills they have. For example, a card with the skill ‘Taunt’ (must be attached before any other) will exercise this power in the turn of the enemy.
Before a clash with a boss you will want to carefully analyze both the bunch of followers and that of your leader; <shout
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On your turn, you can deploy your units and/or play the skills of your leaders, almost all of which cost energy, and then proceeding in the game, you can do progressively more things and activate cards more expensive (and more powerful), thanks to growth from turn to turn of your energy.
The objective of the battle is only one: eliminate the leader, which is always colpibile, unless there are special effects in play (such as, precisely, ‘Taunt’ that we mentioned earlier). Stick and move (alternative choices among them) with their own unit does not cost energy.
These basic rules, shuffled the jumble of special abilities in the game (your enemies) make the fights a tactical to a strategic challenge, always interesting, but never too highly convoluted. Between the cards you have in hand, your followers on the map, and the opponents in front of you, there is always a different situation and intriguing to analyze in which the solution of the puzzle tactical is (almost) always a few seconds of reflection of distance. But this solution does not is never trivial and, above all, is never guaranteed.
Nowhere Prophet is in fact also a rogue-lite with permadeath of your characters and run in which the randomness of the cards available can easily condemn you to toil tactics titanic in which the result can even be death in the first map. However, by playing you unlock new abilities and new choices as a leader (with different starting skill), and sets of followers (in different trains); this means that, with time, Nowhere Prophet offers more options and more tools to defeat the enemies.
The deck of the leader includes generic skills and abilities related to the inventory (with the slot unlockable as you progress), to the left in the image.
The aesthetic appearance of Nowhere Prophet has a peculiar touch, and original. The illustrations follow a style that has been called ‘indian punk’, which is very colorful in which a few details are, however, in a decisive manner through the use of colors high contrast for funds that are less bright. In general the game manages to communicate the atmosphere, post-apocalyptic, through its minimalism, and a narrative, well-thought out, quality, and perhaps only one-line long-winded at times. The animations during the fights are minimal and limited to the effects in the fights.
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The music is excellent and follows it, too, a style that is perfectly in line with the graphics and the setting.
The AI is the aspect that instead we have been convinced by less. If most of the times, stands on a ruthless andante’ with a level of challenge that will make happy the fans of roguelite, other times it seems to want to pull the hand brake, making action evil how to attack obstacles or enemies that do not pose a threat. This is a defect which, although happens rarely, it seems to us important, and we expect that the developer (this is a ‘one-man studio’) the to devote the maximum of attention. It must be said that immediately after the launch there have been patches related to this aspect and that the developer is very active in the Steam forums discussing this aspect, and others, the players.
Ultimately Nowhere Prophet is a card game with tactical combat that we highly recommend, especially to fans of the genres in question and want something new, both from the point of view of the gameplay and, maybe, under the graphic aspect and the atmosphere. The constant work of the developer on the game, and his presence in the discussion forums, are a guarantee on the side of the corrections with regard to the imperfections and, perhaps, on a new feature.