PC Review – ‘Gordian Quest’ – WorthPlaying.com

Deck Builder

It takes a lot to make a deck-builder stand out these days. Some attempt to alter the playing field, others add action elements, and others try unusual mechanics. One of my favorite methods is incorporating deck-building into a larger campaign-driven game, like Griftlands or Steamworld: Quest. Gordian Quest is the latest of these, and its long time spent in Early Access really shows. It isn’t perfect, but it is one of the heftiest deck-builders on the market.

Gordian Quest is effectively a combination RPG and deck-builder game. You gather a party of heroes and go out adventuring, progressively fighting harder battles unless you retreat to base, all in the name of advancing the story and earning that precious loot. The general structure is straightforward but less linear than many other games in the genre. There’s a plot but it’s “go and defeat evil” stuff that offers enough to be interesting but not stand out. The gameplay is where it’s at.

Combat is a deck-builder through and through. At the start of battle, each character rolls an initiative dice, and then friends and foes take turns beating the living crud out of each other based on their initiative order. Every character draws a random selection of cards from their deck and can expend energy to use them. This allows you to build up defense, damage enemies, or use buffs and debuffs. Since this is a team game, there’s an emphasis on making sure abilities synergize with one another, since status effects are way more powerful if multiple people can exploit them.

Combat arenas are divided into rows and lanes, with both friendly and opposing sides having their own sets. The exact number fluctuates in battle, but friend or foe, every character is positioned somewhere. This adds an element of battlefield planning to the gameplay, as your (or your enemy’s) moves can only hit certain spots, so it’s important to keep vulnerable characters behind strong tanks. However, there are also special cards that activate on another character’s turn when certain conditions are met. This allows you to set up some seriously damaging combos, but it can involve bringing a character to the front of a row.

Overall, the combat is fun, but the game structure means that it takes a little longer to get going than something like Slay the Spire. You need a fair bit of time to get character builds started, and some of the earliest moments of the game drag more than they would in other deck-builders. Once you get started, there is a ton of room for customization and cool builds. Nothing is as satisfying as setting up a synergy between all of your various move sets so that poor groups of enemies don’t stand a chance before they explode into piles of EXP.

While Gordian Quest is a deck-builder, it’s also an RPG, and that means you need to manage a very large amount of stats …….

Source: https://worthplaying.com/article/2022/6/17/reviews/132601-pc-review-gordian-quest/

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