‘C.A.R.D.S. RPG’ First Impressions: ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ Meets ‘Slay the Spire’

CARDS RPG, developed by Acquire, is a roguelike RPG game that has strong deckbuilding aspects and its through this element that it inserts strategic depth into its seemingly simplistic gameplay. In this early impressions review, we’ll explore what makes C.A.R.D.S. RPG such an addictive experience for fans of card games and roguelikes alike.

At its core, C.A.R.D.S. RPG is a game about building a powerful deck of cards to overcome a series of increasingly challenging encounters with the added depth of choosing specific classes for each scenario.

Players choose from a party of several unique characters, each with their own unique cards and abilities, and adventure into the fog war tactical RPG style, carefully navigating the map that is filled with enemies, treasures and powerful bosses along the way.

Players have to navigate the misty battlefield (literally) and pick up new cards and equipment they find along the way, making crucial decisions about which cards to add (and discard) to their deck. The enemy AI is treacherous, lurking within the fog of war and will utilise all advantages possible — like attacking you from a distance, ambushing you and even weakening you with status effects — to secure their victory.

Some of the aspects that can be definitely polished is the appearance of ranged cards in a melee class deck as it serves to be a dead card always. It would be interesting if equipment could be tradeable so that classes like scouts can venture forth and pick up items for the main carries in the team, instead of using it themselves, building upon flavor and utility of each class.

While the visuals are simple and understated, they are effective in conveying the game’s dark and mysterious atmosphere. I personally find the art style beautiful but lacking in detail (which is just my preference). The game’s sound design is also well done, with a soundtrack that adds to the tension and excitement of each encounter.

This game is a good blend of roguelike deck-building and tactical RPG goodness, offering a challenging and satisfying gameplay experience that will keep players like me engaged for hours on end. It is truly innovative but does not reach the heights of greatly underrated card games like Tainted Grail: Conquest or Slay the Spire which are my gold standards.

Hopefully with the full release of the game and also the added bonus of an immersive storyline, it definitely has all the right beats to match up with the greats previously mentioned. Any TCG and tactical RPG buff with a bias for anime art styles should pick up this game immediately.

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