Geekswagg Plays: Hand of Fate 2
Hand of Fate 2 is the sequel to a very ambitious RPG/action/board game hybrid from 2014. The first game was praised for its inventive mix of hack n’ slash to resolve encounters that are randomized by a digital deck. As you progressed through the game, the mysterious Dealer both narrates the happenings as well as becomes your final boss.
This time around, the Dealer and his creepy appearance returns complete with even more storied encounters, challenges, bosses, and gear for your RPG style avatar to overcome.
As you can see in Bunneh3000’s playthru, the game oozes with personality. Becoming a sort of Dungeons and Dragons styled single player adventure played out through randomized cards, Hand of Fate 2 really feels like a next level card based board game affectionately categorized as a ‘deck building game’. In this instance, you build your deck by conquering challenges. Each new card provides a baked in challenge or encounter that you can select in later challenges or adventures to defeat the next boss. The cards are everything from a new companion and magical weapons to a bridge crossing and a traveling vendor. All the while you balance the health, food, and fame of your avatar as you take on each challenge. Some challenges are bested by the third person hack n slash ‘mini game’. Some are carried out with a die roll and a target. Others are done by pulled a card from a spinning carousel of cards that determine the success or failure of a given action.
The game thankfully escapes length load times when moving from the presence of the mysterious Dealer to the action based game. Your avatar typically can easily defeat the enemies with little health loss until you are faced with high numbers of enemies. As you progress, different enemies require different attacks or even different weapons in order to best them. While there is a decent mix of foes, by the third of fourth region, the variation gets a bit repetitive and boring. The battles themselves are even relatively short and can leave one wanting for either a bit more depth and length.
There is a pretty good variety of cards containing challenges to choose and encounter. This can lead to some pretty interesting adventures for your avatar that could easily spark the desire to play a tabletop RPG. The only issue with this ‘model of play’ is that some of the adventures use dozens of cards to fill out the adventure. If you fail at ANY point, you must restart the ENTIRE adventure. Doing so can turn a 30+ minute adventure into an exercise of lost time and progress. This can be really frustrating considering there is no mid adventure save point.
Also, by your third or fourth adventure the whole formula of the game kind of becomes a crossroads. Either you’ve fallen in love with the board game/action game nature of Hand of Fate 2 along with its creepy Dealer, or you get board with the shortened action scenes and deck building that doesn’t really upgrade your character directly. Instead, the upgraded decks provide additional possibilities in your adventures (for the most part). Some cards do allow for additional bonuses and options but these cards are hard to come by. On the flip side, these cards are rewards from pretty difficult encounter cards you best throughout each adventure.
This RPG formula is certainly innovative and different from the rest of the RPG pack. The appeal of it is left to you!