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Hand of Fate

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Sepiche
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Hand of Fate

Post by Sepiche » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:16 pm

http://store.steampowered.com/app/266510/
Saw this on Steam the other night and it up in a moment of weakness figured I'd take another one for the team based on the considerable good feedback. :)

Really different than anything else I've played, but very fun in the little time I've spent with it.

Basically it's a rogue-like at heart, with each game being a quest through a "dungeon" to find a particular enemy. The first twist is that the dungeons are all randomly created by playing cards from a deck you design. Each turn you move your piece to a card, and a different random event will fire off based on the card shown... some are battles, some are skill tests, some are shops or other events, etc. Successfully completing encounters can give you draws from various reward decks that can give you gold, food, or items.

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Between games you can tweak your deck by adding and removing encounter cards and item cards, and it's those cards that drive all the encounters that might get played. Items and encounters are marked as new and don't give you any information about them until you actually encounter them in a game. Beating that encounter, or finding an item in a game gives you a token for that card, and after the game you are given new cards and other rewards for each new token you received which encourages players to include new cards in their deck and not just a reliable set of encounters they like.

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The other big twist in the game is the battles... if you run into a battle encounter, cards are drawn from an encounter deck and enemies of the proper type and number based on the card drawn will be loaded into the new battle arena (i.e. if you draw a 2 of skulls, you'll fight 2 skeletons, draw a 5 of dust, and you'll fight 5 thieves, etc). Each battle arena is a small map where you control your character in the third person, and fight all the enemies that were drawn in an action oriented battle pretty reminiscent of the combat from the Batman: Arkham XXXX games... so depending on your equipment lots of counters, finishing moves, combos, etc.

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It was really a complete surprise the first time I loaded into a battle and saw how they were handled... it takes a little getting used to, but they really put together a pretty solid little combat mini game that feels well polished.

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Once you progress through each game's dungeon to the bottom level you will encounter the dungeon boss. The first two for instance are the Jack of Dust and next the Jack of Bones. Defeating each boss unlocks a number of new cards you can put in your deck, and unlocks the next enemy in line for you to quest against.

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The game seems remarkably polished so far with solid art direction that reminded me a little of Torchlight during the battles, while the dungeon portions gave me a bit of an Ultima vibe (since you're sitting across from a fortune teller of some sort who is playing the game cards like he's doing a tarot reading).

The only major downside I've noticed so far is the cost... it's $25 currently for the early access which feels a little pricey, but I haven't played enough to get a real feel for how much content is in the game. It took me probably about a half hour to play through the two simple starting games and there are a total of around 20 bosses to fight, but I really don't have a good feel for how long a non-tutorial game would take to play out.

So two tentative thumbs up from me for this one... it's fun in it's current form and the devs seem active and competent. I'll post more impressions as I have time to play.
Last edited by Sepiche on Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:20 pm

I thought it looked familiar -- and we did have a brief (but distracted) discussion about it back in July.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Sepiche » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:26 pm

Smoove_B wrote:I thought it looked familiar -- and we did have a brief (but distracted) discussion about it back in July.
Ah, thanks for the link... I even posted in there, but apparently I was too focused on MST3K to actually observe what the thread was about. :P

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by ColdSteel » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:27 pm

I picked this up about a month ago when it was in a humble bundle at the $15 level. I've been waiting for some of the rough edges to be taken off of it before trying it out. Seems like there are still quite a few issues. There's a new patch coming out any day now that should help that though and I may decide to take it for a spin then depending on what I read.

EDIT: And that patch is out today:
Patch Notes [UPDATED September 30]
Sept 30 Beta6 EA 1.3 13354
Endless mode improvements
Forest performance improvements
Subtitles for voice over
Improve cameras in mazes (especially for keyboard)
Show gamepad/keyboard controls
Optimisations to the card table scene, especially towards the end of the game
More music
Card table scene changes through progression
Environmental VFX
New card table environment
Show DS3/DS4 button icons, if you have one plugged in
Shop variations and level variations
Environment polish
Updated gamepad support
Achievement fixes
Lots and lots of bugs and exploits fixed, thanks for reporting them
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Sepiche » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:21 pm

Ah, good deal. I didn't notice any major issues when I was playing last night, but I didn't play for too long.

I'll hopefully play a bit of this depending on how fun and stable the new Elite patch ends up being.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by tgb » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:01 pm

You lost me at the combat. If it were turn-based or even slower- paced, I'd be on this like stink on a chimpanzee.

<edit> I take is back. Watching a couple of play videos, it does look very enjoyable. I may pop for it after all.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by ColdSteel » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:41 am

From what I've been reading on the Steam forums, the most recent patch totally broke the balance in the story mode portion of the game. So, I'd hold off on playing it for a while until the devs address things. Especially if you're new to playing it.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by tgb » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:24 pm

ColdSteel wrote:From what I've been reading on the Steam forums, the most recent patch totally broke the balance in the story mode portion of the game. So, I'd hold off on playing it for a while until the devs address things. Especially if you're new to playing it.
Did the patch make it harder or easier? I'm struggling with using the keyboard and mouse for combat, so finally broke down and bought a controller.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by ColdSteel » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:33 pm

tgb wrote:Did the patch make it harder or easier?
It made it much harder, apparently.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by MonkeyFinger » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:38 pm

Picked this up over the holidays and am really enjoying it, especially now that I've switched over to using my 360 controller. 8-)
-mf

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by tgb » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:21 pm

I haven't played it since I first got it several months back. I keep meaning to, but then decided to wait until it's officially released.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by MonkeyFinger » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:26 am

OMG... two 'Huge Failure' card picks in a row when I entered the Carnival of Mysteries, I believe it was called. First sent me stumbling, lost, deeper in. The second had me
Spoiler:
give my equipped weapon to the Sword Swallower which he promptly swallowed and then wandered off with. Weapon... lost.
:doh:

p.s. Love the writing and execution of the Narrator / Dealer. Awesome stuff. :wub:
-mf

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Sudy » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:37 am

Picked this up as an impulse purchase. It's out of early access and has a small release discount.

This is one of the most refreshingly different games I've played in a long time. It's not what I'd call original or unique, but it combines different genres is ways I haven't encountered before. It's part tabletop RPG, part hack 'n' slash brawler, part deck builder, and all roguelike.

Gaming value wise I'm not yet sure it's worth the $20. I don't think it will have the depth or legs that other $20 gaming investments can get you. (E.g. a not-old AAA on sale.) But in terms of entertainment value, you'll definitely get more than a couple movie tickets' worth if it's the least bit up your alley.

Recommended if you want something accessible but different. While the verdict's still out on depth, it definitely has plenty of variety. This might be an ideal short-to-medium length play session game.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Jaymann » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:18 pm

Is it playable with mouse and keyboard or is it essential to plug in my controller?
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Sudy » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:29 pm

Plays fine with mouse and keyboard IMO, but controller is ideal.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Reemul » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:07 pm

Started playing this tonight, very well done, great atmosphere and plays very nicely.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Sudy » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:30 pm

My opinion has improved. The brawling may indeed be on par with Sleeping Dogs, Arkham, etc. Albeit less fluid, but augmented by the different items it can be very fun. Especially once you get to face opponents who have shields and unblockable (but dodgeable) attacks.

It seems like some of the items may be a little overpowered, but that's probably appropriate (and even desired) in a roguelike. The majority of items are mediocre or strong only in specific circumstances. But I got a good AoE trinket it addition to the item that grants magic arrows whenever you kill an enemy, and I was transformed into a dervish of death.

Getting pained down to 1/1 HP though? That's just ugly.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by MonkeyFinger » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:20 am

-mf

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Lordnine » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:01 pm

Yep, I’m enjoying this one a lot. I do feel like it’s a game that is better than the sum of its parts though. Taken alone the combat is a bit loose but add in the card game, the choose-you- own-adventure elements and the great narrator and it all just works.

I’ve made it about half way through the 2nd row of boss cards and the difficulty picks up significantly.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by JetFred » Sat May 30, 2015 11:44 pm

I just posted a brief recommendation for this. It is so right up my alley I can't even tell you. I only had an hour to play today and I was planning to play Shadow of Mordor, but this won.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by AWS260 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:53 pm

I played Hand of Fate a bunch over the weekend and really liked it. Deck-building is not usually my thing, but the choose-your-own-adventure aspect really hooked me, and my lizard brain has always been a sucker for simple brawler action.

I've completed the campaign and taken a few runs at Endless mode. There are several storylines that I still want to see play out, but in order to turn up those cards I have to play through a bunch of familiar material for the nth time, and I'm not sure that I have the patience for it. Still, a neat little game and a worthwhile purchase.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:29 pm

I'm just getting to this after a break in my schedule (and let's be truthful, Mad Max) and I'm liking it. I didn't realize there was actual combat to sort out - I thought it was 100% deck building, but I really like it. It reminds me a bit of the card game Fallen, though not nearly as deep with the RPG elements. Still, quite similar and I've been enjoying the angry banter of the dealer as I keep drawing cards that are from what I guess is the tutorial deck. I'm just using the "build best deck" option as I don't really have any interest in crafting a deck. Between the story mode and the fate deck DLC I picked up, this looks like it has some real nice "I have 45 minutes..." gaming potential to it.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by paulbaxter » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:54 pm

I bought this one, perhaps during the holiday sale, and finally installed and tried it today. Pretty fun, though at least early on the combat is quite easy.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by JetFred » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:56 pm

I wanted the early combat to be easy. I played for the overall feel, not for a 3D hack and slash.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by paulbaxter » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:58 pm

JetFred wrote:I wanted the early combat to be easy. I played for the overall feel, not for a 3D hack and slash.
Easy combat is my preference as well.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Smoove_B » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:02 pm

Yeah, I love the overall theme and feel but the combat difficulty really increased significantly (IMHO) after the 3rd boss.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Lordnine » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:48 pm

Some of the later bosses used to be incredibly cheap. Thankfully, they patched it to be a bit more reasonable.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by AWS260 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:54 pm

Hand of Fate 2 comes out tomorrow. RPS:
In the first Hand Of Fate, a sly and effective singleplayer collision of roguelite and collectible card game, I fought onwards primarily due to a deep and burning desire to wipe the imagined smirk off the face of The Dealer, an AI-controlled dungeon master and nemesis rolled into one, whose e’er-taunting voice was the exact sound of a perpetually-raised eyebrow.

Hand Of Fate 2 is a superior sequel in many respects, but either he’s mellowed or I have. Now, we play the game together, fond old sparring partners rather than eternal enemies.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by morlac » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:53 pm

All over this. I loved the first one.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by MonkeyFinger » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:18 pm

morlac wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:53 pm
All over this. I loved the first one.
Me too! 8-)
-mf

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Baroquen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:45 pm

Yeah, this was a good one. Though I still have a decent amount to play in the first one, I think. So I'll hold off on the sequel, at least long enough for reviews to roll in.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Baroquen » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:56 pm

Arise thread...

So Hand of Fate 2 is on sale. Steam reviews are a little mixed (and generally worthless). Any thoughts from the OO crowd?

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Skinypupy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:35 pm

Hand of Fate 1 and 2 were both games that I really wanted to like more than I actually did. The core gameplay concept is interesting, but the uninspired combat in tiny arenas is boring, there's a ton of RNG at play, the production values (outside of the stellar voice work) is 'meh', and the whole thing just never really came together like I hoped it would. I'd maybe recommend it at $10, but doubt I would at $20.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by NickAragua » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:42 pm

I liked the first one well enough, but was unable to overcome the end-game difficulty hump.

Also, it's got the "sunless sea/skies" storytelling method, where each individual story is told in little two sentence chunks. To see the next chunk, you have to run through the dungeon again.

I liked the combat (it's very similar Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, but with less complexity and animation budget), and the deck-building aspect of it. But for $20, I'm not in on the sequel.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:54 pm

I found the original Hand of Fate to be more entertaining than its sequel, as long as you can look past the randomness and somewhat prosaic combat in small areas.

What sets them apart for me is the Dealer character. The Dealer was one of my favourite aspects of the first game. In the original, the Dealer serves to oppose the player throughout the challenges and makes for a surprisingly entertaining and effective foil (so it feels immensely satisfying when you're finally able to defeat him at the end). But in the sequel, the Dealer is relegated to being merely another extra companion and as I best I could tell, he's no longer even part of the main story.
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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by Baroquen » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:43 am

Thanks for the feedback. I thought the crowd had enjoyed the original more. Regardless, I held off on picking up the sequel, though I did go back and play the original some more. I've got maybe half of story mode finished, so I've got a ways to go.

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Re: Hand of Fate

Post by MonkeyFinger » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:54 am

I really enjoyed the first one, enough so to buy the second and back the board game version. However, for some reason, every time I sat down to play the sequel I could never make it past the first "boss" battle. :evil: I really don't understand the why of that but after several repeated attempts I walked away from it to some other shiny thing. Need to give it another whack, it would seem. One of these days.
-mf

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