STEVE MILES·MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2019
There’s no denying that the Mobile market is currently awash with various Card Based Games at the moment.(and i should know,as i’ve tried most of them!) The TCG genre is currently well supported with notable mentions such as “Warhammer:Age Of Sigmar/Heartstone/Order And Chaos:Duels”to name a few.There’s also variations to the gameplay with certain titles varying away from the order of cards on a table or battleground,with titles adding a 2D perspective with progress across a map(Call Of Lophis),and even First person perspective,with cards played whilst the enemies stand before you.(Dune Warrior)
CROSSROADS is a game “stylised”by a card game.A Roguelike RPG with all the elements of random generation of dungeon levels,but not the downfall of losing items and treasures collected,or indeed in this instance..NO Permadeath!
From startup,you get a chance to create your character from various races,like Human,Elf,Orc,Class types like Warrior,Wizard and also choose a “Deity”.You can choose” Athiest” for example,and like the other options,whatever religion you pick,will grant you various extra buffs to certain abilities,like Attack,Health,Mana,Spells etc.. Its all quite customisable and you can also change race or religion at any time,giving you freedom to create whatever suits your type of gameplay and plenty of chances to experiment.
From there on,you are taken to a map screen,and given objectives for each area,which is divided into floors.Reach the 10th floor and you will open up the next area,and progressing to the 15th floor will award you a certain special kind of treasure.There is a backline story about seeking a special wand,but the narrative will guide you along as you progress,and you will be engaged in seeking the objectives of the map in front of you,rather than concern yourself about the long term goal in hand. Gameplay is simple,in that you can play with one finger,and can press any available card/tile on a 5×5 grid,that is the standard floor in each area.Each card/tile may reveal either an enemy,a spell,coins,gems or even an extension of an ability with a standard throw of a dice. Enemies can effectively block progression,by locking up tiles surrounding them(depicted by a chain around the card)and will need to be defeated,or even put to sleep with a spell! if you need to reveal further tiles. Battling an enemy follows the core principles of any battle card game,with attack and health of your character matched against that of the enemy.So,an attack of 10 will take out an enemy with health of 8,but damage received to yourself,dependent on the attack of your opponent, and so it plays.Of course,the option is yours,as progression to the next floor is determined by finding a “Key”tile,and a “Padlock”tile,so early discovery can instantly get you out of the floor,or you can search for more treasures and Xp and risk confronting further enemy types on the way.
As I stated before,there is no Permadeath,should you lose all energy,but instead you are taken back to the “Tavern”,where you can use the items acquired from the previous runthrough,to get boosts to armour and weapons equipped or picked up on the floors,and should you upgrade level through acquiring enough Xp,a skill point to boost stats.
Graphically,CROSSROADS looks similar to a Tarot Card design,with your character at the centre of the screen.Little touches like scars on the face,as you get damaged are welcome additions.Being a Roguelike of course,this game offers up the random generation elements,that keep each playthrough new and fresh.Unfortunately the trend of getting random items and enemies mixed on each floor,can generate playthroughs that can be either too easy,with very little combat,to a difficulty spike with multiple enemies and not enough health to get you to the next floor.Of course this is standard fare with Roguelike,but i feel here,that with very little coin to collect and health sometimes “+1”for each tile turned,there is reliance on many runs/playthroughs to get sufficient coin or gems for upgrades(100 coins a time!)meaning that progression can be painfully slow.(Before this review,it took 50+playthroughs just to reach level 10 of the first area,and have a character equipped enough to manage the many challenges on the way).So patience is certainly needed,and the very slow progression could put a lot of people off playing.
Overall,CROSSROADS stands up very well,and feels more like an interactive board game than anything else.Its simple in looks and simple to play,yet provides plenty of elements to make each experience both deep and engaging,and well suited for that quick playthrough on the go.Decent value for money and one of the better games of this type.
Total… 7 out of 10
Thanks to Dmitry Voronin for the Code and Experience.