There are thousands of video games out there; some classics, some obscure, and others new to me and maybe new to you too. I’m going to take a little time to highlight what’s great about games that I love and want to share; games that are worth your time, along with some tips to get you started.
Hand of Fate 2 is a bit difficult to describe. It’s a combination of a story driven deck builder, a Batman: Arkham Asylum style beat-em-up, a survival resource management game, an exploration style board game mixed with role-playing elements that also has random puzzles in it along with games of chance. Normally throwing everything together into a stew like this can make a mess, but the team at Defiant Development knocked it out of the park.
Hand of Fate 2 is the sequel to Hand of Fate, and I’m sorry Hand of Fate 1, but Hand of Fate 2 does everything you do and does it better and does more of it. It’s a lot like Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel sort of obviates the original. Hand of Fate 2 is also not brutally difficult in the endgame. I swear, Hand of Fate 1 took me a month of attempting the final boss before I could beat it.
In case you’re lost on the plot, 100 years ago a barbarian beat up the Dealer, a mysterious entity that sits on the throne of life and death, determining the story and fate of the world. I suppose this implies that Hand of Fate 1 was winnable, but now the Dealer wants revenge, and you find yourself riding in a carriage as the instrument of that revenge, the barbarian from the first game is objectively terrible at his job.
Dripping with atmosphere, Hand of Fate 2 is gorgeous in its environment and fantastic score while the dealer has a voice like a gravel driveway and commentary that makes every line feel important. You select a story quest and as you do, the game world opens up, the carriage drawing ever close to your mysterious destination.
What’s genius about Hand of Fate 2 is that nothing is stale and breaking up what you’re doing goes a long way in preventing things from becoming repetitive. Sometimes you win challenges by fighting, sometimes by rolling dice or picking a card, other times by giving your extra food to hungry farmers, but you choose how you want to solve problems and survive to the end. You gain weapons, allies, blessings, and curses along the way, all tailored by you when you pick encounters and cards you want to have in that mission. Do you take the safe path, or risk getting some tempting tokens as a reward?
1: Make allies when you can and complete their quests as soon as possible. They can have a huge impact on winning games of chance and will help you in combat. They’re also more or less unkillable and can be a valuable distraction when the corrupted swarm you.
2: The game suggests using different weapons and armor in different encounters, encouraging different styles of play based on different enemies. I disagree and here’s why: your combat speed, including your dodge and movement, your attack range, and your attack speed can all be changed a lot by swapping weapons and armor. Unlike Batman in the Arkham games, you can change all of those variables I listed and you might not know how much they change until you’re in combat. Batman only really fights at one speed in the Arkham games, not the case in Hand of Fate 2.
3: Always make sure you have enough food. Much of Hand of Fate 2 is just survival and if you don’t eat, you lose health every time you move on the board.