The Australian developed Hand of Fate 2 blends aspects of tabletop games into the core of a deckbuilding, hack and slash third person combat game. Learn the story from the Dealer, your game master, who tells you the story as you complete encounter cards to progress your way through the game and uncover the mysteries and secrets of this richly built world.
Hand of Fate 2 has the majority of the game time spent reading encounters in a similar experience to that of Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. You start off with a very limited amount of cards to place into your different decks for encounters and equipment but as you complete more encounters and challenges, you receive more cards to use. Some of these cards have tokens or shards of tokens which mean they give you a challenge to complete in order to get more cards to use, usually upgrades to your current ones. During some of the encounter cards you may have to play a game of chance which can be rolling dice to hit a certain number, picking the correct card after being shuffled or stopping a pendulum in the correct spot. The combat is fairly simple in technique but get cocky or overwhelmed and your run will end very quickly, which can be exasperated by the random encounter cards.
One of the newer features is the option to recruit companions into your team, helping you in combat with their unique features. Your companions are also equipped with out of combat abilities to help swing luck your way in the challenges of chance. These abilities can be adding an extra dice to the dice rolling games or allowing for a second chance at the pendulum game. But using these abilities come at the cost of losing them for a few encounters.
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In addition, more content has been added post launch which includes an endless mode, additional challenges, companions, encounters and equipment.
World / Level Design
The game’s levels are separated into different chapters based on each of the tarokka deck figures e.g. star, fortune, faith. These aspects are transferred over in one way or another to the challenge of the level, while still telling a connecting story.
Combat is based in an arena with simple hack and slash mechanics and prompts to block and dodge attacks. The arenas will change where the chapter is based to match snowy mountains or luscious green forests.
Story / Personality
The story is where this game really shines as you fight your way through its unique challenges. You complete some fun stories like encountering a goblin who runs through a portal or entering an arm wrestling tournament. These are in addition to the story encounters where you have to make peace with a northern barbarian queen by climbing a blizzard torn mountain or discover who the assassin is that’s going to betray a leader of a criminal group by uncovering information about each suspect. Most of these tales are told by text which if you want, you can button mash through with little to no change to the results, however you’d just miss out on the expansive world building.
Graphics / Art Design
The art design of the game embraces its dark fantasy motif, especially at the table where the majority of the game takes place. One of the enemy types are corrupted humans who look like mutated figures with growths over them, while another is a more monstrous vampiric form called a Shade. The world design covers many biomes from snowy mountains, old ruins, forests and sprawling towns, providing depth to its settings
Music / Sound Design
The music fits the overall feeling of Hand of Fate 2 with its fantasy theme while also creating excellent ambience that doesn’t intrude over the story. It will flare up during combat or the games of chance to build the tension naturally and flows well with the game’s pace.
Final Score: 86%
Hand of Fate 2 is a game very well suited for anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre and loves to get enveloped into an expansive world. While it can be frustrating at times with the games of chance, it also has high replayability when trying to complete all the challenges. This is a great game to play while in portable mode as well with runs usually lasting 10-20 minutes. Hand of Fate 2 is a very well made game that draws its players into its world.
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