Coming to us from the auteur mind of Yoko Taro is his latest game Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, a unique turn-based RPG presented as a card-based Tabletop RPG, complete with a Game Master and dice rolls. A dragon has awoken and threatens the livelihoods of everyone in the land. Motivated by the rewards alone, it is up to Ash and his monster companion Mar to go against the odds and defeat the dragon.

The Good

As the name suggests, everything in Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is portrayed entirely as cards. Characters are cards, enemies are cards, items are cards, even the world itself is made of cards. Alongside this, the random battles are done on a separate table with dice sets and counters, leading to this game having a very unique art style.

The battle system is a typical turn-based affair but with a slight difference. Whenever your party members take an action in combat, it generates a gem. These gems can be spent on stronger abilities or spells in combat which helps to spice up the combat system.

Every character, including the monsters, have their own backstory. After fulfilling some prerequisite requirements, you can unlock a certain character’s, NPC’s or monster’s backstory which helps to flesh out the world and make it feel lived in. One minute you’ll be helping out an old woman who has sprained her ankle to get to an apothecary and in the next, you’ll unlock her backstory and learn that her husband is missing and she’s been eating a lot of meat-heavy meals lately.

TL;DR

  • Unique artstyle
  • Added resource management
  • Detailed backstories

The Bad

When going into a game like this, especially one with Yoko Taro’s name plastered all over it, you’re going to expect a fantastic story with a possible deconstruction of the genre he’s working with; sadly, you will not get that here. Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars has probably the most boring and cliché plot I’ve ever experienced in an RPG! Imagine a group of tabletop RPG players getting ready for their game to start, only for their Game Master to cancel at the last second so one of the players makes up a story on the spot and runs the game to not disappoint the rest of the group - that's how this game’s story feels like it was written.

Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars only has one voice actor - the narrator (or Game Master, in this case) - who is voiced by Todd Haberkorn. I know Todd Haberkorn is a great voice actor, he’s voiced some of my favourite characters like Soul Eater’s Death The Kid and Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax’s Sho Minazuki but his performance here is really bland; he sounds like he’s bored and doesn’t want to be there. In situations like this, this is more a fault with the voice director rather than the actor themselves as we know he’s a talented individual.

With the whole game being presented through cards, you wouldn’t think there’d be any loading issues in a game like this. When I say everything is made out of cards, I mean everything. Each UI element is it’s own separate card, which means when you’re cycling through menus, the game has to constantly load and unload each card which leads to a lot of slow down.

TL;DR

  • Disappointing story
  • Poor voice direction
  • Menu slow down

Final Score: 4/10

While I wouldn’t call it a bad game, ultimately, Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a game betrayed by its own marketing. If this wasn’t sold as Yoko Taro’s next big project and a deconstruction of the RPG genre, I would’ve been way more forgiving to this but in the end, all I’m left with is disappointment and emptiness over what could have been.

Thank you for checking out our Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars switch review, thank you to Square Enix (via Bandai Namco AU) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

For more reading, check out our review of World War Z.