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Game Info:

Hand of Fate
Developed by: Defiant Development
Published by: Defiant Development
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux,  PS4 coming soon
Genre: RPG
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Price: $24.99

Thank you Defiant Development for sending us a review copy of this game!

Hand of Fate was successfully Kick Started in December of 2013.  While it can be described as a vivid 3D tabletop card game, it has just as much button smashing fighting as it does side quests.  Since the deck of cards changes with each round, it'll never play the same way twice.  

In the beginning you'll start off by playing the story mode which gradually gets harder as each boss and gate keeper is defeated.  Once you make it to the end, you'll be challenged by the card dealer who spent many years putting together this master deck of cards.  

There is also an endless card mode that can be unlocked after you defeat a few of the cards in the story mode.  In this mode whenever you go a level deeper, the dealer will throw in some challenging cards and/or curses into his deck just  to spite you.  Unlike story mode, you have no control over your deck of cards.


Thank you ZiggsT.V for doing this video review for us!

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun mash-up of RPG card games, dungeon crawlers, and beat em' ups 
Weak Points: Since, the cards are random you may die right away or you may not
Moral Warnings: Violence, Magic use, Occult symbolism

There are two decks of cards that you can customize:  the equipment deck and the encounter deck. The equipment deck consists of weapons, shields, helmets, and armor that you have acquired throughout your adventures.    The encounter deck can include helpful friends, mazes, ambushes, and various side quests to keep the game play exciting.   Before you begin a single player challenge you have the option of letting the computer pick your deck, or customizing it yourself.

Once the deck is complete, it's time to challenge fate!  You begin each stage with starter equipment.  The only way to control your weapons or armor is to buy or acquire them through quests in which you'll be given the option to equip it then.    There's a wide variety of weapons and enchanted items to use.  

The card path is completely random and every move you make consumes one unit of food.  While you're carrying food, you'll be healed with every move you make.  If you don't have any food, you'll lose health points instead.  Food is precious and is often needed to receive a blessing from a priest or it can be used to calm down an angry mob of villagers coming your way.  Of course there is a chance to run or ignore them, but if you choose that route there is a chance of failure.  Many choices you make are determined by a card shuffling game which can be tricky to master when the odds are stacked against you.  

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 72%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Whenever you encounter enemies you're taken to a third person perspective where you must fight off a predetermined number (cards drawn by the dealer)  of enemies.  Using a gamepad is highly recommended for this game!  By mashing buttons you can attack, use special abilities, and block some (not all) oncoming attacks.   

The graphics are pretty good in this game and I like the wide variety of backdrops, fighting animations,  and finishing moves.  While this game isn't a gore fest, there is some light colored blood splattered as the attacks connect with their target.     Not all of the attacks are physical and there's quite a wide variety of elemental and magical enemies.  Magic is heavily used in this game and hard to avoid.  The card master's surroundings are very mystical and uses some witchcraft symbols like upright five pointed stars.

 I enjoyed the banter from the card master, though some of his phrases do get repetitive after a while.  The background music is well done and varies from minstrel strumming to Lord of the Rings caliber  battle music. 

Hand of Fate is a well polished card playing game that is both rewarding and challenging.  Because of the symbolism and magic used, this game may not be for everyone.  For those that don't mind that stuff, there is a lot of fun to be had here.  The asking price is $24.99 which is pretty reasonable given the infinite replayability.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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