Fable Fortune (Game Preview) Review
Once upon a time, there was a team of developers who went by the name of ‘Lionhead’. They introduced us to the world of Albion with its first outing of Fable, on the original Xbox back in 2004. As the years went by, they released more titles in the franchise, but to some, each release came with a curse: storytelling and gameplay were getting weaker. So, they try their hand at a Kinect-only game, which did not bode well for the fans of Fable. Their last and only hope came in the form of a free-to-play 1v4 MMO that seemed to last an eternity in its beta stages. Evidently, this may have been their downfall and thus the rights to Fable went to another developer, Flaming Fowl Studios. And so, a new chapter begins…
Fable Fortune is a deck-building card game, played in the same vein as Magic: The Gathering; an unusual foray from its roots. Now, before we get to the gripes with this title, one should add that this is a fun and most-definitely tactical title, however, the shortfall of this is that there are absolutely no tutorials to be found within the game. Even a text-based guide would have been welcomed. But with this only just arriving into Game Preview, the developers may include this in the near feature. In fact, if they want to retain and accrue new players, they will need to as the convoluted battle system is enough to put any player off.
As for the rules of the game itself, it couldn’t be much simpler: Get your opponent’s health down to 0, whilst keeping your health up. That’s pretty much the simplest it gets. Before you start each game, you can pick a pre-built deck that is built to a specific way of playing, or you can pick one of your own custom decks. Each deck has their own special ability that can be activated for a price at any point during your turn.
At the beginning of each game, you will be given the option to ‘choose your path’ with a special requisite that will reward you with a special card, once these conditions are met. Then, you will have the option to choose another path, offering a greater reward but with tougher conditions. It’s best to choose a path according to your deck-style.
There are two types of cards available: Troops and Spells. Troops are your fighting force behind this game. These are the ones that will attack, defend and conjure up some special traits should any of their conditions be activated. Spells can be used in a variety of ways and can either aide you or hinder your opponent. However, all these cards cost Gold, which you will receive 1 extra gold with each turn that passes. Once you’ve used up all your Gold in one turn, it’s time to pass the go to the other player, but thankfully, all that Gold refreshes next time your turn comes around.
There are other noticeable features on the game board. You have the special ability that will always require 2 Gold and then you have the Guard option, that costs you just 1 Gold but can only be used once per turn. The Guard option is what sets this title away from the likes of others such as Magic: The Gathering. With Guard, you can pick one of your troops to put up a shield around them and on your opponent’s next turn, their troops must attack the guarded troop as opposed to you. This is where you need to strategize and think about what options are best for you at the current play.
On your turn, you can have your troops do damage to any of your opponent’s troops or your opponent themselves. You will deal damage first to the opponent, but if attacking a troop, that troop will also deal their amount of damage to your troop too. So, you need to work out if it’s the right decision to make. Watch out for special troop traits as most of the cards have something attached to them that will activate either when they enter the battlefield or some special criteria is met. Each match tends to last anywhere between 30-60 minutes, depending on your play style. After a match is complete, you’ll be granted presents to unlock new cards and silver to purchase new presents.
PvP is where this game is at…well that’s a presumption as during the review, when trying to connect to one of the two online offerings, we could not find another player to do battle with or co-operate with. Even after its release. But we can let this slide as it’s a new title in a niche genre and it’s competing with the likes of Magic: The Gathering and Gwent: Witcher Card Game.
There is much to learn in Fable Fortune but it’s all a matter of discovering everything for yourself. In time, we really do hope that this title shines as there is something about it that actually makes a card game fun and not mundane. Maybe it’s the simple inclusion of the Guard feature that makes you think about not only your next move but your opponents next move or two. But for now, without explanations, we can see this title falling short.
Fable Fortune is available to download from the Xbox Store, priced at £9.99
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