If you’re into card-based video games, there’s a new one to put on your radar. It’s called Foretales, and it’s not quite like the others.
Developed by Alkemi and published by Dear Villagers, Foretales isn’t just about building a good deck and destroying your opponents. Described as a “card-based narrative journey,” every action you take in the game goes through your decks of cards.
There are fights, of course, but that’s only a small part of what Foretales has to offer. You also use maps to explore your environment, communicate and sometimes outsmart your enemies. Sure, you can use an attack to beat your opponent, but you can instead offer him a money card to bribe him. In fact, this is a game that promotes experimentation. It may not always work the way you want, but it often pays off to just “see what happens” when you play a card.
Being a story-focused game, the story is at the forefront of Foretales. Players take on the role of Volepain, a bird thief trying to make ends meet in a dark, doomed world. But along with an array of animal friends, Volepain can hopefully overcome the challenges he faces. And he might just be saving the world in the process.
We say ‘maybe’ because exactly how Foretales turns out depends on what actions you take. That experimental gameplay can lead to multiple outcomes; there is a branching storyline with multiple endings. So it will not always end well and you will have to think carefully about which cards to play in which situations if you want to be successful.
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There’s quite a bit to wrap your head around here, especially if you’re used to card games like Slay the Spire, where everything is just an attack. In Foretales, your cards are split into combat, action, and items. Each of them can be used in multiple conditions. For example, you could give a beggar some food in exchange for some information. Or you can spend some money in a tavern to meet a new acquaintance. Alternatively, you may have a character who can secretly eavesdrop on conversations. This can come in handy when you’re trying to find a clue as to where to go next.
But when everything falls into place in Foretales, you’re in for a truly captivating, original adventure. However, what strikes us most is how simple it looks beautiful. Each card is beautifully illustrated, featuring characters reminiscent of classic Disney movies. There’s more than a hint of Robin Hood here; thanks in part to the anthropomorphic character designs in combination with beautiful 2D drawings.
We’ve only spent some time with Foretales so far, but what we’ve seen has really intrigued us to play more. The combination of card play, storytelling and player-led consequences is exciting, and we can’t wait to try and save the world as Volepain.
Foretales is slated for a summer 2022 release. It’s coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch.