Deck of Ashes is a card battling game with light role playing elements set in a grim fantasy world. You play one of four members of the Outcast gang who inadvertently released a curse upon the lands. The curse corrupted everything it touched into foul, twisted forms, including the people. Your character is on a journey to kill Lady Death and end the curse ravaging the land.
The game’s main mechanic is card based combat. It’s very intuitive and easy to pick up, yet challenging to master. There are a lot of fine nuances to the ebb and flow of combat that require practice to master.
In addition to mastering combat, you can also build and modify your deck of cards. This requires unlocking new recipes, crafting new cards, or buying the cards. You can do this from the world map or back at the main base of operations, which is just a humble camp site.
The camp has many npcs used to build up your deck, buy consumable items, and buff passive stats. This is done by upgrading each of the NPCs with resources collected from the world map.
The world map has many places to explore but there is a limited number of moves you can take before the boss finds you and you have to engage in combat. The limited amount of time creates a high risk, high reward type of gameplay. Venturing deep into the world map will bring forth many rewards but at the risk of dying the more you stay away from the safety of the camp site.
Overall, this game took me by surprise. I was not expecting much and the intuitive card combat drew me in and before I knew it, hours had already passed. This game had the same feel to me as another excellent card combat game, Ancient Enemy. Fans of these types of games now have many solid titles to choose from.