Banners of Ruin is deck building rogue like built upon a text adventure dungeon crawler. The game features anthropomorphic depictions of animals, much like the Redwall series of novels by Brian Jacques. As you travel, you’ll gather companions, equipment, and experience to try your best to make it to your end goal. Once you die however, you’ll have to start a brand new run.
The game has you traveling through locations by picking one of three cards. Each card has differing levels of risk and reward involved. For example, some cards will let you escape difficult combat encounters at the expense of permanently losing cards.
As you progress in the game, you’ll eventually be forced into combat. At the start of each combat encounter, you will have a random assortment of cards in your hand to choose from. Each character in your party will have access to their own weapon and ability cards, along with the cards that are shared with your entire party.
Certain cards will combo well with others, by buffing your own party members or debuffing the enemy units. This creates a very intuitive and satisfying flow to the combat as you strategize to make the best of each hand of cards by selecting the right unit to use the right cards in the right order to maximize outgoing damage and minimize incoming damage.
For example, you can have one character break an enemy unit’s shield so another character can attack with a weapon that applies bleeding to shieldless enemy units. On top of this, you can apply a buff on your unit before it attacks to maximize damage. And then you can finish off the heavily damaged unit with a card that will let you draw extra cards if you get the killing blow. The possible combinations are endless.
Overall, Banners of Ruin is an interesting take on the deck building rogue like genre. The combat rewards careful deck building by taking into consideration the synergy of your team composition. This leads to a rewarding combat experience when you pull off a successful victory without losing much health. Fans of rogue likes, card combat, and deck building games have another solid title to look forward to.