Runespell: Overture – Review
This game was reviewed on the PC.
I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for the last 10 minutes trying to decide how best to describe Runespell: Overture. As far as I can tell, it’s made of the following: • 1 cup old school RPG • 1 cup Poker • ½ cup Magic: The Gathering • ½ cup Combat Solitaire
Start by mixing the combat ingredients (Poker, Magic, Combat Solitaire) into a bowl, blending until all the lumps are gone. After that, gently stir in the RPG elements. Bake for 8-10 hours. Serving size: one.
Although the game follows a story of the Changeling, son of a monster god, what brings this game out for me is the combination of game styles I enjoy. Combat consists of cards being set out in front of each player as you would in a standard game of solitaire. Each player then tries to make stacks of 5 cards using Poker rules to determine how much damage a stack is worth: a pair being worth the least, a royal flush being worth the most (though 5 of a kind works quite well too). Seems simple enough? At first glance, sure, but then the strategy comes into play. Moving cards from one stack to another reveals new cards underneath. Players can steal cards from their opponents to strengthen their own attacks (or foil their foe’s), and that’s not even mentioning a whole slew of special cards that provide bonuses, attacks, and critical tactical boosts in desperate times. This makes my inner strategist giddy.
In addition to the strategy-driven combat,, to progress through the game, the player must complete quests, talk to people, and learn more about the world of Runespell. The art style is very nice, but don’t expect too much in the animation or cut-scene departments. The story is provided the old fashioned way: reading lots of text, choosing conversation options (although this doesn’t seem to affect the overall story), and facing your foes in a battle of wits that would make even the Dread Pirate Robert proud (swapping iocane powder for poker).
Even though you won’t find a multiplayer feature at launch, Mystic Box is planning on releasing multiplayer combat at a later date. I’m glad this will be included, as pitting myself against real opponents sounds like a very satisfying experience. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not present at launch. My only other complaint is that on certain resolutions card texts become difficult to read when browsing your deck.
Overall, Runespell earns itself a 4.5/5.0 for being a fun game to play. Although I personally was not all that interested in the story elements of the game, I don’t hold this aspect against it, as I know many people who would find it quite enjoyable. I look forward to seeing what else comes from out of Mystic Box in the future.
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