The next game in the SteamWorld franchise is here. This time, instead of digging for gold or tower defense, it’s yet another spin on the newly popular deck building genre. Popularized by releases like Slay the Spire, these card-based spins on classic genres are popping up everywhere. They take the fun of a traditional TCG and add other video game elements to make something imminently interesting. Have you already gone through SteamWorld Quest and want to play something similar? Here are a few more entries in this growing category to watch out for in the coming months.
When you’re playing a deck building game, you always have to keep track of what you’re putting into your deck. Players of Slay the Spire know that it’s not always optimal to keep expanding your card pool mindlessly. You want access to your most powerful cards repeatedly, and having to churn through weaker spells to get to them is no good. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that anything you add to your deck helps with your overall theme. No matter if it’s a run-based game where you repeatedly build something or an RPG experience where you hold onto your changes, it’s still worth remembering.
Hopefully the trend of mixing other genres with procedural deck building continues. On the eve of the Xbox One, every game seemed to have cards tied into microtransaction systems. You weren’t building a deck, you were just cashing in consumable items that you had to procure over and over. Games like SteamWorld Quest and Slay the Spire recognize the popularity of cards as a concept, but treat them in a more familiar way. After all, who didn’t play the Pokemon TCG at their school’s cafeteria when they were young? Developers can tap into those good feelings while also exploring fun new mechanics. It’s a win/win.