It’s getting really hard to classify indie games these days because so many of them tend to span so many different genres. Take Trials of Fire, the inaugural game from Whatboy Games. You could call it a tactical turn-based RPG, but it’s also got heft deckbuilding elements and it’s a roguelike besides. And on top of that, the whole game is played in this incredibly innovative storybook that’s not only unique but also greatly simplifies the UI.
So rather than try to hand a bunch of genres to you on a plat, we’re going to go over each of them one by one.
Trials of Fire is a single-player RPG. You take on the role of three heroes trying to survive in the Wastelands of Ashe following a terrible cataclysm that has left the world looking like the fantasy version of Mad Max. Your team of three will have to venture out into the wastes in search of resources, food, and old relics that might help your settlement survive for another day.
Each day plays out as a page in your book. Encounters get their own pages which are–surprise–text-based, and if that encounter ends in a fight the whole thing turns into a pop-up book with a hex-based grid. Now the game is suddenly about turn-based tactics, with each hero drawing a set of three cards to determine their actions in battle.
Decks are relatively small so it’s unlikely that you’ll go too many turns before finding the ability you really want. Items and equipment can help by giving your heroes new cards or beneficial stats and abilities. Each fight is about positioning your team and finding the right synergies between cards to overcome your adversary.
Combat is procedurally generated and the overworld is populated with random events that tell the story of your heroes’ journey. And when your character dies or succumbs to fatigue or despair, you can start a new journey with a new set of heroes.
Trials of Fire has spent almost two years on Steam Early Access, but now it’ll finally have its full release on April 9. You can purchase the game on Steam now, or pick up the special edition that’ll release in April that comes with a digital artbook, soundtrack, and overworld map of Ashe.
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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.
The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.
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