Hand of Fate

Back in November, I wrote about Defiant Development working with Rule & Make to create a board game adaptation of their hit video game, Hand of Fate. Well, it’s finally here on Kickstarter! Hand of Fate: Ordeals is the official board game adaptation of the popular deck-building adventure game found on consoles and PC. 1 to 4 players can either compete or cooperate to build up their heroes, explore strange locations, encounter traps, and combat fierce enemies for fame. As described via it’s press release:

 “Hand of Fate: Ordeals is a strategic dungeon-crawling and deck-building experience set between the original game and its upcoming sequel. […] Players draw from a deck of cards and build dungeons on the board from their inventory. Much like its digital counterparts, the tabletop game’s open-ended design ensures no two games ever play out the same way.”

I mused before about what this game could possibly look like, since not everything from the video game could translate well to the tabletop. We now have more than enough information to answer those curiosities. Ordeals is incredibly flexible with player counts and game modes, and smooths the difficulties of transition by embracing it’s deck-building roots more than the original did. For those unfamiliar with the video game, the deck-building was  only used to create a communal deck where you could choose your boons, burdens, and any equipment you could buy or be gifted. While the board game doesn’t abandon that concept, it interestingly shifts most of the deck-building to a starting set of 10 cards that many board gamers are familiar with.

The deck-building in Ordeals isn’t run-of-the-mill, however, since buying cards requires you to explore and risk running into dangers, each of which involves most of the cards in your deck and not just your hand. The combat and the character building is pretty unique and what this game offers is very impressive, but you can find out more about that on their campaign page where they have a few videos and a rough draft rule-book to discover. For fans of Hand of Fate, this product has a lot that we could have wished for from the same excellent art to a promising, immersive experience. So if you’re interested, please check out the Kickstarter page and keep an eye on Defiant Development’s website for further information.

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Hand of Fate is an excellent video game available on Steam, Xbox One, and PS4 that draws upon many board and card gaming elements and mixes it with storytelling. It is, at it’s heart, a deck-building game that supplants careful card choices for every encounter of a perilous journey. Players are required to carefully choose opportunities of heroism, terrible pitfalls, and even each piece of mundane or legendary equipment they can possibly run into much like making a personalized choose-your-own adventure game. Playing it can make you wonder why a tried-and-true tabletop game hasn’t yet emulated the same captivating experience, but now there’s no need to wonder – It’s in development!

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The game’s design studio, Defiant Development, is working with Rule & Make, the creators of Entropy and Rise to Power, to bring the hit video game to the board gaming world. With a sequel coming to Steam and Xbox One in early 2017, it is plain that Defiant is investing heavily on the success of the original game. From my experience with the design, I feel they have every reason to, and I’m excited that they appear to be thinking critically about how this game is being translated from one platform to another. One can tell by this quote from the press release just how serious these developers are in bringing this game to life:

 “When we started thinking seriously about a physical version, we spoke to a few different people in the space, but it was Rule & Make who we really wanted to work with, largely because they were local, passionate, creative, and knew our game inside out. In terms of the tabletop version, we’re really looking forward to having an actual game we can unfold with friends, and we’re excited by some of the mechanics ideas Rule & Make have in mind.”

Hand of Fate is a solitary experience that required tactical thinking at every step, but some of those steps cannot directly translate to a board game which leaves questions about what will be the same and otherwise. Will it be a solo game, or will it be adapted to allow multiple players, or even a “dungeon master”? How will it accommodate for the third-person combat? Unfortunately there is no word on a release date or finer  details as of right now, but Defiant studios has said they will reveal more details after PAX Australia which is currently underway. Keep an eye on either Rule & Make or Defiant Development’s news pages for more information about the game as it comes to fruition.