Title: Gordian Quest
Developer: Mixed Realms Pte Ltd, Swag Soft Holdings Pte Ltd
Publisher: Mixed Realms Pte Ltd, Coconut Island Games
Genre: RPG, Strategy, Indie, Adventure, Deckbuilding
Available On: PC
Tested On: PC
Official Site: https://mixedrealms.com/gordianquest/
Where to Buy: Steam
Adventure RPGs are fairly good at creating believable worlds. While many have similar creatures and themes, they do their best to stand out from each other. But when Dungeons and Dragons is the inspiration, it’s hard not to incorporate things that leave people scratching their heads.
In Gordian Quest, you must take on the Rift Lord and his legions of undead. It’s still a mystery as to whether or not his victims join his numbers. It is up to you to defeat him and send his forces back to the grave for good.
Slaughtering the Undead in Gordian Quest
After choosing the Cleric as my first character, I am thrust immediately into battle. When the battle has ended, the guard I fought with against the undead informed me of the situation. The undead have risen and trapped people in each respective town in the region. The humans of Wrendia are doing their best to keep the corpses at bay.
Centuries have passed and I have to gather warriors to finally deal with what curses the land. There wasn’t a huge learning curve. It is easy to get the hang of as everything is thoroughly explained. I was fighting in a battlefield anywhere from two to four lanes with three cells each. It is very similar to the way Warsaw lays out its battlefield. Like any self-respecting RPG, Gordian Quest rewards you with some gold and items.
Attacking or defending was done by choosing from cards. These various cards appeared at the bottom of the screen. If I wanted to play them, I had to spend AP (action points) to do it. If I spent too many on one attack, I may not be able to activate a defense buff. It creates this choice every time you want to take an action, which helps contribute to how engaging the gameplay is.
Gathering more heroes did require traveling through hostile territory, but that was the easy part. Some of the battles had regenerating enemies. This happened whenever a boss battle occurred and did prove irritating when my enemies kept landing successful hits on all my units.
Stacking the Cards
Gordian Quest gives each character a default set of cards. These cards are core to the gameplay, being what you mainly use to attack your enemies. Depending on the rarity of your weapons and armor, you may acquire rare attack or defense cards. While attack and defense is important, buffs are also available. These may come in the form of increasing your Guard or granting party members a heal on the next turn.
It felt important to mix and match the cards constantly to create new combos. Using skill points, I was able to upgrade a character’s proficiency, allowing them to equip restricted items. This allowed me to use a quiver with my Wizard, a shield with my Rogue, and a sword with my Cleric. Nothing like a little out of character action from time to time.
While there are a lot of cards available with each upgrade, streamlining is important. Eventually, these cards would give me a bloated deck. In order to remove cards, I upgraded certain nodes on the skill grid. This allowed me to focus on the skills I utilized the most, which helped when it came to streamlining the gameplay.
Face The Challenge of Gordian Quest
Like its inspiration, the game gave me the opportunity to face challenges. In order to pass the challenges, my party members had to pass a stat check. Either my Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence. If I didn’t pass the check, it either affected my characters with damage or robbing me of a specific card. Just as many times as I lost, I won the equivalent amount of Challenges. If I won, it would sometimes either result in an easy battle or simple rewards for my efforts. Who’d pass that up?
Whenever I couldn’t pass the stat check, all of my characters suffered for it. If I passed the Challenge well, an entire battle could be avoided. But if none of my characters had a high enough stat, I ended up going into battle with injured characters. It did annoy at times, but it’s understandable why systems like this are in place.
Since many of the Gordian Quest characters have AOE attacks, this spelled trouble. After I lost a Challenge, it would often result in my party having only two members. This would obviously create a handicap. But, I found that with the character Ida, a beast tamer, she could make up for the lack of power with spirit animals.
Verdict: Gordian Quest is an adventure RPG that uses deckbuilding and turn-based elements. Much of its inspiration comes from classic games, including Ultima and Dungeons and Dragons. If you are looking for a challenging adventure, set in medieval times, this might be the game for you. Fair warning, though that the Challenges may drive some away from the title. That and some other minor issues do impede enjoyment. But what’s life without some difficulty? You can find Gordian Quest on Steam Early Access right now.