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PAX East Preview: Hand of Fate 2

If you want to, start here: Hand of Fate Review. It’ll provide some background information about the first game, and then come back and read my preview of the sequel below. 

I wrote that back in 2015 and I still enjoy telling people about that game. This game. So it’s not a surprise that I had to play the sequel while at PAX East this year. To make it short and sweet, Hand of Fate is a card-based adventure game and it’s made by Defiant Development. What exactly is a card-based adventure game? It’s awesome, that’s what it is.

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Going back to when I first played Hand of Fate, I remember being blown away by the visuals and unique style of gameplay. Build a card deck of weapons and supplies, and a secondary deck of challenges to face. The deck-dealer will place them in front of you and you will progress through the hand you’re dealt. The game’s unique between it goes from the cards and “choose your adventure” style progression straight into lovely 3rd person perspective battle arenas. The cards will determine the types of enemies, and how many, but then you get to actually battle them, and the combat is GOOD. Improvements have been made from HoF1 to HoF2, but the combat is fluid, has a great combo system, and isn’t too difficult to master.

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Improvements in the sequel are not limited to an expansion of the cards and variety, plus now there are “mission decks.” Previously, in HoF1 you would progress through the decks to battle a final boss. In Hand of Fate 2, you will get a particular mission or objective based on the deck that you choose (with the ability to customize the deck later on). The particular deck I chose relied on my ability to keep an NPC alive throughout the progression of the game. Much like HoF1, each time you move card to card, you consume food to keep your health up. Not only are you responsible for keeping track of your own health, you need to make sure you’re stocked up enough to keep them alive as well. The NPC in question is a bit clumsy and helpless, which prompts a lot of moments of selecting Success/Failure cards in whether or not they get kidnapped. It made the game significantly more challenging because it puts more of a dynamic on your progression, especially when you have to backtrack in order to rescue someone.

I wasn’t able to play any of the other decks that were in the offering at PAX, but I was happy to see that there were far more options for building out interesting decks while going through the menus. Much like Hand of Fate 1, I think this game offers a lot of potential to players who want a strategy game that still lets them go to town hacking up enemies from time to time.

tl;dr: Hand of Fate 2 looks to expand on what the first game did. New challenges through the decks versus just endless shuffling of decks adds another step of variety to the system. New characters, weapons and combat enhancements make the game feel even smoother than the first. Keep an eye out for this game!

For more information, check out the Defiant Development website!

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-Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid