I truly am a sucker for a good card game. Whether it is on table top or digitally on a game console, I absolutely love collectible card games. Hearthstone started some sort of digital card game movement. Ever since the inception of that title, developers have been adapting their games into card games. We saw Bethesda do it with Elder Scrolls: Legends and now we’re seeing the Fable world being brought back to life through a card game called, Fable Fortune. Mediatonic and Flaming Fowl Studios decided to take the franchise and run with it. The outcome is something that I couldn’t be happier with, as far as a Fable card game is concerned.
There is a lot to this game that just feels right. Now, lets get the negative out of the way. Yes, this is a Game Preview/Early Access game so it does have its downfalls. The menus feel sluggish and aren’t completely responsive to direction. It feels like there are still some graphical kinks that need to be worked out. For example, when I have a creature attack, the enemy’s life marker goes down before my creature makes contact. I’ve had some sound drops during games as well, nothing too crazy but enough to notice when there wasn’t sound playing. These are my only real gripes with the game in it’s current state. There is so much positive to talk about and so much potential for this to turn into something great.
Once I opened the game I went straight to the deck builder to check out what the game had to offer. Right off the bat I noticed that there were six different characters to could play as. Each has their own special hero ability that you can spend two gold on to activate. A lot of this will sound like Hearthstone but, bear with me, there are some differences that make this one stand out on its own. You can only activate the hero power once per turn. When the match starts you each draw your first hand and can mulligan out the cards that you don’t want to use. Instead of starting with one gold (which is your mana), you start out with three gold. Starting out with three makes it so you can have multiple plays on your first turn if need be.
Before the game starts, you and your opponent have to choose a quest card to complete. You will be given a reward card and a morality point to spend. This is where the game gets interesting, You can either choose a good or evil choice, just like you could in Fable. Depending on which one you choose, it will effect a couple things. Your hero power will change to gain additional effects and certain cards change. The cards that change have the affix, Morality(1-3) on them. Depending on how many morality points you have (1-3) and where the majority of them are placed (good/evil) those cards will actually change. This creates a new dynamic for deck strategies for the game. I love this because it means you could have two of the same deck, but depending on what morality you go, could play two different ways. Also, from what I understand, each new season that starts will bring new quest cards into the game, offering some fresh gameplay and ways to gain morality points. Something that is great that I’ve never seen before is the fact that you can give a creature guard for one gold, once per turn. This means that the opponent cannot attack anyone else until the dog dies.
The playing fields are designed nicely as well. Each creature played plops down and looks like they have their own tower base. The card art is very reminiscent of the Fable games and truly brings me back to when I binged those games. The hand of cards you have feels too cluttered. I know I said all the negative was at the top, well tough cookies, I lied. The hand, at times, can be a little tough to navigate as the cards aren’t initially spread apart for you to look at. You have to zoom in on each card to figure out what they do and what they are. Each card also has a rarity to it; common, rare, epic, mythic and fabled. The fabled cards are some of my favorite, I was actually able to pull out the Hero of Oakvale, which is the main protagonist for the Fable games! You can craft cards as well, aside from using the Ink currency to craft cards, you can use items obtained through events to bring down the ink cost of certain cards. There are tons of different archetypes to play through and build effective, complicated decks.
You earn rewards by competing in either the PvE or PvP aspects of the game. There is an AI controlled match that you can participate in. This sees you teaming up with another player to team up against an enemy. I tried a couple and without proper engagement with your partner, you probably won’t do too hot. You earn rewards, like silver, from completing these, from which you can buy card packs from. As of right now, there is only the Core set of the game out. The “Core” above the card packs leads me to believe they will add expansions onto the game. Fable Fortune is already a solid, complicated card game in it’s own right. I am very excited that Flaming Fowl and Mediatonic have picked this up and are going to continue to support it. I highly suggest this one to any fan of the Fable series, or just a card game enthusiast like myself. You can pick this one up in Early Access on your PC or through Game Preview on the Xbox One!
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Preview statement: The copy of this game was supplied by the developer for the sake of this preview. I also received 30 card packs to get a deck going.