It’s always fascinating to consider how video game subgenres rise and fall. Something will hit it big and the entire industry – indies included – will leap to get a slice of the short-lived pie. We had a Battle Royale period, an Auto Chess period (remember Auto Chess? Nah, me either), and there’s naturally a never-ending roguelike period as well. Perhaps one of the more prolific subgenres was the deckbuilder thanks to hits like Slay the Spire. That’s not to say it’s tapped out just yet, though. There’s still some fun to be had flinging cards around, as Gordian Quest shows.
Silverkeep and the environs used to be a lovely place, but there have been some hard times lately. Y’know, the usual bandits, undead, monsters, that kind of thing. Happens all the time. When the world gets messy, it needs janitors called heroes to clean it up, so you’ll create your very own scrubbing party of adventurers to cut down grease and evil alike.
So yeah, Gordian Quest is one of those deckbuilders the kids have all been talking about lately. Your party members – representing ten different classes in all – run off decks of cards that represent their magic and abilities. You can collect new cards and replace old ones to hone your decks to your liking, then engage in strategic turn-based combat against whatever stands in your way. Each class possesses its own set of gimmicks that you can build a deck around, making for a vast degree of customization.
The heart of Gordian Quest lies in the combinations of characters you can bring along in a party and the synergy that their abilities can have. Want to tank and spank like a classic MMORPG? You can do that. Feel like getting some magical artillery together to make some hocus-pocus happen? That’s entirely possible. Each character is interesting in their own way, but when considered through the lens of every other character Gordian Quest’s depth really shines.
With plenty of unique twists on the deckbuilding concept Gordian Quest makes for a pretty easy recommendation. There’s plenty of roleplaying goodness alongside the card system, of course. Collecting loot and improving your heroes is a fantastic loop, encouraging you to keep going just to see what new goodies might show up next. Likewise, there’s a system of skill checks that adds a little spice to non-combat gameplay, encouraging you to take risks (and possibly pick up negative cards) to earn rewards. If you’re willing to dig a little bit deeper into the subgenre, you’d be well served trying Gordian Quest.