Originally published at: https://statelyplay.com/2019/07/19/nowhere-prophet-aims-to-be-your-next-card-game-fix/
I’ve been playing the hell out of Slay the Spire, first on PC and now on my Switch, for months now. You’d think it would get old but it’s still my go-to when I sit on the couch and grab a controller. Starting today, however, StS has some strong competition. Nowhere Prophet from Sharkbomb Studios is a just-released roguelike deckbuilder that adds a ton of story and tactical doodads to differentiate it from other solo deckbuilders on Steam.
Nowhere Prophet ditches StS’s fantasy tropes for post-apocalyptic ones. Personally, I prefer fantasy over the dreariness of humanity’s demise, but to each their own. Like StS, there is an overland map of branching paths you can take to to the Big Boss each with its own randomly generated speedbumps. Unlike StS, however, you’re not sure what you’re going to find at each location and you might also get ambushed along the path before you reach the next location.
Each confrontation or friendly encounter is preceded with a heap of story that really sells this terrible world you’ve found yourself in. What really makes the story element pop is the cards themselves. No, they’re not littered with flavor text. Instead, each card represents a member of your convoy. They can be wounded or killed in battle, which means that card goes bye-bye and your deck shrinks. The game keeps track of your wounded or buffed followers via human silhouettes, making the story part of the game feel much more like an actual story than just some fluff tacked onto a card game. You can also find loot along the way and share it with your followers which will raise their morale and, perhaps, give you an edge the next time you deploy them in battle.
Battles themselves are played out on different sized grids and only your followers with nothing between them and the enemy can attack. You can shift unexhausted minions around the board or attack with them each turn in Hearthstone-style combat in which both units take damage based on the attack value of the opposing unit.
You have a secondary deck of cards in a Leader deck. These are one-time effects that allow you to buff characters, damage enemies, lay traps, etc. You only have so much energy each turn (it increases by one each turn, just like Hearthstone) to play cards, and both your Convoy and Leader cards draw from this same pool.
Nowhere Prophet is available right now for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam and offers a bit more meat than StS. Part of StS’s appeal, however, was jumping in and understanding exactly what was going on. Nowhere Prophet is a little more opaque, which comes from adding more options. I guess what I’m saying is that Nowhere Prophet and StS are different enough that owning both isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially when you can pick it up for 10% off the regular price. That brings it in under $25 which seems like a bargain thus far.