The past few years have brought a wave of promising deckbuilders, a number of them roguelikes as well. Fans of card games like Dream Quest, Slay the Spire, and SteamWorld Quest should take note: Roguebook may be the prettiest one of all.
From the developer of fantasy card game Faeria and co-designed by Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering), this roguelike deckbuilder is coming to several platforms. First: a Steam release in Summer 2021, which is when we may also see the full release of Griftlands, another deckbuilder.
At a later date, Roguebook will come to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
What’s New in Roguebook?
So what does Roguebook offer that many roguelike deckbuilders don’t? Here are several elements that are uncommon or unique, but bear in mind that the game is still in development.
Hero duos and positioning: You play with two heroes, not just one (out of four heroes). During combat, heroes are positioned in the front or back row. The front-row hero takes damage, protecting the back row.
Fat deck: Roguebook encourages growing a large deck rather than keeping a small, focused deck (the latter strategy is often used in card games). In this video, game designer Richard Garfield talks about exploring a “fat deck” concept in Roguebook, rather than promoting a “lean mean fighting machine.” The more cards you add to your deck, the more hero Talents are unlocked (though at the cost of a more unpredictable deck). New cards can be obtained through map events, rather than as a standard reward after every battle (ala Slay the Spire).
Talents: There are six tiers of Talents (enduring special abilities). The first tier can be unlocked with a deck of 15 cards. From each tier, you pick one of three talents. These three are randomly selected from a pool.
Gems to upgrade cards: Gems can be added to cards, either upgrading or transmuting them.
Procedurally-generated tile map: You’re trapped in the pages of a grimoire, the Roguebook. To explore and reveal more of each page (i.e. map), you need ink. Defeating enemies may reward you with ink. Roads help you move faster along a map, but exploring off the beaten path leads to the best rewards. To progress in the game, you fight a Chapter Boss. Do this only if you’re powerful enough, or have run out of ink. Each successive chapter is more challenging.
Expanding on the Faeria universe: Roguebook draws upon a pre-existing universe. For instance, a type of card called Ally cards are based on creatures from Faeria. The four playable heroes are based on legendary cards from the Faeria card game.
Roguebook‘s demo was free-to-play during Steam Games Festival in February 2021. Currently, the demo can only be accessed by pre-ordering Roguebook‘s full version on Steam, at USD 24.99. The demo contains only two playable heroes. The full PC version is scheduled for June 25, 2021.
This will be a great addition to the Nintendo Switch, so we’ll keep you posted about a release date!
Check out the trailer:
All images credited to Abrakam Entertainment.