Not a month, not a week without a new collectible card game!" - both Steam and I have been living under this motto for a long time. Well, bear with it - today I'll tell you about another CCGRoguebookMoreover, it has an interesting background - its authors have already created a successful card Faeria, which has been downloaded on Steam more than a million times and was rated there by 86% positive reviews. Yes, and our site gave her a high mark. And besides, in the development of Roguebook part himself, Richard Garfield (Richard Garfield), creator of Magic: of The GatheringHow can a game attract attention in a market oversaturated with roguelikes?

Roguebook looks great

You've heard this from me more than once, but what can you do -  Roguebook has a chic style, the game exudes a warm atmosphere. This, however, is not surprising for the authors of the same beautifully drawn Faeria.

Here is a non-trivial setting

And in such a colorful entourage, rather unusual events unfold. Unlike  Griftlands,  Roguebook doesn't really have a storyline, but the plot and setting are interesting. The action takes place on the pages of a legendary book from the world of Faeria  - it was written before the beginning of time and keeps all the legends of this universe. Then she was lost, found her own evil will, and turned into a Roguebook, on the pages of which our heroes are imprisoned.

Each page here is a new test. And in order to move to cooler locations, move around the map and eventually escape from book captivity, you need to defeat enemies. They leave behind the ink, and elite opponents and bosses - whole brushes, with the help of which we paint the map (in fact, remove the "fog of war" in the selected place) and move on.

Unusual world exploration mechanics

Thus, the gameplay of Roguebook is divided into two components. In addition to the obligatory card duels, there is a study of locations in search of enemies, gold and golden fairies (coins are knocked out of them), hearts that restore health, merchants, alchemists that improve cards, and relics that give special effects or change the rules of the game (for example, they can replace normal damage by bleeding).

You can also come across the sanctuary and get gems for installation in cards (they give additional effects like a block). Plus, of course, random events. Then some thief will steal all the relics from us, and we will have to run after him to the other end of the level. Now we stumble upon the statues of the defender, then at the entrance to the cave, where strange creatures sing and meditate, then we will find ourselves in a hall where a certain queen will offer to illuminate one of the heroes with her grace.

All of this is present in one form or another in all these roguelikes, but in  Roguebook, thanks to the above-described ink mechanic, exploring the world looks quite fresh. Here it is important to build passages with ink to relics and other interesting places, and most importantly, to runes and towers, which open several cells or entire sections of the map.

But it may turn out that you will waste all the brushes and ink, but you will not get where you wanted - the landscape will turn out badly. Or you won't find enough runes and towers. And you will have to, not finding a lot of useful things and events, go to a meeting with the boss of the location.

To get more interesting objects, alchemists, hearts and the same golden fairies on the map, and to get more rewards in chests, you need to collect special pages of the Roguebook - for them, in between raids, you can buy global upgrades, which all of the above give or increase the chances of finding something cooler. They also increase the starting health of the heroes and accidentally change the starting cards in the deck to others.

Unique heroes and their decks

It is clear that randomness, as in all roguelikes, including card games, matters in  RoguebookBut we ourselves regulate what cards and effects will drop out when we buy them or select relics for a particular hero, taking into account his deck.

Yes, each of the three main characters (there is also a fourth, but it is not so easy to open it) - has its own tactics. The girl with Sharra's sword loves to cause bleeding, attacks more when she is in front and knows how to get the effect of courage, which gives a point of energy at the beginning of each turn.

The demonic beast Cypher loves to summon allies that inflict damage on enemies (they can also be sacrificed to heal or receive a block), and when damaged, he accumulates rage and flows into it - this gives double damage. The character also knows how to absorb the health of killed enemies, healing.

And Fat Sorokko is a more versatile class, although it also has its own "chips", like cards that put marks on opponents (for which critical hits will pass).

You are free to combine cards, effects from relics and other bonuses, taking into account the personality of the deck for a particular character. For example, if a lot of cards for Cypher are recruited, which cost two units of energy or more, then it is logical to give him a relic, which allows, when using such cards, to inflict five more units of damage to all enemies and get an additional point of energy.

And you also need to take into account that as you progress through, branches of talents open up - for each of the two heroes (and you can only take two into the raid) and common for the entire squad. You need to wisely choose the bonuses that they give - only one of the three talents is allowed to activate at each level of development.

Combat tactics matter

During card duels, a lot depends not only on which card randomly throws at us (or not), but also on ourselves. Especially on how we arrange the fighters. Some deal more damage when they are in front, others gain block points when they end their turn in the same position.

There are offensive cards that allow you to go straight ahead and attack powerfully. There are, on the contrary, retreat cards - you hit and immediately move behind the back of an ally. There are those that give a block only if the character is on the front line. Others accumulate damage or reduce their cost depending on how often the heroes change positions like this.

And all this must be used correctly, given that it is the fighter on the front line that will take the first damage. That is, it is better to remove weaker and wounded characters from there, as well as accumulate a block. If you used, for example, a Cypher block card, he moved forward and received six units of protection. Next, they applied the Sharra block card for the same six units, she stood in front, but the total block amount was already 12.

Such tactical movements during combat are rare in card roguelikes. I can only remember Gordian Quest and Against the MoonAnd in this sense, Roguebook really pleases.

Ability to modify and complicate rules

But as for the richness of content, then, it would seem, there is nothing to be happy about. Only three acts, three locations, three bosses - and that's it, the game is completed. But in fact, only after that, we are allowed to turn on modifiers and complications in order to pass more serious tests and get more pages of the book for pumping global bonuses and unlocking new opportunities (like the fourth hero).

For example, you can make elite battles mandatory, and enemies there do 20% more damage. Or increase the number of golden fairies on the map - however, prices will rise by 60%. Or remove all the towers that open the area around you - but the runes that remove the "fog of war" from a couple of cells in a random place will come across more often.

Such modifiers are divided into three groups, and each of them is also divided into ranks. They open gradually, as you pass the tests with the previous complication. And in the same way, it gradually becomes possible to enable not one, but several modifiers at once.

However, the content in  Roguebook is really lacking in comparison to Griftlands and Gordian QuestAs well as an interesting plot, "laura". It's a paradox - we seem to be on the pages of a book that writes down everything important about the world of Faeria, but we don't really learn anything new about it.

In addition, there are problems with optimizations, and sometimes, judging by the feedback, there are bugs (although I hardly encountered them). But in all other respects, this is a worthy and exciting card "roguelike", which generally follows the path of Slay the Spire and others like it, but also pleases with its own ideas.

Pros: original setting; exciting gameplay that combines the traditions of the genre with your own ideas both in the mechanics of exploring the world and in card duels, where tactics are in demand; really different heroes with their own decks; many tests that change and complicate the rules of the game; beautiful picture; pleasant musical accompaniment.

Cons: lack of content, plot, and lore; in some places, it seems that random has too much influence on what is happening; there are technical problems.

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