We’re suckers for a good card-based battler, and so couldn’t resist delving into Xenotheria‘s Steam Next Fest demo. This upcoming sci-fi RPG impressed us with its easy-to-learn combat, but it’s the story and exploration that we’re looking forward to delving more into.
The demo of Xenotheria – which is available for anyone to play right now – throws us in a little way into the game. You’re given control of a party of three alien creatures – Squig, Norton and Agama – who each have their own combat styles and own cards to draw upon. One deals in hand-to-hand combat, and so needs to be closer to their opponents before they can attack. Another shoots long-range with a powerful gun, so can stand back. You’ll need to consider this when you’re placing them on the battlefield before a fight.
Not that it matters too much: along with playing cards during your turn, you can move around your half of the battlefield. There’s a bit of strategy involved, then, in ensuring characters are placed optimally. Maybe out of the line of fire, or directly in the line so they can launch a powerful attack themselves. In the full game, you’ll meet new characters who can be added to your party, and so it seems there’ll be a good range of skills and abilities on offer.
What we particularly like is that as you explore Xenotheria’s world, you come across various resources and materials which can be used to upgrade your existing cards or craft new ones. The more attention you pay to your surroundings, then, the better your deck can possibly be. Why attack for 4HP when you can upgrade your card and attack for 7HP?
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Set in a mysterious alien world, we’re interested to know more about our surroundings and the characters under our control. According to its Steam page, Xenotheria sees you face an impending apocalyptic event – and it’s up to you to stop the world from being destroyed. Ah, that old chestnut.
Still, we’re digging the sci-fi setting, the exploration element and the engaging combat. If card-based RPGs are your thing, Xenotheria is worth keeping your eye on when it releases later this year. Until then, you can take its demo for a spin on Steam.