It’s always difficult for games to stand out in popular genres with hundreds of competitors. When they manage to be unique and refreshing, it’s quite an accomplishment, and Diceomancer, being developed by Ultra Piggy Studio, might just pull it off. We’ve played the Steam Next Fest demo of this deck building card battler, which takes a familiar genre and kicks it up a notch.
Diceomancer’s protagonist was hoping to enjoy a simple day of fishing when they are unfortunately caught in a dangerous battle. A suspiciously kind stranger offers the player a hand: a card that allows them to change any number present on the battlefield to a number between one and six. This means that your current foe – who has 99 health versus your 20 health – might suddenly have only 3 health. That’s a huge advantage in this battle, but surely there’s a catch. Well, there is: this card comes with a heavy price.
At first, Diceomancer feels like your average deck builder. Players are given attack cards and block cards, which cost mana to use. Each card costs a set amount of mana and certain cards also require a specific type of mana — we encountered four different types in the demo. When the player has the right amount of mana it can be spent on an action such as attacking, blocking, casting a spell, or drawing new cards until either the player or their enemy has perished.
Occasionally, players may also have to roll a die to determine the cost of certain cards or the amount of damage being done, adding a fun Dungeons & Dragons vibe to the game. At the end of each battle players will choose one card to add to their deck.
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Much like other roguelike deck builders like Slay the Spire or Dicey Dungeons, during a run players are able to see what lies on the path ahead. If players are low on health and need to stop at a campfire to rest, they can plan accordingly. Or if they’re feeling confident and wish to take on a mini-boss, they can choose that path. Unfortunately, because of that stranger’s “help” at the beginning of the game, there is always a purple mist threatening to catch up to you. If you turn back during your run to grab some treasure or try to rest, you risk being taken out by the mysterious mist.
After players complete a run in Diceomancer, they’re able to upgrade themselves and equip relics to be used on their next run. This is also where players will be able to decide what types of mana will be the focus of their deck. This will determine what types of cards will show up to add to your deck at the end of each battle. Since certain cards cost a specific type of mana to be able to use, it’s in the player’s best interest to have multiple cards of one mana type to be able to use these cards efficiently.
Our experience with Diceomancer’s demo has been a great one. We can’t wait to see what the full game will offer when it releases. Not only is it incredibly fun to play, but the art style, music and character design are lovely – and the first person perspective for each battle is something we’ve never seen before in this genre. With no release date set just yet, we’ll be eagerly awaiting to hear more news on it in the coming months.