I dont usually prejudge games before playing them, but I would be lying if I said I didnt get excited by the sheer mention of a new Rocketcat game. Five Card Quest[$2.99] is that game and it is cool + awesome. Even though it could be described as a Card Battler/Tactical RPG/Roguelike, it doesn't play like a hybrid game. It is a sleek and challenging dungeon delver that really stresses making the right decision and playing the right card each turn.

The point of Five Card Quest is to beat the bad guys and get your stalwart band out of the various labrynthine dungeon levels they find themselves in, hacking and slashing and shooting and casting all along the way. The game pits your team against roving bands of miscreants and ne'erdowells that are trying their best to destroy you. Your team stands across three lanes of combat ready to unleash devastation against bad guys that all have attack patterns that can be learned and anticipated so as to reduce incoming damage and maximize outgoing damage.

Each hero you can choose from(you get your choice of 2 at the start) has their own deck of cards that get shuffled together with the other members of your team. At the beginning of combat you are dealt a hand of cards that is mixed between each class. There are a wide variety of defensive, offensive and utility skill cards for each class. A solid understanding of these cards is the backbone to success in FCQ. Once you know what each class is capable of and what types of cards you need in a given situation, discarding, buying extra turns, and mitigating damage all become very important tools you can learn to use to alter the course of a combat.

FCQ2 FCQ3

There is very little in the way of story for FCQ. There is very little in general to draw your focus away from the gameplay actually. The graphics and music are both clean and while they may not be winning any academy awards, once again they lend themselves to serving up the gameplay on a well functioning platter. The fights become more and more perilous as you adventure forward, sometimes facing large groups or individually monstrous opponents. I found that fights that included more than 5 opponents usually meant that I would not be leaving unscathed.

Getting a chance to play with game creator Kepa Auwae looking on was a great experience and representative of one of my favorite perks of streaming on a service like Mobcrush. There is really nothing like playing through a game and discussing future features, fixes, add-ons and tweaks with the developer in real time. While we are on the subject of Mr. Auwae and Rocket Cat Games, it is worth mentioning that this game, much like Wayward Souls[$6.99], is not noob friendly. While this game looks like it could be appealling to a casual crowd, I must emphatically state that there is very little room for error in this game and it is designed to be close to unfair. Maybe fully committing to the "unfair" label is overstepping, but it is really really close.

FCQ1

I feel like the difficulty is fully intentional. There are a number of Rocketcat games that are indeed frustratingly tough and they seem to share a similar thread of small challenging interactions that add up over time to a death by a thousand cuts. It takes a special game that can introduce difficulty and still make it feel fair. I think FCQ is one of those games from a developer that has achieved that balance in the past. Whats great is knowing that even with a solid level of balance, the conversation is still ongoing for tweaks and adjustments. Since last week's release, there is already a content patch including a fix to blocking to include status effect resistance, a pre-fight bestiary, a fix for banner of victory, and a little more story intro at the beginning of the game.

Rocketcat is known for great games and amazing app support so I feel confident that this update is not the last nor the biggest nor the brightest we will be seeing to add onto this already fantastic game. The only warning I would leave you with is this: you are going to have to bring your 'A' game if you want to beat this one, but it's most definitely worth the effort!

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • bcredonk

    This review just seems like fan service to me, don't get me wrong I love wayward souls so I tend to lean towards agreeing with it, but gameplay videos of this don't look like fun at all

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Gameplay videos of card/tactical games rarely do look fun. I wouldn't judge a book by its cover, a lot of people made that mistake with Dream Quest which ended up being such a good game Blizzard hired the developer to come work on Hearthstone.

      • bcredonk

        You're totally right, other than hearthstone of course because so much is going on and it's so pretty haha. I'll have to check this out then thanks guys

    • Andrew Fretz

      I probably could have done a little more work on explaining the actual gameplay, each enemy has at least 1 combat cycle that can take between 2 and 5 steps to complete. There is a big planning component of mitigating damage the turn it is about to happen. It makes for an engaging combat sequence, hopefully that answers your concerns.

      • Tallgeese

        I typically glaze over discussions of gameplay mechanics because they're so intangible to me, I'd rather see a Let's Play and be all, "that's cool," or "that looks mucho unfuno." Like when you try to discuss a board game with people and it's sometimes funner and quicker and better to do so with a "practice game." But that's just subjective ol' me responding to just your writing about mechanics. I thought the review was fine, save I would've preferred an in-depth analysis of the story... But since this game supposedly doesn't have much story or kitchen sinkage (My two favorite things! How could you!?!?) ;(... I suppose, as luck would have it, you shall live to die another day, wordsmith. GUARDS! Take him from my sight!
        What? Oh this is his cell. But of course. I knew that. Then I shall leave. SMOKE BOMB! Ignore the sounds of the great one's thunderous footsteps!
        (barely audible from the next room) Carry me back to the throne room, slaves! I wish to feast and disremember such unpleasantries!

  • http://aggromagnetgames.com/ Aggro Magnet Games

    As a Rocket Cat Games turn-based one-thumb iPhone-friendly RPG, this was a rare release-day purchase for me!

  • Lohengriehn

    i like the game. but i think there are too less cards. i havent counted them so far, but it feels there are just 5 cards per class or so. dreamquest is a lot better if obe compares both games imo.

    • Daniel Wincelowicz

      This is an entirely new game with a different story and different mechanics. You can't really compare apples to oranges, in this sense.

    • Rocketcat Games

      There's 8 cards per class. I wanted to keep it pretty simple. Though I agree that if we do another game like this, we'd go for more cards, which would suit deck building a lot better (which I want to tackle next).

  • Carabak

    This review convinced me. Looks like one to buy.

  • DemoEvolved

    I am always concerned when the review of a game includes mention of the reviewer being excited to play while the game designer looks on and has a dialog with him.

    This is not the experience of most players

    • Tallgeese

      I suppose that at least allows for more disclosure of the reviewer's inherent bias. It's probably better the reviewer writes he's a fan of Rocketcat if he truly is than not saying anything... I think he was also hoping to illustrate Rocketcat's "openness(?)" to listening to player feedback and that they stream.

    • Tallgeese

      I suppose that at least allows for more disclosure of the reviewer's inherent bias. It's probably better the reviewer writes he's a fan of Rocketcat if he truly is than not saying anything... I think he was also hoping to illustrate Rocketcat's "openness(?)" to listening to player feedback and that the developers stream.

      • Tallgeese

        Sorry for the double post, I primarily use the app and your yojimbo hates me.

  • Jetjet

    Cool game. Easy to play, hard to master.
    Translation into foreign languages such as Italian, French, Spanish or German would be my best wish.

  • Rawk GWJ

    I like this. I even like the art. It's a very tough game. Even so, a single run does last quite a while. It just feels like you're you win each battle with just an inch of life to spare, until you are finally put down. In all of my losses though, I feel like I misplayed rather than that I just got beat by the toughness of the enemies.

  • Gidras05

    I'm always worried when I see a touch arcade review so drastically different from App Store reviews. Granted, most of the time the App Store reviews are less than logical and thought out, but the reviews for this game actually seem to have very legitimate complains, and the game has a 3 star overall average review.

    Add that to Touch arcade comments here talking about bias from the reviewer's excitement and Toucharcade user experiences not being the same? It doesn't make a very convincing argument to try this game 🙁

    • Andrew Fretz

      A lot of the 3 star reviews are from before the update that had a number of bug fixes.

  • zen_mode

    While I enjoy roguelikes and previous RocketCat titles, the dev in this case has effectively stated that this is more a proof of concept for an up coming game that they want to build, and this is essentially a lighter version to gather feedback.

    Usually something like this would be the holy grail for me - turn based, roguelike, depth, one handed portrait mode play, but in this case instead of the RL replayability that comes with something like Dream Quest or Pixel Dungeon, it looks as though it will provide a few weeks of gameplay at most.

    To be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. There's plenty of games and even roguelikes on the App Store that do just this. But this aspect is not mentioned at all in the review. The fact that this game is designed to gather feedback for the "real game" that they down the road is not mentioned at all in the review.

    I'm going to have to agree with some of the sentiment here and say that this was written through rose tinted glasses, and has misrepresented what the game actually is. Definitely not deserving of 5 stars.

    • Tallgeese

      ...6 stars?

    • Rocketcat Games

      I didn't want to give the impression that this wasn't a real game, I meant we'd use what we learned from this one to maybe make another turn-based RPG. We do this with every game we make. For example, we used feedback from Mage Gauntlet to make Wayward Souls.

      Wayward Souls added a lot of stuff once we got the basic combat down in Mage Gauntlet, but I wouldn't say Mage Gauntlet was a "fake game" in comparison. I think both still hold up as separate things.

      I don't care if you disagree with the review, but I guess the sentiment bugs me.

  • Ty-Ty2020

    This game is great! 5 stars well deserved. Go Rocket Cat on another game well done!

  • Schpank

    Sorry, it's a train wreck.

  • rabbitsamlcs

    what's the use of shiny cards? what effect does it give? such as effect provided by Golden Shuffle

    • Dawn Stung atoms

      deals double damage

  • 12345678

    Looks cool

  • Shukang

    low poly visual art style is good direction but the game lack of polishing and balancing of colors and objects details, shapes, accents etc. generally cool but need more work.

  • Design by Adrian

    I found the gameplay so confusing it put me off completely. I can't tell if an enemy is going to attack a certain row or when, so it's impossible to have a strategy.

    Not 5 stars.

Five Card Quest - Tactical RPG Battles Reviewed by Andrew Fretz on . Rating: 5