Game Review: Voice of the Cards

Voice of the Cards is a new RPG for the Nintendo Switch. I say new, the first installment dropped in late 2021 and the sequel dropped in February 2022. While it may seem rare that two games in the same series were launched so close together, the Voice of the Cards games are not extensive or lengthy games that require years of development. Nor are they graphical powerhouses with photo-realistic models and stunning scenery. By comparison to most AAA titles launched on the current generation of consoles, Voice of the Cards is pretty basic.

But don't let the game's basic looks and quick gameplay discourage you from picking up these gems. In fact, the games both have a quality to them that make them feel very familiar but at the same time very new. Fans of old-school dungeon crawlers like the Heroes of Might & Magic series will feel some level of nostalgia. Likewise, classic RPG fans that enjoy turn-based combat will get to scratch that so familiar but increasing rare itch.

So what makes these games so good? Their simplicity and ingenious concept.

The entire game is represented by cards, hence the name Voice of the Cards. The game map is a bunch of cards turned face down that as your character piece, think Monopoly, moves adjacent to face-down map card, the cards flip over to reveal the map. Even the characters, equipment, and items are all represented by cards. The menus are cards. Just everything in the game is practically a card which is refreshing. No high intensity 3D models, elaborate motion-capture animations, just simple cards with simple transitions to display the chosen actions.

The storylines of both games are somewhat basic stereotypical RPG stories. It is neat how the story is told because it is all done through a narrator, almost like if you were playing Dungeons & Dragons and was listening to the DM (Dungeon Master). This disembodied voice describes several aspects of the game, narrates key story events, and even praises you when characters score critical hits in combat.

The first game took me only like 15 hours to complete. I have a few hours so far into the second game but it is more or less the same game but with a different story. I like to explore the maps to reveal as much as I can before advancing too much into the story which means that the games are probably much shorter if I didn't spend a few hours just bouncing around the map exploring.

There is some replayability, at least with the first game I know since I've finished it but I assume so with the second. Like most RPGs, once you finish the story you can start a New+ game where you restart the story but start with everything you've acquired in the previous run through. There are choices in the game that can impact the ending so this mode gives players the option to play multiple times to discover the different endings and story options the choices offer.

All in all, these are simple games but good games. Their price reflects their short stories and simple graphics though, which is nice. These are games made by notable studios but still the prices are reasonable, even with the DLC to add some additional fun graphical customization.

I'd recommend both games to fans of RPGs who own a Nintendo Switch. The difficulty is challenging for some fights but mostly low enough that younger players could still enjoy the game with its easy control scheme and simple combat mechanics.

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