Developer Rocketcat is best known for their popular RPG and action roguelike releases Mage Gauntlet, Wayward Souls, and Death Road To Canada, but amid their larger titles lies a smaller and intriguing outlier of a game, the turn-based minimalist roguelike Five Card Quest.
Selecting a trio of warriors from powerful Priest, the dagger-wielding Rogue, and more, you battle room-by-room through grid-based dungeons. The focus here are those battles, an interesting blend of card game and lane-based strategy; tour party is one side of the screen, enemies on the other, spread out across three lanes. From each warrior’s deck, you choose abilities and attacks, all revolving around the tactics of slowing or damaging enemies, stalling or pushing them backwards in their lane, or even swapping your lane position or that of your foes.
This combination of drawing cards, lane management, and small team of very differently-skilled classes give the combat of Five Card Quest a surprising wealth of strategy and tactics. Controlling the lanes through positioning, swapping fighter placement at the best moment, debuffing enemies all are part of your stratetic repert; you may need to decide over fast slight damage now over a charged blow several turns later, or when to use attacks that target specific lanes or only injury the front-most foe.
The bright angular aesthetic, easy-to-grasp mechanics, and decent depth make Five Card Quest a worthy addition for anyone looking for a more forgiving, less grueling, but still rewarding strategy game. You can purchase the game for $2.99 on iPad and iPhone.