Summoners Fate Impression
Summoners Fate has a brilliant battle system and a charm that will summon many to play it over and over again.
D20Studios is a developer that places importance on player feedback. As part of PAX Online, RPGamer had the chance to talk to its founder Ross Przybylski about Summoners Fate. In addition, we were able to sample a demo of this turn-based deck-builder that offers novel ways of killing enemies by using its peculiar cards. Even though the battle system seems uncomplicated at a first glance, it is full of possibilities, challenges, and, ultimately, fun.
Players choose one among 20 summoners for their adventure. To complete the story, they need to traverse three worlds and defeat the bosses that guard each of them. Worlds are procedurally generated, which prevents them from feeling repetitive, and take around an hour to be completed. Since there are many summoners with diverse stats and abilities, the game promotes multiple playthroughs. Different foes, guardians (players’ companions), fate encounters, and cards can be found in each adventure; even dying and retrying with the same summoner feels like beginning a new journey. To please all tastes, there are three difficulties, which affect both the health of enemies and the number of retries.
Summoners Fate’s turn-based battle system focuses on player creativity. Players have mana points to deploy cards, with each indicating the number of points that are needed. While most cards are troops, others are attacks or bonuses for certain units. Each fighter can attack and move within a limited range once per turn. Although this system seems common, it invites players to combine their cards to attack enemies in non-traditional ways. For example, players can summon multiple weak rabbits, use a card that turns them into fearsome creatures, and command them to pulverise their foes.
Since characters don’t level up, players need to collect cards and create fighting strategies to become stronger; there is no better weapon than a personalized deck in which some cards are carefully selected to enhance the powers of the others. Besides cards, players can recruit guardians, powerful companions who are able to revive after the battle if killed. The game invites summoners to explore the dungeons in order to find these companions and more powerful cards. The battle system is more challenging than it seems at first glance, for enemies seem to be as creative as players and there is no way of knowing which cards they will deploy. Both exploration and battles are highly entertaining.
Summoners Fate features some interesting decision-making moments called fate encounters. During these situations, players will be prompted with doing something risky, while a 20-sided die will decide the outcome. For instance, players have the choice to free locked warriors from a merchant (instead of buying them), drink a mysterious potion, or kiss a fairy. The result, however, will depend on their luck. Low numbers bring undesired and counterproductive results, while high numbers allow players to get away with it. Players can increase their odds by adding more dice, which can be picked up by exploring, since only the highest number is taken into account. These encounters proved to be exciting and a nice touch.
There are two game modes: battle and adventure. While the adventure mode requires players to traverse worlds, the casual battle mode is designed for players that are short of time and want to face AI or other players in combats that take only a few minutes. Both modes promise an amusing and fun experience. They are accompanied by catchy background music and feature a humoristic approach shown in cards and overall visual style, which perfectly matches the overall game’s mood.
Summoners Fate has a brilliant battle system and a charm that will summon many to play it over and over again. The game is still in development, and since D20Studios is a community-driven developer that has implemented some additions based on player feedback and will continue to do so, the final product promises to be full of love and improvements. Summoners Fate will be available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android and is expected to launch in 2022.