Foretales – Preview
Follow Genre: narrative, Deckbuilding
Developer: Alkemi
Publisher: Dear Villagers
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested On: PC

Foretales – Preview

Good: Well written characters, unique gameplay
Bad: Tends to repeat levels and scenarios
User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Games where players can construct their own narrative by just playing the game are an interesting breed. While they’re harshly limited by what can be coded ahead, they still allow for more player agency than fixed story points. Foretales is an upcoming game featuring a unique take on this, mixing its story into a deckbuilding system. Here is what it has to offer.

The game’s story follows a thief shoebill named Volepain, who finds himself experiencing visions of doom after taking on a job to steal an ancient artifact. From here on out, Volepain will set out to stop as many calamities as possible, accompanied by the loyal teammates he might encounter during his journey. Said companions are also rather well-written, with unique dialogues for almost every possible adventure, which provide them with a great deal of personality.

Foretales‘ graphics are, as expected, mostly comprised of flat illustrations for both cards and cutscenes. These are very detailed pieces that depict the environments and inhabitants of the game’s world in such a way that they feel alive and unique. The only issue we experienced from what’s showcased in the press build is the lack of variety, with missions taking place in similar environments that share most of their cards.

The game’s sound design is also rather good, with an enjoyable soundtrack that befits the overall medieval theme of the game as well as decent SFX. Alongside this, Foretales is partially voice-acted, with the narrator having all of his lines voiced both for cutscenes and gameplay quips.

As previously stated, Foretales is a narrative-driven deckbuilding game. Players will have a set of actions they might draw from their deck, which will affect the world in one way or another. Said world is divided into several location cards, each with its own effects and interactions with other cards. For example, a location card depicting a merchant will allow Volepain to steal some gold, while a forest might allow Léo the ranger to find some food with his unique skills.

In order to traverse these locations, players will have to consume character cards, regardless of if they have an effect or not. These cards represent the skills of each party member and are limited on a per-character basis. Should a character run out of actions, players will be able to rest in order to gain back some cards for the whole party, or, spend food on a single party member. At any given time, players may also exchange cards in hand for unused ones in the deck, should they need to do so.

Alongside character cards, players will also have access to items and other resources. The main resources to keep in mind are Gold, Food, Fame, and Grim. Each of these can be, at times, utilized like character cards in order to interact with certain locations and events. The same applies to items, which range from temporary helpers to healing potions and Molotov cocktails. All of these resources can also be utilized in combat, providing a layer of tactical depth.

Combat is rather simple, with characters only having attack and health stats. The system’s depth comes with the interactions other cards provide and the “morale” system. Said morale applies to most sane characters, allowing Volepain and company to get out of encounters without bloodshed. By buying characters out with the previously mentioned resources, it is possible to deplete the enemy’s morale, making the rest of them flee without a fight. Some character skills will sometimes also make enemies flee in a peaceful way, leaving the player to choose their approach to most hostile encounters.

Conclusion

Foretales is an interesting game with a lot of promise. While the early build doesn’t provide much more than a few hours of content, we enjoyed our time with Foretales. We are quite convinced that if the full game keeps up the quality, it will become a title we can easily recommend. We loved the entire concept and the overall delightful artwork, but also the gameplay is quite enjoyable. Foretales is currently still not out,  but it’s set to release later into the summer.

Personal Opinion

“I’ve quite enjoyed my time with Foretales, it’s a pretty unique game. It also somewhat reminds me of Armello, featuring similar fame and gold systems for events plus the ability to use specific cards to trigger unique occurrences. The only thing I didn’t quite like is how the game disregards efforts to accrue items and wealth, resetting after each level. While yes, I get they don’t want players to breeze through by grinding an easy level, I still feel somewhat disappointed that careful planning goes nowhere. I also have to say that the combat is a bit lackluster if you take the time to obtain some fame or gold, since you can just make the most powerful enemy leave and the rest will keel over. All that said, I still think Foretales is worth a look, and I’ll be waiting for the full release.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Foretales - Preview, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Foretales – Review
    October 11, 2022, 00:01

    […] with an emphasis on story and utilizing cards to progress it, Foretales was a stand-out game whose preview showed promise. Now, a few months later, the full game has been released. Does it hold up to this […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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