Wildfrost – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike deckbuilder
Developer: Deadpan Games, Gaziter
Publisher: Chucklefish
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Wildfrost – Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Great visual style, Deceptively complicated gameplay
Bad: Difficulty could use some balancing
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Deckbuilders are starting to become a dime a dozen these days, though as massive fans of the genre, we are definitely not complaining. Especially if developers such as Deadpan Games and Gaziter keep adding new stuff to their games which makes the experience refreshing and enjoyable despite its prevalence. Wildfrost is a tactical roguelike deckbuilder where your sense of strategy will be put to the test. Keeping track of a million different stats is key here, though even if you do that, the randomness of this game will prove a challenge for even the most seasoned card player.

Story

In Wildfrost, the world has been thrust into a post-apocalyptic state because the sun turned into a block of ice overnight. This is not ideal, and humanity quickly found itself plunged into an ice age. With a bunch of magical creatures as their companions, three different tribes set out to try and break the frosty storm also known as the titular Wildfrost. Cute snow-themed critters stand in their way, however.

As far as the plot goes, this game does a nice job with worldbuilding. Along your journey, you find journal pages that expand on the setting and characters, without cramming too much in at the same time. While the story isn’t the focus of Wildfrost, it does make you curious about the reason behind this catastrophe and how to stop it.

Graphics

The graphics might be the highlight of Wildfrost. The art style is absolutely stunning and incredibly unique, and it reminds us of modern cartoons with a fantasy touch. It manages to set the game apart from the millions of other deckbuilders on the market. The colors are vibrant and fun, plus the character and enemy designs aren’t only surprisingly detailed but also extremely adorable. Really, we can’t gush enough about how much of a visual treat this is.

Sound

Each run in Wildfrost┬ácan take between a few minutes and half an hour depending on how your deck is built. You’ll be happy to know you will have a funky soundtrack to keep you company the entire way. There’s not a lot of variety in the number of battle tracks, but they’re long enough not to get repetitive. On top of that, you’ll get all the satisfying sound effects you can expect from a deckbuilder while you slash your enemies to pieces. If you want to redraw your hand of cards, you ring a bell which is actually beyond satisfying to do. Sometimes it’s tempting to discard your hand just so you can ring the bell, honestly.

Gameplay

Wildfire is a tactical roguelike deckbuilder that’s unique in that you don’t actually upgrade your cards or characters between runs. You start off every run by picking a new leader for your crew, with tons of different leaders representing the three tribes. Each tribe has its own skills and assets, plus a corresponding starter deck, so there are a lot of possible strategies to experiment with. What you do upgrade between runs is your town called Snowdwell. By getting achievements and completing challenges, you unlock new buildings and items in your homestead. Some of these items are equipable to your characters and give them passive bonuses.

The main gameplay of Wildfrost is the battles you engage with as you travel across the map. They play out like a typical turn-based card game, with you drawing a hand of cards you can play. You can discard your remaining cards and redraw cards at any time, though that usually also automatically ends your turn. Each battle consists of a few waves of enemies and a boss. Defeating the boss is the win condition, meaning it’s smarter sometimes to focus on them rather than all the lower HP monsters hanging around. On the other hand, you don’t want to get overwhelmed. To help you on this journey, your leader will bring their companions. Companion cards can be placed on the map alongside your leader and will automatically attack the nearest enemy card once every few turns. The countdown to when a card will attack (for both enemies or your companions) is called the counter. This is an important mechanic of the game since looking at the counters will allow you to plan ahead. You can play one card every round, though moving already placed allies around is a free action. There are cards that do damage, raise your defense, cause a status condition like poisoning the enemy, slow down an enemy’s counter, or have other special effects. The strategy really depends on how you time using your cards.

After a battle is won you get money to spend in a shop, if you encounter one. This is how you upgrade your deck during a run. Other locations found on the map can be free treasure or additional companions. The map is randomly generated and so are most of the encounters. This is typical for a roguelike, though if there’s one negative aspect about Wildfrost it’s said randomness. Sometimes battles seem to suddenly get impossibly hard for no reason because the enemies you face are decided randomly too. Combined with you having very little control over your deck and relying mostly on luck to find good cards, your run can pretty much be destined to fail before it even began. Regardless, the gameplay is fun enough to keep us coming back for another try.

Conclusion

Among deckbuilders, Wildfrost certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s fun, addictive, and honestly too cute for words. With its lovely visual style and upbeat soundtrack, even losing isn’t something you can be mad about. Just prepare to lose a lot. As far as roguelike deckbuilders go, this one is a lot of fun.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Wildfrost - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.