Tainted Grail: Conquest Review

Tainted Grail: Conquest is a thrilling take on the rogue-lite deckbuilding genre, and brings the world of the Tainted Grail board game to life. The players find themselves in a broken reality plagued by Wyrdness, and to fix it, a mysterious creature tells them to hunt down four powerful enemies. All of this is set against a dark Arthurian backdrop that will keep players guessing as to what’s really going on. It combines elements of town-building, rouge-lites, deck building, and RPGs to tell its unique narrative. Tainted Grail fans probably already have an idea of ​​what to expect, but those who have never played the board game will likely have their first experience with Tainted Grail: Conquest. At its core, this is a deck-building rogue-lite, so players who aren’t fans of those genres may want to steer clear. That said, for dedicated fans who enjoy these games, Tainted Grail: Conquest is a great choice. Players may be familiar with this type of gameplay from 2017’s incredibly popular Slay The Spire, which practically created its own subgenre. There are currently nine classes to choose from in Tainted Grail: Conquest, but there may be more to come after launch. Each of these classes provides a completely different experience from the others, which encourages replayability. Players will probably want to stick with the class they’re comfortable with, but trying new classes can be very rewarding. The nine classes currently in the game are Wyrdhunter, Pathfinder, Berserker, Summoner, Necromancer, Blood Mage, Apostate, Sentinel, and Zealot. These classes have unique ultimate skills, passive skills, and card decks. For many of these classes, it’s pretty easy to parse what they do. Berserker is a very high risk/high reward damage dealer, Summoner summons minions to aid in battle, but others are less clear cut. Wyrdhunters, for example, focus on dealing multiple hits to build a powerful attack, and Pathfinders get stronger every turn they avoid taking damage. If there are any complaints about the classes, it’s that the three magic classes are very similar. The Summoner, Necromancer, and Blood Mage all focus on summoning allies to aid in the fight, but they do so in different ways. Because of this, players have to strategize differently for each class. Once a class is chosen, players will find themselves in their village, which starts out more like a ghost town. In many different player runs, NPCs can be found, rescued, or convinced to stay in town, unlocking their services for later runs. The town is quite small, but it offers some bonuses that will permanently upgrade the player and make future runs more manageable. As can be expected from any rogue-lite game, Tainted Grail: Conquest is not easy. Difficulty is a hot topic in the gaming community at the moment, with some feeling that easy modes should be included to make the game more accessible and others preferring the games to stay at a default setting only. Tainted Grail: Conquest sides with the former group, but does so in an interesting way. Instead of starting the game as normal, players can enter the Situations menu and play in easy mode. This will automatically give them an entire town, unlock all cards and passive abilities, and take the opponents down a bit. It’s a great way to include more casual players without taking anything away from those who prefer a challenge. Mage classes in Tainted Grail Conquest When it comes to the actual gameplay, it should feel familiar to anyone who has played these types of deck building games. Some cards deal damage, while others provide blocks that nullify incoming hits. The player has armor and damage stats that change how much damage they deal and receive, and cards are loaded with keywords that dictate how they work. If that sounds scary, it can at first. Learning a new class requires quite a bit of reading through the cards, especially for some of the more complex classes like spellcasters. Once players understand how their class works, it becomes a matter of optimizing that class by choosing good passive skills and cards. RELATED: Dark Souls: The Board Game – The Case For a Demon’s Souls Expansion Whenever the player levels up by gaining enough experience, they are offered a choice of three cards. What these cards are depends on the class, but this is where the real strategy comes in. Players need to choose cards that complement each other well while at the same time avoiding making their deck too large. Taking too many cards will make it impossible to find the ones they need, while not having enough will decrease the player’s ability to deal enough damage and survive. Every few levels, players also gain access to a new passive ability, and these can really take their character to a new level of power. For example, Berserker’s starting passive skill gives him extra energy when he’s below half HP, but one of the passive skills he gets from leveling up also duplicates every action of attack when below 25% HP. This incentivizes players to take a riskier approach but further increases the amount of damage they can deal in a given combat round. Tainted Grail Conquest battle example In terms of visuals, the game really digs into its dark roots. The enemies are often ridiculous, and even some of the friendly NPCs the player will encounter will have a weak heart that destroys. The graphics are rather impressive but they are certainly not anything groundbreaking. Sometimes the game can feel very dark to the point where it’s hard to see the mini map in the corner of the screen, but it doesn’t take away from the experience too much. Tainted Grail: Conquest’s story is shrouded in mystery, but this is definitely intentional. The player travels to the land of Avalon, but after they arrive, reality falls. Now they’re in a different version of reality, working for the aforementioned mysterious creature to try and fix things. On their journey, players will encounter a unique cast of characters each with a unique backstory of their own. It always feels like there’s more lurking beneath the surface, and each interaction with a new NPC reveals a little bit of what lies beneath. All in all, Tainted Grail: Conquest is a great experience with a mysterious narrative, an eerie grimdark setting, and fun deckbuilding rogue-lite mechanics. Sometimes some small bugs or lighting issues can prevent it, but these things are nothing compared to the great satisfaction of the players. With some future updates to address these minor issues, Tainted Grail: Conquest is shaping up to be a great entry within this subgenre of games. Tainted Grail: Conquest is now available on PC. Today Technology was provided with a code for this review. MORE: Dark Souls: The Board Game – What Class Should You Play?

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