Nowhere Prophet, a deck-builder with a difference where your cards truly matter has been officially released with Linux support this week so I took a look. Note: Key provided by GOG.
The setup is quite simple: taking place on a world called Soma, after the apparent fall of civilization it's a ruined post-apocalyptic world. You end up communicating with a probe, a piece of long-lost technology. Eventually, the probe smashes into the surface of Soma and tells you about an ancient and mysterious Crypt, a place of legend. After travellers witnessed you speaking to the probe, you are proclaimed as The Prophet and they join you in trying to find it as you travel together.
The exploration is using the now thoroughly tried and tested node-based random generation found in the likes of FTL, Slay the Spire and tons more. You pick a node on the map, which costs resources to travel towards and each node can have an event, a battle, a chance to rest and more.
Like many deck-based card games, combat is turn-based but what sets it apart from the rest is that your cards are your actual people and you can lose them. It's not instant death though, a card removed from combat during battle is simply wounded but gain another wound and it's gone. So it's permadeath, but a slightly more unusual form of it, making you really think quite seriously on how you use your cards.
You are part of the battle too, so if the enemy hits you that life of yours is gone until you can heal. So you and your cards both play a role in everything. Healing either yourself or your cards will cost you food, a valuable resource you need to travel and sometimes get out of a sticky situation by offering food during an event. You don't get a huge amount of chances to heal either, it's all based on what nodes you're given since the map is random each time.
Death isn't the only thing coming for you, as cards can also be blessed. Whichever card is the one to make the killing blow on an enemy leader during a battle, ends up blessed and gets stronger. Together with the card death, it makes the gameplay thoroughly interesting to play. Since you can lose cards, there's of course ways to get a bunch of new followers too from the random events. So losing cards isn't entirely a disaster, unless you grow attached to any special abilities they might have.
- Card-based tactical combat system
- New procedurally generated maps each game
- Find loot and recruit followers to build your deck
- Unlock new content across multiple playthroughs
- More than 300 cards for you to discover
- Indian infused electronica soundtrack
The AI is definitely in need of being a little smarter, since it often makes some dumb decisions. Apart from that though, overall the Linux version is absolutely solid. Even on my rubbish Intel Notebook which is great as it's far too hot in my office, so Nowhere Prophet has been a great game to cool off with somewhere else.
There's a lot to like about it from the refreshing card mechanics, to the streamlined interface and the quite challenging gameplay, it's worth a look. There's even some unlocks to go through, giving you multiple different convoy decks and leaders to grab.