Hand of Fate by Defiant Development is a series that started back in 2015 that put a brand new spin on the choose-your-own adventure genre. The game used a mixture of card drawing, random encounters, dice rolling, and periodically puts you into a third-person brawler whenever a combat encounter occurs. Hand of Fate 2 improves on the design and begins a brand new story.
In Hand of Fate 2 you will design your character’s cosmetics, but nothing much beyond that. Your equipment and other buffs will come later. Before beginning a quest you’ll choose from a selection of encounter cards, starting equipment cards, found equipment cards, and companions. Encounter and found equipment cards will randomly turn up during the quest, while your companion and starting equipment are with you in the beginning. The enigmatic dealer who narrates your quest will deal out both the encounter cards you’ve chosen and random encounter cards based on the quest onto a grid-like field in which you move your player token from one to the next. Some encounters have tokens on them that if you play the encounter correctly will earn you that token which will unlock more cards at the end of the quest.
Encounters can take the form of offering you choices, earning you food, money, equipment, or other materials, or may make you take on a challenge such as combat, picking a card, rolling dice, spinning a wheel, or trying to stop a pendulum with perfect timing. Combat as mentioned before takes the form of a third-person brawler in which you attack, block, counter, evade, or shield bash your opponents.
Every quest you complete will lead to more quest options to take on, and if you struggle with a quest you’ll continue to still gain new cards to use the next time you take the quest on. As far as the story goes, the quests represent your character’s past leading up to the events that lead you into a carriage with the dealer in which you’re playing this game. There are hints along the way that the enigmatic dealer has ulterior motives for playing this game with you and teaching you this game. It also seems like he has some plans for you upon finishing this game, but whether those plans are good or bad you’ll have to play to find out.
The combat takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you should have a fairly easy time of it. More of the difficulty of the game is in resource management and proper deck building. You can fill your decks with encounters that give you plenty of good resources, or you can put in cards that have tokens attached with the hopes of unlocking more encounters and cards.
If you’re interested in trying out the first game where it all started, you can buy it off of Humble Bundle below where a portion of your payment goes to charity and another portion helps support me. Or if you’re also interested, there is a physical variation of the game called Hand of Fate: Ordeals available on Amazon. However, if you just want to jump into the action of Hand of Fate 2, you can purchase it on the steam shop here, or you can purchase it on the Nintendo Eshop for Switch here!