Pathfinder Adventures (PC) Review

By Eric 10.11.2017

Review for Pathfinder Adventures  on PC

Collectible card games are nothing new and have spanned a wide gamut of genres. Pathfinder Adventures attempts to be different by putting a heavy Dungeons and Dragons feel to the whole thing. Originally based on a board game of the same name, this game handles all the calculations leaving the control to a virtual roll dice in a bid to level up heroes through various challenges and missions. But how does Obsidian Entertainment's latest card-playing strategy game fare?

Pathfinder Adventures is a computer version of the board game upon which it is based, with the same name, that came out in 2014. Designed as a table-top, multiplayer experience, the roots of this game are obvious. It takes out much of the tedium of setup, calculations and all of the boring negatives of playing in real life, however it also takes away the most positive element: friends and acting.

For those who played the board game, everything here is going to be extremely familiar. Even the heroes are lifted straight from the game. The general flow is that each mission will have locations that each hero goes to, as they slowly slog through a random deck. By finding the main bad guy and defeating them, the mission is complete.

Screenshot for Pathfinder Adventures  on PC

With that simple explanation, the game is actually a little complicated. Each character has different stats, and rolls different dice for each various events they might encounter. The elf girl gets better dice on dexterity challenges and bonuses as well, but in contrast is weaker in strength challenges. As the cards are revealed one at a time this might mean on one turn she easily dodges a trap, but is then stalled trying to force a door open.

As the cards come down, these can also be things like better weapons or treasures. In this way, the character's deck becomes their inventory and careful management is the key to having the character perform better. With enough missions complete, the character can improve some of their stats as well. A problem, especially playing single player is the emersion/'role playing' aspects you might have in real life are utterly missing. This means things like 'pulling out a broadsword to cleave out some little goblins!' type of narration that might fill a real-life playing of the game simply does not appear here. Instead each card is simply a number. 'An 8 is needed, this card adds 4, roll an 11, okay done'. It is dry, but unfortunately very true.

Screenshot for Pathfinder Adventures  on PC

This leads to the problem that despite what the game attempts to convey (dodging traps, beating enemies, et cetera) each turn is really just flipping a card. Click whatever card might currently help, roll and resolve. It doesn't really matter if it is a sneaking mission, a huge fight, or trying to open a treasure, they really all just come down to rolling the dice and moving on.

In a real life setting it could be great fun being the nimble elf easily dodging traps while their friend is the tough fighter who handles all the monsters. In this game though, it is hard to feel anything. It is either something the character is good at, or it isn't. They either pass it, or the card goes away and that is that. Once the rhythm is figured out of what each card does, it devolves into just clicking through things, taking away the entire 'role playing' aspect of it.

Screenshot for Pathfinder Adventures  on PC

This is most notable with fights, especially the boss fights. They literally are decided by a single roll and assuming the deck is loaded enough, it is very rare to lose. With this realization, the thrills never build, as it is the simple repetition of selecting the same cards and then rolling the dice to win.

A few other issues include a series of bugs that were encountered, with a few cards not working as they should've, or a few graphical issues where cards hung around on the screen. There are a multitude of micro-transactions of spending real money for more cards. While not needed, these 'pay-to-win' aspects can be quite off-putting.

Screenshot for Pathfinder Adventures  on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

While Pathfinder Adventures is largely a faithful reproduction of the board game, in many cases this is not enough. A single player romp through a card game designed to be played in real life leaves much to be desired. There is nothing majorly wrong with the game, but Pathfinder Adventures is entirely average as the gameplay quickly devolves into endlessly clicking dice and cards without meaning.

Developer

Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher

Asmodee Digital

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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