Trials of Fire (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 22.03.2022

Review for Trials of Fire  on PC

One of the oldest, most beloved strategy game series was Heroes of Might and Magic which peaked in the second and third game, ironically largely becoming worse as iterations went on. Though Trials of Fire does not have the base building part, there are clear inspirations from the over-world map, and the tactical battles. In this case though, battles are done with a card system that is fairly engaging.

Coming as a surprise, Trials of Fire is remarkably competent in a field of games that have really ballooned as of late. Often after seeing game after game in a series they all start to blur together: the ideas are not that original, the game is not that fun, and nothing really stands out. Sometimes it feels like it is getting too old or jaded for the medium. All of this is stated because this game actually feels like a fresh new spark in a sea of derivative trash.

The game takes place after some apocalypse where the three heroes wander around the wastelands fighting and doing small quests. The overworld part of the game offers choices of where to go, finding resources, weapons, materials or battles. Character gear can be modified which changes their battle cards, it is a unique system that will be explained in a moment. This part is a race against time as food, morale and fatigue are all grinding the heroes down, thus they cannot meander forever.

Screenshot for Trials of Fire  on PC

Battles are addictive in their simple but deep gameplay. There are three heroes on the characters' side, as they battle anywhere from one to eight or more enemies on the other side in a type of boardgame-esque experience. Every turn each hero draws three cards from their specialized decks. The hunter characters gets ranged cards, the fighter gets defence cards, and the magic user gets magic-like cards. Cards control everything they do, if you are lacking an attack card, you simply are not attacking that turn. It offers a great turn by turn interest as one character may get a great draw, and someone else gets a bad one even though they really needed it.

It is more involved as there are types of buffs that are very good but expensive to use; as well as most cards have other costs to be used so it is not simply using all cards every time. It makes a pretty cool choice for example when the hunter draws a bunch of great buff cards that would be good for the longer term battle, but it would require the other characters to pass on doing anything their turn. Conversely everyone could perform small attacks one turn to eliminate one enemy, but would not be as strong for the next turn.

A single run through or two is a great time and really fun for the most part. The problem is after a run, a player has seen most of the game. It was very fun to see how everything goes together, but there is little reason to try again. There is too much luck in the end, for how long a run through takes. There is not the feeling of 'lets try one more time', its a one or two and done sort of game.

Screenshot for Trials of Fire  on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

There are some rough spots with the UI, a bit of repetition with some overworld aspects, but nitpicks aside Trials of Fire was actually highly enjoyable both as a strategy game, and a deck builder. The fact the game has some strong Heroes of Might and Magic vibes going on is icing on the cake. The problem comes through that a single play (~2-4 hours) is about all it takes to get most out of the game. After that players likely won't be back.

Developer

Whatboy Games

Publisher

Whatboy Games

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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