Rarely have I ever been in a situation where the fourth wall wasn’t just shattered in one direction but two.
When I play Hand of Fate by Defiant Development I really have to ask who is the Magician?
Hand of Fate is a Dungeon Crawl in Steam’s Early Access Programme. It tells the tale of a Magician who created a mystical card game and then challenged people to beat it… he also must have been taking bets on it as after the third Early Access Expansion, he’d gone from a Hut on the edge of the world to a Castle with a Massive Hall (seriously where the magician was wasn’t broke so don’t fix it).
A maze of cards is created and you choose to move UP, DOWN, LEFT or RIGHT. When you reveal a card an event can occur. It can be a decision, a mini game where you choose 1 of 4 cards after shuffling OR you take control of your pawn to navigate a maze or fight monsters.
Everything is shown by cards, rewards, penalties, equipment, enemies, blessings and curses which are “Drawn” when needed. I have placed my play-through playlist at the bottom of the Blog for those who wish to see me make a complete idiot of myself.
The fact that we are playing a computer game about playing against a guy who has designed a magical card game doesn’t just smash the fourth wall but also passes straight through the game back to the developers.
Let me explain the situation I’m playing the game when the Magician says “I made that card too powerful!”. I pause for a few seconds… what did he mean by that, did the character believe he made the card too powerful OR is that a warning from the Developers that this card could get nerfed in the future?
There have been several occasions where my motives have been challenged, messages that the Magician made comments that developers would make during play-testing to each other, in some cases a direct message to the players who have bought the game.
This is a gem of a game not for the polish (it needs a lot) but for the unique way it works. The way that it is just you across the table from the Magician and him pulling you in by just talking to you and as such provides a link between you and the developers.
Oh and here I am making an idiot of myself.