Foretales, the tried and true of a different narrative game based on cards

Foretales, the tried and true of a different narrative game based on cards


In recent years, card games have increasingly depopulated in the videogame field. Even without considering titles like Hearthstone and clones, in the roguelike field many teams have tried this path, with great successes like Slay the Spire.

Card games, however, can also try other ways, as demonstrated by Inscryption, which blends escape room and adventure. Now, it's the turn of Foretales, a card-based narrative game, but a far cry from the classic deck-building that players are used to.

The game is expected this summer on PC and Nintendo Switch, but we got to explore the first four hours of the game, understanding the mechanics and central ideas of this interesting adventure.

Here are all the details, in this trial of Foretales.


Volepain, protagonist of Foretales The world of Foretales immediately recalls the Sherwood of Disney's Robin Hood : anthropomorphic animals of different natures live, in fact, in a medieval-like society. We are the volatile Volepain, a thief with a heart of gold, the son of a miner. At our side is Leo, a tiger who has found a job that can give us all the money we need.

The job is to steal a lira from a noble of the city. The only problem is, when we get there, Volepain starts having strange visions of the future, showing catastrophic events. From now on, our goal is to change the course of history.

Foretales is divided into missions, which allow us to block the various events at the center of our visions and open new paths. Each negative event has a counter, which indicates how many missions can be completed before that future occurs. In the trial, we had two or three shifts to act and it is clear that we cannot save everything and everyone. From phase to phase you have to make choices and, as confirmed by the developers, the game is meant to be replayed, so as to discover alternative endings and attempt missions that have previously been ignored.

The tutorial board of Foretales Furthermore, we have found that it's not just missions that define the future. Within each level there are also small optional tasks, which allow you to get bonuses that change events. In one specific case, a certain action required us to carry out several steps in different missions, in order to obtain a very useful tool (this is an important plot element and we cannot be more precise).

Don't think then that the endings are just a narrative matter. From the beginning we can choose to leave Leo in prison (he is captured after we get the lira). During the trial we were also able to get two other characters, but we are sure that at least one of the two (at the player's choice) can be left behind. You can therefore go from having four characters to having only two, significantly changing the rest of the missions of the tried.

For the moment, the plot is interesting, with various mysterious characters that could turn out to be multifaceted in the advanced stages of game. Even the protagonists are pleasant, always ready to comment on the game actions we have carried out. It always feels like you're leading a party of characters in a D&D session (there's also a great storyteller, voiced by Critical Role's Travis Willingham), rather than playing a card game alone.


The cards with the gold border allow you to advance in the Foretales storyline How do you play Foretales, though? Each mission is represented as a kind of card game on a wooden table. There is a game board, where setting boxes appear. Each space includes a card showing a location, taken from a dedicated deck. If we are in a city, for example, there will be alleys, markets, squares and so on. Each mission asks us to carry out tasks in the setting, such as finding a person within a specific setting card.

To act, we have a hand of cards, drawn from the decks of the characters we have brought with us in the mission. Each PC has four or five types of actions and a limited number of cards. Volepain can for example eavesdrop on conversations, or use dust to create a diversion. Leo can use his nose to find food or use his bow to eliminate someone from a distance.

Each action card allows you to put one of the setting cards back in the deck and place a new one, perhaps obtaining some small bonuses such as food and money. Often, however, it is more convenient to use a specific card that unlocks "hidden" areas that are not normally present in the deck and cannot appear on their own. In these areas we can get better resources.

The exploration side of the game is therefore all about using the right cards to find the right places. Secondary spaces are also important, as it is essential to collect resources, such as the aforementioned money and food. Then there is a value of "honor" and one of "evil". All of these resources are useful for interacting with some cards. A couple of examples: a "crowd of people" setting honors you for giving food, while a "merchant" setting rewards you with food for giving money.


Fights Turn-based Foretales pits our characters against multiple enemies. Resources, however, are also useful for combat. Often, certain environments are blocked by some enemies and to advance in that direction a battle must be won. You can win with a real automatic turn-based combat in which each character attacks the card that he has in front of him. Often, however, it is the less recommended solution, as losing all the Health Points of even one character leads to the failure of the mission (failing a mission does not penalize the plot, you can simply try again or change the mission, without punishment).

Victories come first of all by paying enemies with money to make them escape, or by intimidating them with "evil" points or by using other accumulated resources. Additionally, character action cards have dedicated effects in combat.

Some simply boost their attack for a turn, but others can stun enemies, fake run away, or lower their morale. This is a central stat, as by resetting morale we will make all enemies flee. Each fight therefore assumes a tactical slant, in search of the best way to overcome the situation while wasting as few resources as possible.

Acting in a very violent way, among other things, will also activate dedicated dialogues, where we are pointed out that we are leaving behind us a trail of corpses.

Finally, we specify that we avoid delving into various types of cards and actions, secondary things that are not fundamental to understanding the core of Foretales, but which help to make each mission always varied .

Some cards affect the entire Foretales enemy group Graphically, Foretales is delightfully drawn. The cards are all beautiful and, with the help of Christophe Héral's soundtrack (Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil) and the sound effects, it truly feels like being inside the settings drawn on the small playing cards.

Foretales turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The game system is accessible but interesting. Our actions have a weight on the plot and on the characters, but also on the whole of the single mission. The value of replayability, already proven in this, was palpable. Furthermore, the game world is artistically very pleasant. We find no reason not to tell you right now to put it on your Wish List. Obviously, we will have to wait for the final version to find out if the game formula will hold up for the entire adventure, but for now the conditions are excellent.


Artistically excellent Action and tactical exploration , but accessible Our actions have a big impact on the fate of the characters DOUBT The plot is interesting, but we have seen very little Will you be able to stay fresh until the last minute of play? Have you noticed any errors?

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