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Deck of Ashes

"The Outcasts brought Ash Curse upon us all, and they are the only ones who can lift it." - Ash Master. Deck of Ashes is an adventure game with tactical card combat. One character at a time, lead the cast of antiheroes on a quest for redemption. Explore the cursed fantasy world and hunt down powerful cards. Put your survival and resource management skills to the test when upgrading your Camp of allies. The choices that drive your journey - where to go, which resource to collect, which risk to take, and which card to craft - are the difference between success and untimely demise. Features Creative deck-building - collect combat cards that fit your unique playstyle and crush the enemy! Unique hand-drawn eerie art style. Dynamic dark fantasy world - travel through a procedurally generated, changing world in search for cards, supplies and glory! Various biomes that harbour different monster classes - each biome affects the gameplay and offers a unique set of opponents! Survival and resource management - you have limited opportunities to restore health or spent cards, so use them wisely! Camp - strategically improve your base depending on your style of play. Permadeath - unless you use the help of dark magic, then when you die, you die for good.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

I'm enjoying the heck out of this game - although I get that it's not for everyone. I agree with many of the comments in the negative reviews... it's a lot longer and more complex than similar deck-builder rogue-likes. But I guess I don't see that as a big negative like some do - to each their own I guess.
I have to admit... one criticism I've read I'm not yet sure about: the replay-ability complaints... currently i'm at 34 hours played and have only won with 2 of the 4 characters - seems like pretty good value so far, and I have 2 more characters and other game modes to go (I've played the two characters... I just haven't won with them). Plus like many games in the genre, you unlock the possibility of new card options (and other perks) after each run, so it feels to me that even though (for example) I won with the rogue with a bleed build, there could be other viable builds beyond the obvious poison alternative. So... I'm still motivated to continue playing.
I think that if you haven't played games like Slay the Spire, Monster Train, or even Monster Slayers, you should try them out first before coming here. This game throws several twists into the formula, including light resource gathering and more thoughtful deck management in battles - so I think it's advisable to cut your teeth on the more straightforward games to see if you even like this type of game.
If you've played StS or MT and don't like them... I'd recommend staying away from Deck of Ashes. It's not different enough on the core game play to make someone love it over a dislike of card-battling rogue-likes.
If you're a fan of Sts and/or MT (or similar), then maybe this will help you decide if this game is for you... what I see as the biggest difference is that you have to manage your deck a lot more carefully here than in those games... the biggest single game changer to me is that when you play a card in a battle, it gets exhausted and doesn't come back to your draw deck by itself (normally). When your draw deck is very low, you get a special card you can play that damages you in order to pull 5 random cards back from the exhausted deck. Adding to the fun, there are cards you can have in your deck that only work when they're exhausted (so you have to figure out how to get/keep them there), and others still that can't be played but do their actions when you draw them. And you can normally discard up to 3 cards (your pick) from your hand into your draw deck every turn. Additionally, several enemies can infect your deck with maladies like plague cards, which damage you when you draw them, and cost you action points (what you spend to play cards) in order for you to exhaust them. And once the combat is done, you don't get all your played cards back from the exhausted pile... you have a limited number you get back, so you have to pick and choose... or run back to your base in order to un-exhaust all your cards.
There are a number of other things in this game that I'm enjoying (such as, IMO, the four playable characters feel very different from each other)... but if the battle mechanics mentioned above don't interest you, then maybe this just isn't the game for you.

Review from Steam

This game is great! And it certainly deserves a much better review score! Naturally, Slay the Spire and Monster Train are better, so I would recommend getting them first. If you have already played your share of StS and MT, this game brings a LOT of new concepts and variety to the genre.
It is different, so here are the things you should know before you get it:
1. the runs are much much longer (e.g. my first run was 30min, but my second run was 8hr long), so it is not really a rogue-lite like other similar games. You can of course exit and continue at any point. You can't have multiple "saves", but you can buy "resurrection", so that if you die you get resurrected (I didn't buy any, as you can use that money to get stronger). On the other hand, it does have additional cards and modifiers and traits that you can unlock after the run, like in rogue-likes. Also starting hand for each run can be drafted, which is a lot of fun! I recommend playing a standard character deck first (just to understand the mechanics), and drafting on following runs. So it does have some rogue-lite elements: if you hit a wall (and/or get killed), you can unlock some additional cards, draft a different starting deck and try a different strategy.
2. This game has many different resources that you can collect to upgrade your base. Your base (with upgrades) allows you to: get new cards, upgrade some cards, remove cards, buy items, heal, increase your stats, buy "resurrection", buy and equip traits, heal "ailments" (curse cards), move cards between discard and draw pile, etc. This adds another level of strategy to the game and this is one of the reasons why the runs take much longer.
3. Your deck doesn't work the same way as in other games: you can't discard at will (unused cards don't get discarded) and you can't reshuffle your discard pile (you need to use special cards, abilities, camps, items or your base to return cards from the discard pile). Some cards have effects only when they are in the discard pile. This (and some other mechanics) means that the way you construct your deck is completely different from StS or MT, which I think is great!
4. There are tons of cards and many different mechanics. There are common cards that any character can use and each character has his own large collection of cards. Additional cards can be unlocked after each run.
5. To finish the run you need to complete 3 levels. On each level you can perform 72 actions and after that you will need to fight the boss. An action can be: moving to one of the connected tiles on the map, extracting a resource, opening a chest, using teleportation gates (naturally, if a tile contains a monster or event, those will occur). The map has different difficulty zones - the further from the base the harder the battles (and larger rewards). You are free to do anything you want, so you can stay closer to the base and avoid harder battles or even avoid all the battles (though I'm not sure if it's a viable strategy, as fighting battles gives you the most rewards). So it's a risk/reward game: you can continue going further and gathering more stuff or return to base to get stronger (but you will need to spend many "moves" to run to the base and back). You can also plan your "route" strategically to minimize wasting moves on backtracking through the empty tiles.
I have just finished it with one character and there are 3 more characters with completely different play styles and cards. I would estimate that you will need around 30-50 hours to finish the game with every character. And there are different ways to play each character too, so I believe it has plenty of value. That being said, I prefer to finish the game and move to the next; I'm not a fan of replaying the same game for hundreds of hours, so I can't judge whether it's good at that or not.
TLDR: I fully recommend the game for those who already have StS and MT, and want more variety. I bought it at 50% discount for $9.99 and I think at that price it's a bargain!

Review from Steam

This is a decent roguelike with deck mechanics. There are some interesting play styles possible, but it's a lot easier to beat than most roguelikes I've played. (I cleared it on my first run, which I've never pulled off with a roguelike before.) Fun for a playthrough or two but probably not fun enough to play many times after the first.

Review from Steam

its a dope game, get it on sale for sure.

Review from Steam

I enjoy the graphics, the story mode, and the variety of characters.