Voice of Cards Trilogy review (PS4)

Square Enix’s three Voice of Cards games were released in 2021 and 2022, but never made it to PlayStation until now. As we’d heard good things about them, we were eager to try them out – here’s a look at the Voice of Cards Trilogy.

The Voice of Cards games can be described as experimental, unfolding as card-based adventures in a fantasy world where everything is presented as a tabletop game through cards. The result is a unique experience that will appeal to fans of card games and role-playing games alike, and something that (outside of this trilogy of games) is going to be hard to find.

At first glance, Voice of Cards looks like a simple card game with relatively basic graphics, but it’s the game’s storytelling what sets it apart. The entire game is narrated by a dungeon master, who provides descriptions of each action and decision the player makes. The writing is excellent, and the dungeon master’s voice is perfect for setting the mood of each scene.

voice of cards3

The gameplay itself is also surprisingly deep. The player controls a party of three characters, each with their own deck of cards representing their abilities and equipment. The cards are used to move, attack, defend, and use special abilities in battles and non-combat situations. Each character has a limited number of action points that can be spent per turn, so the player must carefully plan their moves to avoid getting overwhelmed by enemies.

The game’s difficulty can be challenging at times, especially in boss battles, but it never feels unfair. Each defeat is a learning opportunity, and the player can always try again with a different strategy or deck configuration. The game also offers plenty of side quests and exploration opportunities, which add to the game’s replayability.

Visually, you’ll quickly warm up to the charm that Voice of Cards hides among its cards, figurines and dice rolls. The game’s graphics look like hand-drawn illustrations on a tabletop game board, and is supported by an excellent soundtrack, mixing orchestral and folk-inspired tracks that perfectly complement the game’s medieval fantasy setting.

The first game, The Isle Dragon Roars, will likely leave the biggest impression with its unique and engaging card-based adventure format and strong emphasis on storytelling and gameplay. And while Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden looks and feel similar, a few differences set the games apart from one another.

voice of cards2

While The Isle Dragon Roars features a more traditional fantasy setting, The Forsaken Maiden moves more towards a darker, more macabre world inspired by horror and gothic literature. Its story follows a group of adventurers trying to escape a cursed castle, with each chapter introducing new characters and challenges.

The Forsaken Maiden is also a bit more linear than The Isle Dragon Roars, with a focus on dungeon crawling and puzzle-solving rather than exploration, and as such has fewer side quests and optional content, making it a shorter experience overall. Both can be played as standalone experiences though, and that’s also true for the third and last game in the trilogy: The Beasts of Burden.

The Beasts of Burden leans more into the anthropomorphic animal designs of the series and introduces a monster catching mechanic. Despite the card-centric look and feel of all these games they play more like a JRPG than a deckbuilder, which is initially surprising when you consider the unique aesthetic. Now that they’re available as a trilogy bundle on PlayStation you can grab them at a discount too, but our advice would be to try out the free demo first – if you enjoy that, you’ll have a good time with the experimental approach in all three games in this bundle.

Score: 7.5/10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: