Taking elements from history and video games is always a tricky business. This latest indie game does that in quite the weird way, and it kind of works. Gordian Quest is a new tactical roguelike from indie team Mixed Realms. Mixed Realms has previously worked on various VR titles, so this quite the leap for them. It looks like their goals are admirable, as the company is attempting to marry the ideals of strategic decision-making, tactical card games, and extreme difficulty into a history-inspired RPG roguelike fusion. But I guess the first question you might have is, why the strange title.
The Gordian Knot is a rather well-known folktale surrounding the legendary Macedonian leader and general, Alexander the Great. The legend may not be true, but it seemingly demonstrates a prevailing idea about the historical figure. The Gordian Knot was this legendarily difficult puzzle, that seemingly no mortal could solve. The myth surrounding the Knot was that whoever managed to undo it, would conquer all of Asia. Alexander supposedly cut it to ribbons with his sword, cementing another place in history for the commander of Macedon.
So considering all of that, how does it relate to a card game?
As the developers describe Gordian Quest, it’s all about building your own legend. By blending strategical considerations and deck-building of a card game with a fantastical setting, the player is open to meet challenges head-on and conquer them. And there will be challenges, as this game is a tough-as-nails roguelike.
As the player moves through the various areas on their adventure, you will build your party from six legendary heroes, each with their own unique abilities and spells. You can also customize their loadout with legendary loot and treasure picked from the corpses of your slain enemies. There’s a ton of customization options here, so those base 6 heroes actually have a fair bit of replayability within them.
The gameplay is still a bit of a mystery, but we can see enough of a snippet from the trailer above to get an idea of what the developer is going for. There’s definitely some inspiration taken from the likes of Slay the Spire, but it feels like Mixed Realms is going for their own feel as well.
Gordian Quest will release on Steam Early Access in Q1 2020. There isn’t any word on pricing, but you can wishlist the game on Steam.