sun 20/08/2017

Pathfinder Adventures | reviews, news & interviews

Pathfinder Adventures

Pathfinder Adventures

A clever card game that benefits from a digital makeover

'Pathfinder Adventures', a game crying out for computerisation

Pathfinder started life as a tabletop role-playing game. A spin-off from the classic Dungeons & Dragons, it was created during a schism over the direction the main game was taking and quickly established itself as a rival with a fanatical following.

The game’s publishers, Pazio, then created a further spin-off in the form of a collectable card game, Pathfinder Adventures, which captured the essence of the full game in quick-to-play adventures using cards and dice rolls to simulate both combat and exploration. The card game is well liked but perhaps a bit complicated, with lots of dice-rolling and mental arithmetic required to calculate the odds of victory. In short, it's the kind of game that could easily benefit from computerisation, and that's exactly what we have here.

Once you beat the villain and they are unable to flee, you win. Or not

The Android and iOS versions of Pathfinder Adventures use virtual cards and dice but handle all the rules and difficult sums for you, leaving behind a pretty enjoyable game for one or more players. A typical game is an episode in an ongoing storyline, often with special rules and decks of cards specific to that episode. The basic idea is fairly simple – you need to defeat a villain in each adventure, and that villain can be hiding in one of several locations on the map. Each location is represented by a deck of cards and the villain (along with their henchmen) is shuffled randomly into one of the decks. You must travel to each location and explore by turning over a card from its deck on each turn.

A card might be an item such as a weapon or magic potion, which you can keep if you manage to roll equal or less than the number printed on it, or it might contain an obstacle or a monster that you must defeat. A character’s life is represented by the number of cards left in their own deck. As you play cards from your hand or have them removed when you suffer defeat in combat, you must replace them from cards in your deck. Once you run out of cards, you are dead. Your aim is to "close" each location (exhaust the deck) before uncovering the villain. Once you beat the villain and they are unable to flee, you win. Or not.

Pathfinder AdventuresThe game could easily be seen as simple and repetitive, but there are subtleties where players can build unique decks to try new strategies and play styles. It really benefits from its digital makeover, both in terms of simplifying play and in the gorgeous card graphics and illustrations for characters and locales. Multiplayer is confined to "pass and play" on the same tablet at the moment, but online multiplayer has been promised soon.

Pathfinder Adventures is free to download and play through the first campaign of adventures – Perils of the Lost Coast. Additional adventures can be bought for in-game gold, as can extra characters and chests containing random booster cards. In practice, earning that gold purely by playing the game would take a long, long time, but if you love the game a £20-ish bundle will get you everything, including future expansions. If you enjoy traditional role-playing games or card battler-style games like Hearthstone or Pokemon, then this is one to check out. 

@stuarthoughton

Players can build unique decks to try new strategies and play styles

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters