Hand of Fate Review
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Hand of Fate. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

If nothing else, Defiant Development’s Hand of Fate should be commended for just how well it performs it’s unique and ambitious juggling act. It’s part collectible card game, part action RPG interface is one that many developers wouldn’t even dare try for fear of it becoming a jumbled mess but somehow Hand of Fate is a remarkably fun and engaging experience, especially if you’re able to devote the time the game asks of you to truly understand it’s mechanics. Though some of it’s moving parts feel inferior to others; namely the simplified combat and frame-rate issues on the console versions, Hand of Fate deserves to be checked out, if just for the novelty factor.

...unique take on multiple genres...
<em>Hand of Fate</em> Review Screenshot

While playing through Hand of Fate I couldn’t determine whether it’s unique take on multiple genres was a risky one or a genius move that I was amazed no one thought of before now. It takes the best aspects of collectible card games like Dungeons and Dragons and adds in a mostly fully playable action RPG experience. You’ll spend most of the game sitting across from a hooded figure as he doles out cards to you in a fashion more like a carrot card reader than a Magic: the Gathering deck builder. Anyone who’s familiar with games like Magic and D&D will find themselves at home here as the dealer hands out everything from equipment cards which give you weapons and armor to action cards which propel games and the story forward.

There’s a great deal of player choice in Hand of Fate and that goes a long way in making the game feel so unique. Action cards present you with scenarios that you’ll have to make choices how to handle. One early card for example had a troll dressed like a man approaching me and making demands. I could either engage him in conversation, shoo him away or just meet his demands.I chatted him up and the eventual outcome was me getting a shield to take into battle with me. Other action cards give you even more choice, like whether to go down a certain path or how you’ll handle certain situations, which sometimes opens up several different games of chance that effect the outcome and direction of your game greatly.

I worried early on that Hand of Fate’s card based mechanics would get old way too fast, especially when I started seeing the same cards pop up again and again but there’s enough of a risk VS reward system built in and more than enough surprises to keep you going. As you play through the roughly ten-hour campaign you’ll start to realize just how you like to play the game, and begin to build your own custom deck to better suit that play style. You’ll learn when it’s best to use certain cards and which ones mean the most against which bosses. There’s also an endless mode, which I found myself enjoying a lot more than a good portion of the story mode since it felt forced at times. Before I even knew it I found myself clamoring for the rewards the dealer would throw my way because it often meant opening up portions of the game I hadn’t seen before.

...in fact it’ almost too simple.
<em>Hand of Fate</em> Review Screenshot

What sets Hand of Fate apart from other card based games though is that it sets all of it’s combat and puzzle sections in fully playable action RPG scenes. Draw a combat or ambush card and the dealer will also draw a card to see how many of the enemies you’ll fight. It’s a unique system that’s at it’s best an ambitious mechanic and at it’s worst barely functional. Combat is similar to the Batman: Arkham series but in the loosest form possible. Encounters are rhythm based and you’ll counter when you see the icon above your enemies head. It’s a simple system, in fact it’ almost too simple. You’ll be able to get past most of the enemies with simple button mashing and the ones you can’t require only the most basic understanding of video game logic, like which enemy to attack first, or finding the big glowing weak spot on your enemies. The game throws eleven bosses your way during the campaign and they throw occasional curve balls your way but they’re nothing you’ll fail at by any stretch of the imagination (unless you count the camera system).

I was also disappointed in the lack of customization the game offered. Your character is the typical pirate video game protagonist and you have very few options in the way of changing that, in fact you have almost none. Beyond the weapons and equipment you’ll find and equip through the game there’s literally no customization options here. You spend the whole game playing as this guy, why not be able to make him your own? The game’s visuals look very similar to that of similar action RPG Fable, so it’s not like the character models are that detailed anyways. It’s also important to note that the game suffers from some pretty serious frame rate issues on the console versions of the game, though the PC version rarely had these issues.

There’s a lot to love about Hand of Fate, especially it’s ambitious attempt to juggle multiple genres. While it’s more successful in some aspects, like the depth of its card based game, others, like the combat feel less well implemented. It’s unique nature though makes it an easy recommendation to anyone who likes casual strategy games or is just looking for something new.

Overall:  7/10 Presentation: 6 Gameplay: 8 
Lasting Appeal: 8 CHEATfactor: 7 
CHEATS USED: Always Successful at Chance Cards, Add Food, Add Gold, more

By far, I used the always successful at chance cards cheat more than any other in the trainer for Hand of Fate from Cheat Happens. It put me more in control of the direction of my own game and that combined with the cheats for things like add food and gold made for a remarkable combination that helps get through the game at much quicker pace.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on Hand of Fate!