There’s a unique atmosphere that comes with Tabletop RPGs; sitting down with a group of friends, binging snacks as you roll your dice. Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars takes this idea and attempts to create a world centered around it.
Based on this TTRPG structure, Voice of Cards presents the narrative to players through a Dungeon Master, who voices every character. Cards and pieces on a board reflect the world and movement. I admit that I was apprehensive about the title only using a single voice actor at first, but as I spent more time playing, his voice fit the atmosphere well. It wasn’t long before I felt like I was experiencing a proper tabletop adventure.
The art direction is beautiful and reminiscent of Square Enix’s more notable titles. The illustrations and memorable designs stick out in players’ minds, maybe even more than 3D models would. Although, it was evident to me when a character card reused art. This issue is most prominent with enemies and common NPCs. So, I would only hope that more variety is added between the common NPCs in the full release.
The demo has some issues with loading. I frequently found myself putting down my Switch to do something else as I waited. In addition, the tutorials exasperate this issue, and I found I spent half my time waiting for the tutorial to finish. If loading didn’t take up most of that time, I would have been fine, but as it stands, the full release should take these lengthy load screens into account.
In contrast, combat moved fluidly, and I was able to understand the system immediately. However, I never put much thought into what I was choosing, in most cases just using my primary attack. As a result, my foes didn’t stand much chance, but I never felt particularly challenged.
There is a vast potential for more depth when recreating a tabletop environment, and it’s disappointing that the TTRPG background is underutilized by combat. I felt as if I was playing a standard RPG, except I didn’t need to worry about MP or HP. While the boss managed to down a character, my two other party members were fine, and I didn’t care enough to revive my fallen comrade. This may have been just for the demo to be more accessible to new players, but I would like a more significant challenge.
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is an ambitious title, and I am looking forward to the full release with some minor tweaks to combat, loading, and art variety. However, If you enjoy TTRPGs, then it’s worth a shot. It may not be perfect, but it provided an immersive experience of hanging out with friends on an imaginative adventure.
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