• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

Power Chord Preview – A Rocking Roguelike Deck Build That Strikes A Chord

ByLinda W. Smith

Jun 13, 2022

When I first played Power Chord at PAX East, I was quite intrigued by the premise. The game is inspired by acclaimed roguelike deck-building titles like Slay the Spire and Monster Train and is set in a world where Earth’s Mightiest Musicians must battle hordes of metal undead using the power of rock. .

Right off the bat, I was drawn in, as the visuals made me feel like I was fighting the devil with Tenacious D. The gameplay is also quite comfortable, as it uses the same structure as most other titles in the genre.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t play a lot of Power Chord when I got my hands on it, because there wasn’t much time and play to play. As such, I left feeling there was more to experiment with as far as mechanics go.

After playing the preview demo for a few hours, I can safely say that Power Chord is going to be a hit for roguelike deck building fans. Much like the PAX East demo, the preview version of the game launches you right at the start of an all-new series.

The team consists of the usual suspects that make up most rock bands: a vocalist, bass, drummer, and guitarist. Each of these characters has class specialties and skills. The vocalist is support, the bass is magic that buffs and debuffs, the drummer is armor and defense, and the guitarist is all about damage.

While it takes a bit of time to figure out how these characters fit together, it doesn’t take long before the music starts flowing. To perform each member’s musical magic, players must draw and play cards, each representing a different attack, defense, buff or debuff mechanic that plays a vital role in helping your team survive.

Six cards are drawn from your deck at the start of each round, each with clear instructions on what they do, how much they cost to use, and which member uses them. Each turn, players can only use cards equal to the amount of lightning power they have on their side. As such, there’s a lot of strategy that goes into choosing which cards to play.

Do you want to give everything to the attack? So you better make sure you have enough power to take out your opponents, otherwise they will attack your open characters when it’s their shot.

Do you think the best offense is a good defense? While it might be in some situations, you need to deal damage if you want to defeat the Hellmoth demons and make it to the after-party.

The group isn’t the only one with special powers, however, as Hellmouth’s enemy demons are also quite varied. Instead of just being opponents who have different armor and attack stats, Power Chord has you facing off against demons who also have their own special skills.

Even if a demon doesn’t have great health stats, it’s deadly when it comes to inflicting long-lasting debuffs that will do damage long after being defeated on the battlefield. Small details and accolades like this add another fine layer of thought that needs to come into play with every stroke when playing Power Chord.

The good part about Power Chord is that it has a fairly gentle difficulty slope. In the roughly two hours I played, only one of my characters bit the dust, and that’s when I faced the final build boss.

Now, that’s not to say the game is a piece of cake. It’s just that the reward and pathing system is very well structured in the beginning to help players feel comfortable with the game. Instead of just throwing hard matchup after hard matchup to begin with, Power Chord adds enough rest, treasure, and sell points to make things feel fair.

Rest is obviously important, as it allows you to bring a party member back from the dead, sufficiently heal the entire team, or fully heal a specific character. Treasures and shops are where the real Power Chord strategy comes in.

At each of these locations, you’ll receive items or have the option to purchase items with the money you’ve earned from battling each race. Each character can be equipped with five of these items, which do everything from giving their attacks more damage or increasing their defense.

It might sound simple, but picking the right items to equip for the right character results in some pretty deadly and impressive stacks. It’s also important to note that items cannot be deleted once assigned, so there is another piece of strategy and planning that needs to be in place with each assignment.

power chord

In addition to these items, these slots give you the opportunity to buy more cards that will improve your deck. Beware though, because not only are these cards reset after each run, but by adding more cards to your deck, you have more cards to draw. That might sound like a good thing, but sometimes less is more when you really want to draw a specific quality card, but you can because your deck is overflowing.

That said, I really think Power Chord is going to surprise a lot of people when it releases on PC via Steam in Q3 2022. Its aesthetics are great and the gameplay is fun but unique enough that fans of roguelike deck building will keep going. to beg for one more recall.


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