Steam Link Spotlight - Roguebook

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 23rd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry looked at Genesis Noir. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.

It's becoming a trend now: PC card games by and large work well on touch interfaces. That is part of the reason why this entry focuses on Roguebook. Other big reasons we're taking a look at it include the fact that Richard Garfield--creator of Magic: The Gathering and (more recently) Keyforge--worked on the design of the card game while the game itself was developed by Abrakam, the team behind what is still my absolute favorite digital collectible card game, Faeria. Side note: Faeria is also great on Steam Link.

Unlike Abrakam's previous card game, Roguebook isn't a multiplayer collectible card game. As it's name implies, this is a roguelike dungeon-crawler, though it breaks a lot of the conventions established by modern genre classics like Slay the Spire. You play as a duo of heroes with unique cards and abilities, there's a nonlinear overworld you have to uncover to progress, and the card game is less designed around deck optimization and more around experimentation.

There's still plenty of Faeria DNA in Roguebook, though. Abrakam has set this game in the same universe as their previous title, so the heroes you control should be relatively familiar faces and some cards mimic those of their multiplayer counterparts. Similarly, the overworld in Roguebook is a hex-based grid that you have to construct a path forward on, though instead of literally placing land tiles you're using ink pickups you get as combat rewards or just lying around the map to clear out fog. All that said, players should have no problem hopping right into Roguebook even if they've never heard of Faeria before. It's card-based combat is very intuitive and its card descriptions are clear.

As a Steam Link experience, Roguebook controls just like you'd expect a card game streaming to another device to. The direct mouse input mostly feels natural, though sometimes tapping on a card to read it can activate it on release if it doesn't need a specific target. If you do this once, you learn a workaround really quickly and then it becomes a non-issue. Even if you do find yourself making misplays by accident, Roguebook's somewhat loose design also makes it so small mistakes don't immediately put you on a road to ruin.

The further you get in Roguebook, the more modifiers, heroes, and cards you gain access to. Some of these unlocks are immediately accessible in your current run, but some are reserved for you to try out only after you begin a new one. With this kind of replayability being the core of Roguebook, it's easy to recommend as a game to stream to your device for a good long time.

Roguebook was developed by Abrakam and published by Nacon. It launched on June 17, 2021 and is available on Steam for $24.99.

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