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Patience is Required to Advance in Castle Morihisa

Available for PC (Steam) and Nintendo Switch

Coming from the world of collectible card games, Smokingbear Studio’s Castle Morihisa is a familiar product. The artwork reminds me of the early days of Magic the Gathering and not only is this game a deckbuilder type product but also include rogue-like battle elements. There’s more than a few cards that resembles popular ones from the Revised set, and here, players have to finessee their deck so that your character can take down foes with ease. Finding those rares are tough, and it requires dedicated weeks of play to find them.

Instead of button smashing, you are card slashing your way through various yokai and natural predators while headed to the tower. The goal is to banish evil from the land. There’s a rebellion brewing somewhere, and it’s up to players to stop that from happening.

The narrative element is light. There’s just enough in-game story to have me wanting to know what’s coming next, but without cutscenes, my interest started waning. I was wondering why my chosen avatar was on this mission of survival. You have the choice of playing a Monk, Onmyoji, Samurai or Ninja, and you have to play them all in order to progress deeper into the story.

Players are not expected to win outright. I like this aspect since with more gameplay hours invested, the more features are unlocked. You keep on fighting and accruing coins and other sundries that will eventually lead to being able to customise rather than randomise your deck. There are also Fallen Warriors you can recruit to help you in that quest.

Better card actions and abilities show up in the shop, and not all of them are there for players to use forever. They offer more finesse than the basic set of actions offered. Just like MtG, there are cards to heal your avatar. It’s not about dying outright either. The more experience you gain, the better gameplay is later, when you understand how it all works. You’re not mindlessly battling it out. 

There are also single use cards (special abilities) that can be played. There are no guides to let you know what’s what. 

The art amd graphical interface is nice to look at, but I can’t help but feel that if more time was spent defining the story from the get go, I’d be playing it more because every encounter leads to more story revelation. For now, it feels like all I’m doing is smashing random villains from an arcade game. 

From the Press Release:

Morihisa Tale is a roguelite deck-building strategy game. You need to improve your deck through constant battles, learn powerful talents, and use the heroic power of warriors during the warring states period of Japan to investigate the truth of the rebellion in Morihisa City.

Shogun Tokugawa home light issued to the various vassals “wide eternal order“, sent to the Iwagawa home Mori City emissaries never returned. Rumour has it that the Lord of Mori Hisa, Nobuhisa Iwagawa, is planning a rebellion. He has been closing in on Mori Hisa several days ago, and the roads leading there have become impassable.

In order to inquire into the real information, Shogun needs a spy to Mori long city, where the situation of the return to the shogunate….

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