Now Available on Steam (PC)
Fans of online deck-building games should find something to like in Big Blue Bubble‘s Power Chord. It’s a heavy metal roguelike game where you play as a group of punk rockers out to save the Midverse from demons who weren’t tossed back to their dimension. Those who remained must be tracked down!
Here, you’re already an axe wielding musical superstar, and I imagine the developers got a few ideas from the movie, Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery to put into this game. Although we don’t have direct connections to Starchild, The Demon, Space Ace and the Catman, I suspect some incarnation of them exists. There are characters I have yet to unlock, so I’ll be continuing to play just to find them!
I’m loving this game moreso for the fantastic character designs. There’s a lot of costume and artistic tropes used for those who know the genre well, and as a punk rocker, I’m really digging it! (please see below for a video)
In other terms, like in Dungeons and Dragons where a team must include a cleric, fighter, and mage, here we get types which are given the labels of Tank, DPS, Healer, and Specialist. Here, each type has a set of special cards and play styles to help each other out.
Here, you’re navigating a randomly created map where each stop has an encounter, usually a stage, where you’re musically fighting it out with the enemy! As for who has the better music, I can’t decide! You’re playing Power Chord more to admire the love and attention put into the concept than anything else.
Unfortunately, the play is a touch repetitive; Turn-based computer card games follow a familiar formula–each round comprises playing cards which cost energy, and once that pool of mana is gone, the AI does its thing. And you hope your actions are well-placed to resist getting killed. Soon, the actions/items resets. Knowing when to build defences or to attack is dependent on strategy.
When you get used to the mechanics, the game play is enjoyable. There are places where players can buy new cards and upgrade their party. The lovely art is what keeps me invested, and I want to unlock as many digital musicians as I can to form a mega battle of the bands. When the the goal is to save the city from demonic insurgents, I can imagine how this would look had it been a movie. As for how long it’ll take to reach the end (if there is one), Power Chord is the type of game that’ll require repeat performances to get to the encore.
3½ Stars out of 5