Trials of Fire is certainly a pretty particular video game. In fact, even calling it a “video game” is a pretty loose term, as it could also be considered a card game, with a few elements of a book thrown into the mix. That last part is unexpectedly important when it comes down to how lovely the entire thing is.

Imagine a great fiction book, with the name “Trials of Fire” printed on its cover. The first few pages are where you’re introduced to all the basic mechanics. As you keep turning the pages and make various decisions, the environment and battlefields pop up out of the pages themselves. And if you want to return to a previous point to adjust your equipment, you can just simply use the bookmarks. It seems that even in this modern age, books still play a pretty important role.

Trials Of Fire Books
Everything is presented in the form of a book

And the developer’s decision to present its game in the form of a book is definitely not accidental. Trials of Fire takes you through procedural stories as you progress through nodes after nodes. These nodes take on the form of question marks that can be found as you move your party through the map, and each of them provides you with a few lines of paragraphs. You then get several choices to make, some of which might give out chances to scavenge for food or take a rest. After all, hunger and fatigue are the main things you have to deal with during your adventure across the game’s deserted land. Sometimes, though, you have to other option but to engage in battles, and they are wonderful. Check out the trailer below for a visual demonstration of how the entire game works:

Your party consists of 3 adventurers that can belong to various classes such as melee warriors, archers, or mages. Each class has a set of cards of its own, and at the beginning of every turn a character is dealt 3 cards. That means each round you’ll have 9 cards at your disposal, but you won't be able to use all of them. Some cards can be played for free, while others demand you to spend Willpower, which is basically mana in this game. This resource can be gained by binning off cards, so you’ll have to consider your strategy right from the very beginning.

Movement is another important aspect of combat that you must take into consideration. While all your attacks or spells are detailed on the cards, you must pay attention to the position of your characters. Archers cannot shoot at enemies that are outside their line of sight. Spells can only affect a specific area, and melee attacks, of course, requires you to be right next to the enemy. It might sound complicated, but you’ll get familiar to it in no time. Learning how to maintain position and string together powerful attack combos is a true delight.

Trials Of Fire 7
Everything is presented in the form of cards

After the battle, your party level up, and this is another aspect that demands your strategic thinking skills. As you level up, you unlock new cards, but that also means you have to put aside existing cards if you want to make room for them in your deck.

Aside from this, we have the main campaign, the side-quests, the equipment (that also come in the form of cards!), and the crafting system to explore. Furthermore, as mentioned, you must also ensure that your party is well-fed and well-rested, and sometimes that means you have to make a decision whether to fight someone for food or not and where to make camps for the night.

Trials Of Fire Cards
Positioning is very important in battles

Currently, Trials of Fire is only in early access on Steam, yet things are already looking incredibly good. Currently there are only 4 classes, but more are promised to come in the future. As a result, the game seems like it’s only getting better.