I can’t say I’ve been good at card games. And frankly, with all the available sources of easy-to-access entertainment, I find myself in a position of apathy when it comes to traditional games. Which is why I love when I pick up a game that tries to incorporate games of old into new and creative ways—something that I think Nowhere Prophet excels at.
Nowhere Prophet is a game developed by Sharkbomb Studios, a one-man studio headed by Martin Nerurkar. Though technically available since July of 2019 on Steam, it launched just a few days ago on consoles and Xbox Game Pass. Part card game, part strategy, this game is the perfect journey to take if you have nothing better to do this weekend.
Nowhere Prophet starts you off with descriptions of a desolate wasteland—sand, poverty, and death stretching for miles upon miles. The character you play as becomes a leader of a group after a satellite of sorts comes crashing down near you, echoing to you the words of a better place called the ‘Crypt’. From here, you take on the role of the ‘Prophet’, guiding your people to the end of each map while managing resources, the health of your people, and the well-being of the Prophet.
As I mentioned previously, Nowhere Prophet is part strategy and part card game. That means over the course of the game, you’ll be advancing each stage whilst tackling resource management, interacting with random events that occur, and even choices that could let you avoid combat, striking it rich, or run right into the heart of the game: card battles.
Combat in this game consists of one-on-one battles between you and an AI opponent. Each player has a set amount of power available to them per turn which is used to choose from two decks to summon: one deck containing the playable units that will attack the opponent’s units or leader and the other deck which contains skills that can be learned from skill-teaching points found in the wastes. Victory is granted to the leader who defeats the enemy leader or whoever doesn’t lose all their available units.
This may sound simple, but it can be quite a challenge especially if you’re not very good at the card game part of things. Thankfully, the game offers difficulty options as well as a custom game mode function that lets you adjust the game to your liking (you do need to advance a bit in the story first before this unlocks, however).
I got my butt handed to me quite a bit while trying to progress through the beginning of the game. But the world intrigues me quite a lot—the art direction is phenomenal, the music provides for a somber listen but gets intense when it needs to, and, frankly speaking, the turn-based card gameplay is quite satisfying!
Give Nowhere Prophet a play this weekend, I think you’ll be quite pleased with the game.