Roguelikes are the gifts that keep on giving from indie developers. Power Chord, developed by Big Blue Bubble, is not like the others. Its gameplay is familiar for those who have played Slay The Spire or even One Step From Eden. It's a deck-building turn-based RPG where strategy is key and opportunity is everything.
There are four different types of classes, each representing a member of a band. The drummer, bassist, guitarist, and vocalist. The drummer is the support tank that has the highest health pool and shields allies. The bassist applies debuffs and DoTs while the guitarist is the primary attacker. Finally, the vocalist is the healer and at the front of the party.
While each class has a defined preset, they all can be customized to break the mold. The vocalist, while defaulted to a healer role, can deal just as much damage for example.
What's interesting is that each class is tied to a specific color card. If that party member dies, the player cannot use the cards tied to the color anymore. If the player is down to the vocalist, for example, they can only use yellow cards.
The game is easy to grasp, but there are a lot of in-depth mechanics including buffs and debuffs. Aside from corrosion, weakness, and power levels, there are also stances and armor. Some units have armor and when the armor value is set to 0, it breaks their stance and their buffs.
The same can be said for player units as well. Combined this with the cards in your hands shuffling in your deck after every turn and the fights in Power Chord become hectic. It's a beautiful chaos that corresponds to the cel-shaded graphics and hardcore metal music. The music was done in-house and there's a very 90s retro comic aesthetic.
During the demo build, I eventually ended up on a question mark tile. In this scenario a group of orcs demanded my band to give up their money or "perish."
We chose to fight the orcs instead, which ended up working in our favor. I'd assume that there would be more RP-esque scenarios such as this in the future. It was a nice change of pace.
Power Chord is slated for a Summer release, which makes this an anticipated title for many deck-building fans. These genres of games are always unique and it's always a good sign to see them on the rise. I really dig the art, music, and gameplay mechanics. Get ready to shred with your bandmates who you'd rather fight against rather than with as you take on a bigger threat that's larger than life.
Power Chord currently has a playable demo on Steam and it is slated for a Summer 2022 release.