Trials of Fire is a powerfully seductive game. It pulls on a desire to sculpt a perfect RPG team, to have them gleam in the best equipment and have them wield the strongest powers, and to see them work together in beautiful synergy. I find few things more pleasing in an RPG, and I bet you do too, and Trials of Fire knows it.
But rather than make you play for tens of hours to achieve this, Trials of Fire condenses everything into around one or two. Everything’s still there, all the hallmarks of an RPG adventure – picking a team, journeying across a map, battling, levelling, looting, dilemmas, bosses – it’s just squished into a much shorter period of time. Short enough to play again and again and again. And you will: it’s a very hard game to put down!
But it takes time to get to grips with. It’s because it’s three games in one. Fundamentally, it’s a card game, a deck-building Roguelike, so you get one collective life to see how far you can get. Everything you do in battle is powered by cards. You start with a basic few, and upgrade and swap them as you level. But cards also come attached to equipment, and the better the equipment, the more there are attached to it. So as you equip, your arsenal builds, but as with any deck-building game, more is not always better, as it lowers the chance of drawing the cards you most want to use.