Fans of Netflix’s new series ‘The Witcher’ should check out Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales on Switch. The game came out on the platform just a few days ago, bringing plenty of card-based deck-building fun. But don’t let the card game trappings fool you – there’s a solid RPG with stellar voice acting here.
At its core, Thronebreaker is a deck-building card game based on Gwent. Gwent first featured as a mini-game available in The Witcher 3. Developer CD Projekt RED later released a full-fledged card game version a la Hearthstone, aptly titled Gwent.
Play for Gwent.. or Don’t
The game’s combat scenarios and challenges are all centered around playing Gwent. However, you won’t be building a deck to decimate your foes and wreak havoc. Don’t get me wrong, the game does let you build your own deck, but you can’t use it in every fight.
80% of the time you will be focused on puzzles with a custom deck. Think of it more like a puzzle game than a deck building card game. On easier difficulties, you can even skip these card battles to focus on the story.
The narrative story and choices you make are the main draw of Thronebreaker.
Players will encounter a wide variety of interactions that have real consequences. Your previously won allies can and will leave you for poor decisions. The narrative forces you to make some difficult decisions, too.
Players start the game thrust into the middle of a war as Meve, the queen of Lyria and Rivia. You’ll fight across the two countries to defend what you own and quell rebellions that may rise up. The voice-acting is on par with The Witcher 3 and the isometric world resembles the comic-styled cutscenes.
You’ll earn new cards to complement your deck as you progress through the story. There are plenty of improvements to the Gwent ruleset to keep you from building completely busted decks. The result is a challenge that feels like a challenge.
Each scenario with a custom deck may feature special cards and rules. These special rules keep the game from getting too boring as the story progresses. Just be aware that the story for this game sets up much of what happens later in The Witcher series.
Is Thronebreaker on Switch good?
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with the game. As long as you’re fine with a deck-building isometric game, you should give it a go. Just be aware that the story focuses much more on the politics of the world of Geralt of Rivia. Think of it like Game of Thrones played out in puzzle card battles, except the ending is actually good.
The Thronebreaker Switch release is a great port with a lower price than at the game’s PC release. You can pick it up for $19.99 on the Nintendo eShop.