At PAX East, one of the games I was extremely eager to check out was Power Chord. A deck-building roguelite with a rockin’ guitar theme to boot? Yes, please! After playing through a demo of the game, I was delighted to find it was everything I’d been wanting and more.
Starting the game, you’re able to select four band members for your team, with each one sporting their own unique playstyle. Each character’s cards are color-coded as well, making it easier to plan out attacks based on the cards you have in your hand.
Not only can you strategize your team’s approach based on how each character plays individually, you can also get some fantastic synergy going on between band members depending on how you use them. I found this out while combining the likes of Stitch, who’s designed around healing and support, and Grimnir Brawlfist whose rage grows when hit (understandably) allowing him to stack and deal extra damage.
With Stitch, you can do things like increase the energy charges of a bandmate, allowing you to use more of their cards while your turn is active. In my case, I used this on Grimnir to absolutely wreck enemies with high damage attacks.
Stitch is great for other things outside of supporting characters as well, which I loved. There was one instance where I pulled a card for Stitch that allowed me to draw additional cards for every party member that got hit. The end result was absolutely hilarious, with the screen ending up packed full of cards.
The Power Chord team that was there watching my chaotic approach to the game even remarked on whether they’d ever seen that many cards on the screen at once before. Amusement factor aside, strategy-wise, having all of these cards on hand was a godsend as it gave me more wiggle room when it came to how I was going to take out each enemy.
Defeating foes isn’t as simple as throwing attacks at them while keeping your team alive. Some enemies have armor that you’ll need to whittle down before you can start dipping into their health. Furthermore, enemies not only attack you, but some dish out brutal debuffs as well that can do things like weaken your attacks.
Outside of the strong elements of strategy in Power Chord, the rhythm of the gameplay is fantastic, with each battle finding that sweet spot of not being too long, but not being too short either. The end result is a game I wanted to keep playing. Of course, I wasn’t going to hog up the spot and deny someone else the ability to get acquainted with this phenomenal game.
In fact, it’s one that I told many colleagues that I enjoyed to such an extent that it’s actually one of my favorites when it comes to games that I played at PAX. If you enjoy games like Slay The Spire, deck-building games in general, or are simply looking to try something new that’s approachable and addicting, Power Chord is a must-play.
If you want to check the game out, there’s a free demo available right now on Steam. Currently, the game doesn’t have a set release date, but it’s recommended that you add Power Chord to your Wishlist and follow the game’s social media channels like Twitter for updates on its future release.