Vault of the Void is a rogue-like deck-builder. It’s best compared to Slay the Spire BUT it doesn’t just copy the famous pioneer of its genre, it pushes the genre into a new direction and brings new things to the table.
Everyone familiar with the genre will feel right at home in VotV. You have a deck and fight through a map, where you can decide which way to go. Besides battles, there are merchants and other happenings.
Fights are a bit different than in StP. You have to fill a bar to win the battle and progress further. Every defeated monster will fill the bar. Some monsters will fill it immediately, others will fill it for 20% and a new one spawns the next turn.
Talking about turns. Enemies will attack you or activate an ability each turn but you don’t suffer damage immediately. After their turn, the UI shows how much “threat” (damage) you’ll suffer. Now it’s your turn. You can either attack enemies, play abilities, or block damage. Playing cards that block, will immediately lower the threat. After your turn, you’ll lose as much HP as threat is left. Reaching 0 HP, your run is over.
Each card has its costs (AP). You start with 3 AP each battle and refill some (depending on many different things) each turn but you can also purge cards in your hands to gain AP and play other cards. When you purge a card, the card will go into your discard pile and you can draw it later again so don’t worry. It’s inevitable to use this mechanic sooner or later. The game is built around that. Some cards will activate their ability only by purging them.
At first, you’ll need like an hour ’til you fully grasp all the different mechanics the game has to offer. Especially all the abilities and what these keywords mean. Many of them are new, even to experienced players of the genre. But as soon as you are into it, the game will be just as addictive as StP.
What’s also different in VotV is how your deck is handled. You don’t need to pay someone to remove cards from your deck. After every battle, you can freely edit your deck, and even removed cards can be used later again. This will give you room for many different strategies throughout a run. And it’s needed because some enemies will counter a specific play-style.
Aside from cards, there are artifacts, potions, and spells. Artifacts can completely change your playstyle. They will mostly give you advantages (the 10th card you play will be played twice, each time when you play the same card in a turn again you will gain 3 blocks, etc.). Potions are one-time use and give you HP, increase how many cards you draw each turn, etc.
Spells are like your main-ability. You can swap your spell between each encounter. You can activate your spell at every moment within a battle, as long as it is not on cooldown. Each character starts with a different spell, but you can get new spells in a run.
You can choose a common card of your character’s deck before starting a run. If you complete the run, the card gets added to your starting deck from now on. This will make future runs a bit easier.
At the moment, there are three characters available. You need to unlock the second and third one first. The game has over 200 cards already and different levels of difficulty. You can mix up your run with special artifacts and modifiers, unlock new battlefields, backgrounds of cards, and a lot more. There are also daily drafts to change the way you play the game and compare it to your friends.
The game is full of content right now and there is a lot more to come. It’s still early access but offers more content than most finished indie games. It adds many new mechanics to the genre and the dev is constantly pushing out new updates.
VotV is a love letter to the genre. It’s a gem. If you’re into roguelike deckbuilder you should get it RIGHT NOW. Its price of 15€/USD is more than justified.
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