Be sure to greet, Golem Gates, a fair welcome on your way in through the gate!

Golem Gates, to my surprise, was a delight — at first it looked like another attempt at a card-playing game on Switch, but it exceeded my expectations. It is easily my favorite card game on Nintendo Switch now, and the amount of fun you can have with this game is underrated. It brings a unique twist to the genre by mixing the elements of a strategy game with card playing — and it does it, for the most part, excellently.

Golem Gates has players collecting spell cards (called glyphs) as you implement them into your own deck (you can make multiple decks, by swapping them out!). These glyphs are very important for battles; the focal point of the game.

Glyph Collection - Golem Gates

There’s a decent single-player campaign (about 4-6 hours long), but once you finish it there is still replay value to be had– with the addition of a trials, versus, and survival mode. I spent the majority of my time with the campaign and trials though. Survival mode was also quite fun, being a huge fan of fending off hordes of enemies — it even had a variety of environment designs, something I found the overarching campaign lacked.  It’s worth mentioning versus mode, which wasn’t my cup of tea, but I also didn’t particularly feel the need to battle others — I’m sure some fun can be had if battling others in this sort of a game is for you – but it is functional.

In regards to story, Golem Gates is set in a desolate land left in ruins by ancient wars.  The game has you playing a harbinger, who has the ability to manipulate command clusters (groups of glyphs placed).  This ability comes at the hands of the power hidden within ‘The Ash’ — a leftover power manifesting itself into the world’s atmosphere. The word Golem is used because that’s what you’re battling: golems.

Customization-wise, it wasn’t anything too crazy, but there is a boatload of card options, making gameplay feel different each time. My biggest takeaway with customization was the ability, or lack thereof, to customize your golems visually.

There are, respectively, a few criticisms, I had with the game: There’s a lot going on with the user interface, even if it does still remain functional. Another unfortunate case with this game is that it’s not good for sessions where you pick up and play for a few minutes; though, I guess that is to be expected with a strategy game. Personally, I was satisfied with the long battles though.

Performance-wise, it played smoothly in handheld and docked mode, which was awesome! Despite graphics not being visually taxing, it was okay for a strategy game like this — especially since I could play it in handheld mode without the fear of dips in framerate.

Overall, Golem Gates, is a unique take on the card-playing genre and welcome addition to the Switch library. Nonetheless, it has some minor flaws, even if it remains functionally intact. Either Way, Golem Gates is a must try for anyone looking for a strategy game on Switch and/or a fun multiplayer option! I can definitely see this game being something I come back to during airport gameplay sessions, or even just when I have a bunch of time to kill.