Inspired by old classics, Gordian Quest takes the core features of the fantasy RPG genre and spins them into a deck-builder set in a sprawling magical world. 

You are given the option of one of ten heroes to be your champion in the beginning and set off on your adventure. Each hero’s deck is crafted to showcase their unique strengths and weaknesses against the various enemies you’ll encounter on your campaign. 

You get the option to recruit other heroes as you progress and can journey with a party of three, using all of their decks collaboratively in battle. The various heroes’ skills interact in interesting ways. The enormous range of potential combinations gives you plenty of opportunities to get creative in your approach to the game.

Gordian Quest offers multiple modes to play. Campaign mode takes you on a quest spanning four acts, battling supernatural enemies to keep the world safe. Realm mode offers an increasingly challenging roguelite experience, which ends only when you are defeated. Skirmish mode offers a chance to pit your party against a friend. Adventure mode offers procedurally generated maps and dungeons that expand on the world established in the campaign mode. 

Each of these can be tackled with different hero combinations, skill tree choices, and deck choices to offer endless hours of gameplay. Every run is different. Even just playing through the campaign multiple times can offer unique experiences due to the randomized nature of the enemies you face and your choice of how to approach them. The more you understand the world, the more creative choices you are empowered to make as you go through it.

On your adventure, you collect gold, armor and weapons, many of which add cards to your deck once they’re equipped. You can enhance your equipped items with runes to adjust the way they impact your story. This gives you endless opportunities to customize your team to how you want to play each time, as long as you manage to uncover those rarer, more powerful items.

The world of Gordian Quest is genuinely interesting. The art is absolutely incredible, both in terms of the stylistic maps you traverse and the sprites you encounter in battle. The characters, both good and evil, are gorgeously rendered and have thrilling moves that look and feel exactly how you would imagine. 

The story is well-paced, with increasingly challenging battles that force you to think creatively about your strategy, both in and out of combat. The world is legitimately interesting, built up over time as different NPCs teach you more about the various regions you cross and the threats they face that you are tasked with tackling. Each act consists of a number of missions people will ask you to undertake to investigate the villains. You’ll battle monsters and eventually make your way up to a boss battle for that section.

Gordian Quest ultimately tells a classic fantasy story. It’s not the most original tale you’ll ever hear, but it is clearly trying to emulate history RPGs. It does pay a lovely homage to its influences in a way that makes it easy to forgive any tropes in the narrative.

It would be nice to see some elements of the gameplay pushed to the forefront. For instance, the collaboration between the members of your party is a key skill you can develop, but largely takes place at campsites, which you have to use your supplies to set up – and can simply choose not to set up at all. There are plenty of text sections offering context and interesting facts about specific aspects of the game where some dialogue options could be injected to build on the social bonding function. 

Still, Gordian Quest is a very comprehensive game, with a huge amount of action built in and a lot to do. Maybe it isn’t all that surprising that some elements take a backseat. Having to dig into it to get the full experience is far from a rare issue in games so vast, nor something that breaks the game.