Banners of ruin is a slay the spire inspired card game released in early access. You start the game by choosing 2 starter animals, more of these animal “champions” get added along the way when you progress further in the game. This progress also gives you the option to acquire and upgrade more cards, weapons, and abilities. Every animal “champion” has its own abilities with its own actives and passives. The battle system is based on cards that get played each round. You get one hand each round to play (not based on the amount of animal “champions” you have). After each battle, you have the 3 different path options to take you to the next battle in line.
Let me start by saying that the “Quality Of Life” of this game is not really that… great? After each battle, you have to click every single reward to collect them. You have to press the “end turn” button even when having no cards left in your hand. When upgrading your characters, you can’t jump from the last character to the first one, you have to go all the way back. When there is one enemy left on the field, you still have to select it to be able to attack it. These may seem small and irrelevant. Yet it is the combination of all these points that irritated me at times.
With all these small downsides out of the way, let’s take a look at what the game does well. There is a lot of depth brought by the game, that is a big fact. Going from status effects, playing what cards with what character, stamina, and armorchoise. This is no game that you can play empty-minded because one way or another, it will punish you.
Story-wise the game is… okay. Not bad yet not great and goes at a quite slow pace for my liking. Because of this slow progress, it feels quite hard to go forward at the beginning of the game. You can’t use strong decks because you don’t own the cards yet because you can’t change your deck whilst in a run as well. Because of that, it feels like you have to constantly use simple stab attacks whilst boss fights get exponentially harder. I really hope that they do change the story and progress side of the game in the full release.
The game is on the right path, yet has a couple of key game aspects that they have to revamp/ rethink. As of this moment, I recommend waiting a bit playing this game until full release (except when you want to spend money on it or are a big fan of its genre).