Card Bard is a squeaky clean deckbuildy shooter with satisfying popping noises

By admin Jun3,2024

The onslaught of fun Steam Next Fest demos you can play right now continues and will not relent. Card Bard is a deckbuilding roguelike shooter in which your wee gunman is seemingly frozen in abject terror as little pill-shaped baddies creep towards him like bacteria on a petri dish. Good thing you have a hand of cards, each one showing how many bullets will bop forth from your body when you select it. It’s surprisingly tough for something so pastel-paletted. I’m 10th on the leaderboard. You can probably beat that, right?

You can’t just fire away willy-nilly, of course. Each shooty card costs a different amount of juice (the little orange pips in the corner of the cards). Firing five bullets will cost two pips, firing a single bullet will only cost one. This energy restores over time, so as keen as you might be to unleash everything in a volley, you do have to be more judicious about each shot, especially once trickier enemy types appear. Like the hoppers who leap out of a bullet’s path, or the mandible lads who wriggle for you at a faster pace than all the other crawlers.

Lots of enemies are destroyed by gunfire in Card Bard.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Terry Brash

As you clear each stage you get new cards. A trio of splashy bombs, for example, or a machine gun-like streak of fire, or a “love bullet” that turns any enemy it hits into an ally who’ll attack their own kind. All you want is to survive as long as you can before the wrigglers chomp you to bits. That’s it really. To be honest it’ll take you longer to read the rest of this article than it will to download the bloody demo, so if you’ve got this far, go on. Get out of here. I give you permission to waste some time. No, I have no idea why the game is calling itself “Card Bard” in the game menu but “Wildcard” in Steam. Maybe that was an old name? Or maybe Card Bard is the old name. These are mysteries perhaps YOU can solve.

If you prefer to run while you gun, good news. Gunrun looks bananas and is by the same developer, Terry Brash. It has its own demo. Not content with making one game, Brash has been making this cardy Vampire Survivors-style autoshooter as well, and it looks suitably crowded. Remember a couple of weeks ago when indie developers were challenged to change a variable by 1000 to see what happened in their games? Gunrun looks like the creator did that, then neglected to change it back to normal. Sick.

By admin

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