Manos To Manos: Hand Of Fate

Hand Of Fate is a handsome Kickstarter project, a Tarot-themed RPG that looks like a tactical ARPG twist on Card Hunter’s deck-building formula. Despite the headline above, the game has nothing to do with the 1966 film Manos: The Hands of Fate, but too much time spent watching irredeemably terrible films in my teenage years has left the connection hardwired. With less than three days to go and $8,000 Australian Dollars to raise, victory is far from guaranteed for Defiant Development, but the premise is solid and the work that has already gone into the game is evident in the videos. A recent update announced that David Goldfarb, of Payday 2 and Battlefield fame, will be a ‘guest designer’ should the project go ahead.

Here’s a brief summary of the game:

Hand of Fate is a card based roguelike, in which the player builds a collection of cards into a deck, which is then used to deal out the dungeon floors through which they adventure. Upon entering a combat, all of the cards the player has collected fly into their character’s hands as fully modeled 3D assets, and combat begins.

The goal is to defeat the face cards of each suit, which will require careful deck-building. The Jack of Skulls, for instance, will be vulnerable to holy damage, the undead blighter, so stacking a deck with plenty of sparkling blessed maces of +8 smiting could be a good idea.

The minimum pledge to receive a copy of the game on completion is $20 and various tiers just above that will supply early access, with an alpha due to begin when the Kickstarter ends. Higher tiers include a physical copy of the game’s customised tarot deck. I’m not a collector of physical rewards, but I do like cards. And chess sets. In fact, instead of kart racers or Smash Bros style beat ’em ups, I think the PC scene should have chess figures crafted around its most famous characters. Manny Calavera would be my King.

A quick anecdote about Manos: The Hands of Fate before I depart for posts anew. The cast were shuttled to the cinema, in writer/director/producer/star Harold P Warren’s hometown of El Paso, by limousine “in order to enhance the Hollywood feel of the event.” However, in keeping with the production budget and competency of the film itself, “Warren could afford only a single limousine…and so the driver had to drop off one group, then drive around the block and pick up another.” There’s that ‘Hollywood feel’, ladies and gentlemen.


  1. mouton says:

    “rogulike”, eh. That’s gonna go down well in these parts.

    • Zankmam says:

      Something something, “No ASCII graphics? No roguelike!”.

      • RedViv says:

        Rabblerobble permadeath randomisation grids and turns rabble-
        Wait. This all applies? What do we do now? PANIC! PAAANIC! *does the Dalek nervous breakdown spin*

        • HighlordKiwi says:

          I can’t see where it’s described as turn based (or perma-death), isn’t combat supposed to be like an ARPG?

  2. cauldron says:

    Incidentaly, there’s a real game inspired by Manos.
    It’s a platformer currently in the Humble Bundle Weekly.

  3. Emeraude says:

    I’m… not sure I understand how they went about with “stretch-goals”…

    • morganjj says:

      Hi there – Morgan from Defiant here. They were initially set up as “reveal goals” because we liked the idea of showing people new stuff (and info about our cool guest designers) as we hit our progress along the line.

      In the end though, it was just confusing. If we were to do it all over again, we’d do that differently for sure. Sorry about that!

      • Emeraude says:

        That’s what I figured.

        It was indeed confusing from a presentation standpoint – my first reflex was to check the top of the page again to see if I had missed the project being funded.

  4. mihor_fego says:

    Manny Calavera would be my King

    Adam won a place in my heart forever.

  5. Fenix says:

    I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in claiming that they’ve pitched the Kickstarter pretty handily.

    • RedViv says:

      Yeah, no spinning the wheel of fortune here.

      • The Random One says:

        I hope the world doesn’t find this concept too arcane. Or that the devs take us for a fool and promise us the moon. I think they have the strenght to pull it off, but the devil is in the details and my judgment may be wrong.

        • morganjj says:

          We’re big on not promising too much, and we’re pretty close to the end of the project. In this case, it’s more Kick-finisher than Kickstarter.

          We’ll be in Alpha very shortly, and then we’ve got a nice block of time to polish out any issues people are having and finalise all the content for a big Beta push in the new year. With everything said and done, we should be wrapped up by April at the latest.

  6. Haplo says:

    Oh, I think I saw this at PAX Australia. It looked -pretty-, but I never got close enough to actually play it.

  7. SanguineAngel says:

    For a moment I was excited by the prospect of a new Kyrandia game…

  8. Unclepauly says:

    The last place I ever thought I would get inception horned. It rustled the duckets right out of me jimmies.

  9. LintMan says:

    All this talk of Manos Hands of Fate makes me want to order from Torgo’s Pizza

    • Foosnark says:

      The master would not approve.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Manos was mentioned on RPS?! The stars are aligning…

    • Nick says:

      Should check out the Rifftrax Live version of Manos as well, very funny.. and nice to have another take on it.

  10. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Every screenshot from this game looks like someone’s last known photo.

  11. Lobotomist says:

    This looks great