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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.

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Adam Smith

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