Hand of The Gods: Smite Tactics is out today

Hand of The Gods

It seems that Fable Fortune isn’t the only lesser-known CCG leaving Early Access this week. While a little more timely than it’s genre-cousin due to Smite still being a regular favourite on the competitive MOBA circuit, Hand Of The Gods: Smite Tactics looks like it may be struggling a bit already with its launch today into a very crowded genre as it leaves Early Access.

Unlike most other CCG spinoffs, Hand Of The Gods is a tactical hybrid game in the vein of Duelyst, although perhaps a bit more limited in terms of movement. Cards become moveable units on the board, which can be walked around and engage targets freely, with the ultimate goal of whittling down your opponent’s base crystal down to zero health, rather than trying to beat down an opposing hero-unit.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like its divergence from genre standards has helped it much. While it’s also available direct from Hi-Rez, the Steam version is worryingly under-populated, especially considering this is launch day, and looking at the multitude of negative reviews on the storefront reveals consistent complaints about an exploitative business model.

At least in addition to the booster packs you can buy normally, they also sell a Core Set Bundle for £16/$20, which includes all the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Mayan and Neutral Pantheon cards, providing a good starting point for beginners, and something which I’d love to see more CCGs offer. Digressing a bit, but in a perfect world, Steam would be full of Living Card Games such as Netrunner, which are sold in fixed expansions, rather than as random draws.

Hand of the Gods is available now via or the official Hi-Rez site for the game, and is free to play, with the game spitting out four core-set card packs for you to open after completing the tutorial, and the promise of more in the future.

9 Comments

  1. kwyjibo says:

    I shit on Hi-Rez a lot for being a cynical clone farm, but the core set starter kit does seem good value compared to other card games.

    Brendy reviewed it in Early Access last year when it was just called Smite Tactics – link to rockpapershotgun.com

    The game has changed since then, the objective is now static, and the grid is smaller. The only reason to play this over Duelyst is the Smite marketing money going towards competitions.

    • Captain Narol says:

      Package Value and Marketing money can’t save a bad game that lacks depth, even more if that game gets quickly boring and repetitive.

      It’s exactly what is happening in the case and I’m quite sure that game is already doomed.

      (NB : The static aspect of the Generators is a rip-off from Cards&Castles, they really lacks imagination and it doesn’t even make sense here considering the theme of the game… The previous version during closed beta was better, more dynamic and tactical to play)

  2. malkav11 says:

    If they adopted Living Card Game style business models (and, importantly, plenty of solo content) I’d be much more willing to check out more of these games. As is, there aren’t a lot of strong cases being made that they have anything to offer me worth abandoning my investment in Hex or somehow finding room in my budget for multiple giant cash sinks.

    • PiiSmith says:

      I agree the LCG model made popular Fantasy Flight Games would also be a good fit for the electronic counterparts of Collectible Card Games. Someone should look into it and pick it up, but even more important make a game that is worthwhile.

  3. Captain Narol says:

    I’ve been playing this game since the closed beta and during the EA period, and I’ve totally given up on it.

    The developpement turned a game with promising fondations in a total mess, that was a huge desappointment for me.

    In its current state, which seems to be the final product as they release it officially, it’s just aggro rush and silly combo, the game doesn’t have any tactical interest anymore for me.

    If you want to see the mix “Cards + TB Tactics” done right, stay away of this and give a try to Shardbound or Warbands:Bushido.

    That’s two indy projects that are struggling but are much more deep and interesting than Smite Tactics, which probably won’t last long anyway considering the bad feedback…

    • Chairman_Meow says:

      Really enjoyed Warbands: Bushido when I got in (very) early access. They seem to have changed quite a bit since then. Perhaps it’s time for another swing of the katana…

      • Captain Narol says:

        They recently added Ninjas, that’s quite offering new tactical possibilities !

    • kwyjibo says:

      It’s a shame that Shardbound ran out of funding last month. Game is on hiatus.

      link to steamcommunity.com

  4. Captain Narol says:

    Yes, I am aware of that sad news…

    But even in its unfinished state and with some placeholder art, Shardbound is definitely one of the best game of the genre and far superior in tactical interest to Smite Tactics.

    They kept the servers running and there is still a small community of active players, the game is still worth playing even it’s in stale state.