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.