Card-casting robo-fantasy SteamWorld Quest: The Hand Of Gilgamech was a cheery, story-led take on Slay The Spire’s deck-building battles, but unlike that infinite roguelike city crawl, it never felt like something to replay over and over. Developers Image & Form want to fix that a bit. So they’re giving players a reason to keep card-shuffling: a New Game Plus mode. And a few other bits and bobs.
As usual, the mode will kick into gear when you complete the story mode, and it “lets you replay the game from the beginning and keep most non-story progress - such as cards, items and more.” You’ll still need to unlock characters as you move through the story the second time, though. So you won’t get to use your deck of twisted purple cards until you meet those creepy robo-rabbit twins, for example. But once you met them, you’ll have all their cards that you unlocked in the last playthrough. The SteamWorlders went into all this in an update video.
There’s more stuff too. A new difficulty setting called “Legend Remix”, which is a very hard mode, they say. There’s also tweaks to the coliseum (a fighting arena you unlock part way through the game). And the shop (that big wagon that follows you everywhere) now has more consumable items to buy, like potions and repair kits. It's all part of a free update that should happen today.
Katharine said this card-o-battler was "a real charmer" in her SteamWorld Quest review, even if it was slow to start. It has a story about clunky wannabe heroes who set out to stop an evil penguin. A tale as old as time. But she also said: "die-hard Spire-ites will probably find its one-and-done story a bit, well, restricting."
That was true for me when I played. I liked the dinky card flipping, but never felt the need for a second run. I’m not sure New Game Plus will draw me back in to this cardy clunkventure (do you know how many other card games there are to try!?) but it might give other folks some reason to go back. Or if you haven't tried the SteamPeople’s latest genre piece, maybe this will act as a good reminder.