Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales was just released, and I installed it this morning. Haven't had a chance to play yet, but there are already a lot of points to talk about. Which gives me an opportunity to break the eerie silence on this blog, which is caused by me being somewhat overworked at the moment. So what do you need to know about Thronebreaker?

Thronebreaker is neither a full-fledged The Witcher role-playing game, nor is it (as you might think from the "Tales" part) a Telltale Games adventure. Instead it is a role-playing campaign based on the Gwent card game from the Witcher Universe. While a lot of card games (e.g. Hearthstone or Magic Arena) are very much PvP-centric and don't offer much in the way of a single-player campaign, this is completely PvE-centric. And according to the reviews the RPG campaign is full-fledged (40+ hours) and of great quality.

I haven't seen a game that combines card combat with a RPG campaign for 20 years. So this was an instant buy decision for me. Even at "full price", which is this case was just €26. I would love to see other card games, especially Magic the Gathering, do a single-player RPG campaign game. So I am having high hopes for this. In addition to my interest in the gameplay, I also recently started playing in a D&D campaign that is using the world of The Witcher as setting, so that is an additional interest for me.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is exclusively available on And this was the first time I bought a game there. The site used to be "Good Old Games", and I didn't have much interest in buying old games. But now they have more and more new games. And unlike Steam you can use download a DRM-free version of the game you bought without needing to run the platform in the background (although you *can* if you want run GOG Galaxy like that). While on the one side having all my games on Steam is certainly convenient, on the other side I can see the possible disadvantages of Steam having a monopoly. So I do have an Origins account, and now a GOG account as well.

Just on the subject of Card-RPGs: Etherlords and its sequel were in the early 2000s, so not much later than Shandalaar - but if you like these games they are worth catching up on.
There was a card based Phantasy Star Online on the Gamecube (Episode 2). I never got very far in it, but it did have two story lines to play through.
Prime World Defenders was half-way to meeting the bill, too. It was a tower defence game at its core, but card packs were used to select and upgrade your towers from a limited deck.

I've recently grabbed Shadowhand on sale from Steam, which looks like a PVE card game.

There's also some fantasy indie one I got credited in for helping with some testing... like, 6+ years ago. I'm going to have to go digging deep into my Steam library for that one.
Lost Portal on iOS is a great CCG/RPG mix too.
This sounds great. Unfortunately my gaming budget is showing all zeroes at the moment. So i'll look forward to your review/thoughts, once you've played it.

Did rather like the Gwent game in the witcher games, so I suspect I'll end up buying it!
Little side note about Hearthstone. There is a pretty good pve adventure out now called the boomsday project.

It's free and requires no cards or anything. It's a puzzle adventure which gives you certain cards and an objective you have to figure out how to get to.

Pretty fun for a few hours.
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