Tainted Grail: Conquest
Top Critic Average
It feels great to always be working towards several upgrades at once – there's never a playthrough that doesn't reward you with at least a little something.
Any game so good that you can't resist doing just one more battle in is a game well worth paying attention to, and Tainted Grail definitely manages that.
With some major balancing issues that made a majority of its classes unenjoyable, Tainted Grail: Conquest redeems itself by showing that when the game was balanced, it could be a fantastic experience.
So often developers create a game using the kitchen-sink approach and it isn’t always clear how or why disparate mechanics deserve to play together. In the case of Tainted Grail: Conquest, deckbuilding, roguelike progression, and action RPG-type exploration feel compatible with each other as well as the dark fantasy setting and story. Less successful are the punishing, protracted battles that take too long and lack variety over multiple runs. With some additional balancing, classes, card types, and adjustment to pacing, Tainted Grail’s fundamentally solid concepts could shine through the darkness a little better.
To put it simply, I adore everything about the game. It’s variety between classes, the balance of resources, the meaningful meta-progression, and breadth of content. Slay the Spire and Monster Train are some of my favorite games, but they can have a seat at the round table and bow before the throne at which Tainted Grail: Conquest now sits.
Tainted Grail: Conquest is definitely not a title for everyone. Its difficulty and dark atmosphere will undoubtedly be too much for many players out there, even some fans of RPGs, deck-builders, or roguelike. However, for fans that do want those aspects, it’s one of the best in the genre. There are countless hours for players to find in the game, and the deep mechanics and systems are incredibly rewarding across the board.