Tainted Grail: Conquest Reviews
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.
Tainted Grail: Conquest is a great game with a gripping setting, enjoyable rogue-lite mechanics, and engaging deckbuilding gameplay.
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.
All in all, this title is an uneven experience. The story is more substantial than most roguelites but is hampered by the randomly determined pacing. A few classes are a blast to play, while others feel too weak at high difficulties without good luck. For the first 20 hours or so, you are regularly getting new story content and new upgrades, and it’s easy to sink hours into Tainted Grail: Conquest. I just wish it kept up the pace all the way to the end of the story.
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.
If you enjoy deckbuilding roguelikes, and the thought of one with a competent and voiced story excites you then this is the game for you. Available on both console and PC with Game Pass there is no excuse to not at least try it. While it may not reach the highs of others in the genre tactically during its combat it makes up for it with its competency in everything else. So, pick up your Wyrdcandle, traverse the mists on the broken Isle, and start cleaning up that kook Merlin’s mess in the Mists of Avalon.
It is rare to see a game so fully embrace the type of game it wants to be, as the roguelite nature symbolizes the growth of the protagonist to fully understand their surroundings.
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.