While there's nothing egregious about Oaken, it doesn't push the genre in any particular direction.
Oaken might immediately bring comparisons to Faeria to the fore, but it stands on its own as a very good game. It incorporates the hex map as an element, but doesn't make it the star. Instead, it focuses on the survivability of units as you must measure out success across a series of encounters, and balance both the Fatigue your units must endure with the resources at your disposal, building them into a force adept enough to overcome some very challenging bosses at the conclusion of each chapter. It has all the quality of life elements you could hope for. Be endeared by its wonderful art and style, but don't be fooled - there is depth beneath those cute little plants as well.
Oaken is one of the best-looking and sounding indie games I've played this year and its strategic elements are wonderfully fleshed-out.
So, should you consider checking out Oaken even if you are burnt out on deck-building games? I would say yes. The deck building is only a tiny portion of the game. If you are into roguelike or grid-based tactical games, then you will enjoy this one.
Oaken is a sad case of the game that lacks so much in technical aspects that its practical side loses much of its appeal. You can't expect everyone to have the good will to deal with an excessive amount of content introduced at a pace that overloads the player, nor with extremely confusing interfaces, only then to enjoy the qualities that a product has to offer.
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A whimsical, enchanting adventure alight with challenge, Oaken is solid with its deckbuilding and roguelike roots, while branching out with its hex-based tactical gameplay centered around positioning.
Oaken looked interesting from the get-go, but unfortunately falls flat with limited ability to change how each run feels. After one or two runs, you’ll have a very good idea of exactly what this game is. If you’re hoping for a new Slay The Spire, keep looking as this likely won’t hit the spot. It definitely didn’t for me, and I gave it a very fair chance, probably a few more runs than I needed to do to make sure I wasn’t missing something.