The effectiveness of the game's humor doesn't always tie back to the concept of Bowser as a frustrated, impotent vessel.
Mutant Year Zero feels most of all like a promising start for something potentially greater. Indeed, for as much as the game offers an intense, occasionally brilliant spin on turn-based strategy, it’s tough not to imagine how a sequel could improve the writing and the exploration to realize what is, at this point anyway, mostly just a lot of potential.
Mizuguchi has made strong, confident choices with his approach to Tetris, the Zone ability most prominent among them, but he’s done so uncompromisingly. And that’s an effect that’s as likely to leave tetrominos burned into your retinas as it is to simply leave you feeling cold and alone.
Apart from the fact that combat is resolved by placing cards into rows as opposed to moving units across a map, there's little difference between Thronebreaker and similarly hand-drawn, resource-gathering, unit-upgrading games like Heroes of Might and Magic and The Banner Saga. If anything, Thronebreaker offers a deeper strategic experience, given the distinct feel of these custom-crafted battles, with their special victory conditions and unique cards.