Review: Uncharted Fight for Fortune

Story/Premise

Uncharted: Fight for Fortune is a battle card game which pits you against a single opponent. Each opponent is a character from an Uncharted game – either friend or foe. If you’ve played any of the collectible card games currently available, the gameplay elements present will feel familiar.

Uncharted: Fight for Fortune can be played entirely using the front touch screen. However, the menus allow for the use of the face buttons.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple enough: increase each of your faction points by one (this is how you pay for characters), play a character card in one of 5 “lanes,” randomly choose one of three treasure cards to attach to a character or instantly bank, play a resource card using resource points and then battle with active characters. At its heart, Uncharted: Fight for Fortune focuses on mild resource management but the card battling is also part of the fun.

Character cards are affiliated with one of three factions: Heroes, Villains or Mercs. Each player can have a maximum of five character cards in play simultaneously and can replace an existing character with a new character card at the beginning of their turn.

In addition to faction points, treasure acts as a currency but is instead used to play resource cards. After playing a character, one face-down treasure is randomly selected by the player at which time all three are revealed and the two unpicked treasures are discarded. The remaining treasure can be instantly banked for five resource points or attached to a character card with the hopes of cashing it in later for the full face value. This is accomplished when the character it is attached to defeats an opponent’s character or a card ability allows it to be cashed in or “banked.”

Typical resources cards include armor and weapons. They can be played by spending the resource point obtained by banking treasure, but some of them are free.

Everything you’ve done so far has been leading up to the actual battling of the cards. The active player’s characters will attack the opponent’s characters in the same “lane” resulting in the defending card’s defense number being reduced by the attacking card’s attack power. There is no regenerating health action going on here so a card with five health can only take five damage total before being destroyed. If your character attacks and there isn’t a defending character, the damage is done directly to the opponent.

There can be multiple win conditions which are set before the game starts. Aside from the usual “do X damage to the opponent,” win conditions may include “Survive X turns,” “Bank X treasure” and “Play this character card.”

This game links with the trophies from Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Some of the treasure and resources cards will have their attack, defense or treasure values doubled if you have the corresponding Uncharted: Golden Abyss trophy.

The AI can be fairly forgiving and doesn't always make the best play. If you make a mistake it might not be game over.

Co-op/Online/Multiplayer

If you’re not satisfied with beating up on the AI, beat up on your PSN friends. There are several options including playing asymmetrically against someone on your friends list or choosing pass-and-play to battle someone in the same room on the same Vita.

One thing to note is that there is the option to customize which of your characters are included during each game but this only works during online play. All unlocked cards are used during the single player matches.

Kid/Family-Friendly

If you played any of the Uncharted games with your kids in the room, then you will have no worries playing this with them watching or allowing them to play it. There isn’t any violence per se and I don’t recall hearing any dialogue. However, I played with the sound off while watching TV for most of the game so maybe I missed something.

Trophies

For all the trophy hunters out there, the time commitment needed to get 100% here may be too great. However, if you do take the plunge, all but the one multiplayer trophy can be obtained by unlocking all the in-game cards. The multiplayer trophy is for winning an online game and can't be obtained during pass-and-play.

Lasting Impressions – One Week Later

I purchased the game when it released at the beginning of December and was still playing during the holidays. I managed to unlock all the currently available cards in both the main game and the two expansions and would wager that I spent 25 total hours on the game - 20 minutes at a time. Now that I’m done the single player matches, I will probably only play some online matches until another expansion comes out.

Recommendation

If you enjoy any of the collectible card games available, this might be the game for you. The best things about Uncharted Fight for Fortune are the value and the digestible time requirements. For under $11 you can get the main game and two expansions that can easily be played in 20 minute chunks. There is a demo available, but since I purchased the game sight unseen, I can only assume it contains the first match from the main game.

*For the purpose of this review, the PS Vita version of the game was played – because that’s the only place it’s available.