Mahokenshi is a Japanese-inspired deck-builder RPG that brings a unique flavor to the popular genre. Developed by Game Source Studio, the game takes players on a journey through a mythological Japan in a celestial spirit realm. Although the game’s setting is notable, it is the mechanics that truly make Mahokenshi stand out.
The game’s visuals are stunning, with a vibrant and painterly color palette that showcases the ornately carved cedar treasure chests and mystical warriors inspired by the Edo period. The score features synthesized shakuhachi flute, which enhances the game’s Japanese-inspired ambiance. Mahokenshi’s main characters are based on the elements of air, water, fire, and earth and are loosely tied to creatures from Japanese folklore.
The Game Mechanics Are Fantastic
The game’s mechanics are what set it apart from other deck-builder RPGs. Mahokenshi blends the mechanics of turn-based RPG and card-based combat with inventive alterations to conventional gameplay elements. Cards can represent both combat actions and movement, with some cards giving the ability of flight or allowing characters to move quickly through tough terrain. Map movement and combat occur simultaneously, making for a seamless gaming experience.
While the game’s mechanics are engaging, there are also some steep difficulty curves on display. Many levels are timed, and given that both fights and world movement happen on the same turn-based map, it’s easy to get bogged down in a fight and fail a mission simply because your goals are too widely dispersed around the map. This is where movement cards become crucial. Successfully navigating the map is more than just a series of choices between shops, fights, or upgrade opportunities. It’s also crucial to completing missions, a rarity for most deck-builder games.
Although Mahokenshi’s thematic approach is somewhat surface-level when it comes to Japanese folklore, it is still a refreshing change from the elves, goblins, or dragons found in most “conventional” fantasy games. Mahokenshi’s attempt to explore Japanese folklore is admirable, and it is a step in the right direction for games that seek to represent non-western cultures.
Although Mahokenshi does not completely revolutionise character design, deck-building strategy mechanics or thematic approach, it still manages to differentiate itself by making noticeable adjustments to these elements. In a crowded field of games that feel like clones of one another, Mahokenshi’s unique approach to the deck-builder RPG genre is a significant achievement.
In conclusion, Mahokenshi brings a distinctively Japanese-inspired flavour to the popular deck-builder RPG genre. The game’s visuals and score are stunning and provide an immersive experience for players. The game’s mechanics are engaging and add a unique twist to the deck-builder RPG genre. While the game’s thematic approach may be surface-level when it comes to Japanese folklore, it is still a refreshing change from most “conventional” fantasy games. Mahokenshi is a game worth playing for anyone looking for a unique and engaging deck-builder RPG experience.