If you have played Perdition’s Mouth and feel curious afterwards on what happens next to the heroes, you’ll get the answer here. Beyond the Rift: A Perdition’s Mouth Card Game is a sequel to this campaign-driven horror game. Instead of another miniature game, Dragon Dawn Productions has developed the continuation of the dreading story with a simpler approach: a card game.
As usual, I am not going to indulge in the tutorial and rule explanation because we have a lot of them already available on internet. I would strongly recommend you to watch the tutorial videos from the designer and a fellow reviewer from One Stop Co-Op Shop.
A short disclaimer before you read my board game analysis
As an avid euro gamer and hardcore Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) LCG player, my reviews may reflect a preference for these styles, and I may not cover solo games/variants extensively. Please note that my personal remarks are based on my gaming experiences, and I aim to provide honest insights within the scope of my preferences.
Disclaimer: We had the preview copy for this review, and it was not the final version. There might be possible changes and alteration from the publisher regarding the components, printing and build quality, rules and concepts in the official released product.
IMPRESSION ON THE GAMEPLAY
Beyond the Rift is a cooperative game, and the way we play the cards really support this matter. The interaction between players is strong enough, thanks to the ‘aiding’ mechanic. It enables the player to support each other with whatever they have in hands. As long as your teammate is within the range, you can help them by any means. Boosting an attack, mitigating damage, you name it. This mechanic really points out the cooperative aspect of the game.
To be honest, a campaign-driven card game is definitely not something new in this particular segment. Hence, we can see a lot of competition for Beyond the Rift in the market already. And just like its contenders, this one also brings out the mechanic that utilizes the action point system. We also have a sort of resource management aspect, which makes an important factor in the decision-making process.
How to deal Damage in Beyond the Rift
Beyond the Rift is built differently in comparison to that particular horror card game from a giant publishing house. I really take pleasure in how we deal and get dealt damage in Beyond the Rift. To provide context: when determining whether an attack hits or not, we need to calculate any buff and mitigation to both Attack and Defence value of the attacker and defender. If the Attack value is bigger than the Defence, it hits and deals damage.
In Beyond the Rift, all characters and creatures have a fix Damage point whenever an Attack hits.
If it hits the enemy creature, we draw a determined number of Wound cards and stack it beneath that creature card.
The Wound card then modifies all that creature’s statistics (including its health point). If the health point ever reaches 0, we have successfully defeated it.
On the other hand, if the hero gets hit, we draw the Wound card and put it in our hand. Some effect may force player to draw Fatigue cards, too. We can discard them by playing it. However, they usually bring some disadvantages, for example losing some Action points or reducing your Attack value.
If by any chance after we discard the cards from our hands and end up with only Wound and Fatigue cards, the hero dies, and we lose the game. This is where the aiding mechanic becomes handy. Of course, the downside of not playing the Wound cards and letting them stay in our hands adds another strategic layer. It may be too punishing for some casual gamers who just want to enjoy the story, though.
Different play style for each hero
There are four heroes in this prototype, and each of them comes with a unique deck. Each deck has its distinct piloting style and different mechanic to survive in Beyond the Rift. Thanks to the varied heroes and the multiple campaigns in the box, they increase the replay value of the game.
IMMERSION AND THE AUTHENTIC HORROR UNIVERSE OF BEYOND THE RIFT
Through the campaigns, all heroes can level up and get additional Upgrades. It definitely helps to increase survival rate in the adventure.
Don’t forget that it also makes the game more immersive with this additional feature.
As the story runs, our heroes become more powerful, and perhaps also full of bruises and injuries from the Wound cards.
Furthermore, we are in awe after knowing that the designer built Beyond the Rift’s universe from scratch.
Thanks to their 20 years of experience in role-playing games, they can create solid and expanding stories.
I believe Beyond the Rift will stand out in the market due to this very reason, too. With the authentic universe, they don’t romanticize the Lovecraftian horror at all. Let’s be honest for a while here. I know that many gamers love Cthulhu and all background stories it brings. This popular universe has been repeatedly abused in many games, from the sub-par to the excellent ones.
BEYOND THE RIFT’S APPEARANCE
The illustration in this game is not my cup of tea, but that does not mean it is bad anyway. The artwork is decent and enough to capture the grotesque nature of what resides Beyond the Rift. Since there is no minis within sight, Beyond the Rift relies solely on the artworks, which unfortunately don’t really radiate that solid table presence.
We did think the icons in this game could have been better. They are a-okay and do the work just fine, but a cleaner and simpler approach would make Beyond the Rift more loveable. Since they are transferring the icons they use in Perdition’s Mouth, I understand that changing the icons midway may be confusing for the veterans.
Beyond the Rift is a challenging horror card game, and it gets more interesting with the campaign going on.
We can feel the cooperative and interaction value in the game.
I have a spot for the Wound cards mechanic, especially. It is an interesting way to deal Damage to both heroes and enemy creatures.
If you are looking for something outside HP Lovecraft’s universe which equally interesting, yes, I can recommend this game.
This is my third game I write for Dragon Dawn Productions, and it’s excellent as the other two. I am impressed with Beyond the Rift. The game will be live in Kickstarter soon. I will update when the campaign is up. You should join and help the game gets funded.
I am a full-time food technologist during weekdays. However, when the calendar hits weekends, I transform into an avid board gamer. I am a hardcore Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) LCG player from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Current hobby: buying board games. My shelf of shame’s list is getting longer, thanks to you, Kickstarter.