Sony Bend Studio announced Uncharted: Fight For Fortune today. But it’s not what you think it is, unless you heard the news breaking a few weeks back and actually know that this is an action-adventure turn-based card game. The whole gaming community basically imploded with negative comments about the $5 downloadable title.
The reputable Sony Bend studio is perhaps still best known for the Syphon Filter games (PlayStation and PlayStation 2) but recently they’ve made Resistance: Retribution (PSP) and Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita). To be fair, the heavy hitters like Uncharted and Resistance haven’t done particularly great on Vita, so I think these kinds of smaller online games can be great for the Vita community.
Asynchronous games have became huge on the mobile market recently with examples like Draw Something and Words With Friends (just ask Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory…). These games are the perfect examples of something you pick up and play your move and then go back to what you were doing. For the sake of argument this doesn’t have to mean these games aren’t intellectually stimulating, especially when you play against your friends! Sure, we’re talking about casual games here and there is always the argument that these projects take development resources away from “core” projects, but done successfully, it can be the complete opposite.
A great example of bite-sized gaming that I think works perfectly on the go can be found in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The mode is called Outer Ops and it’s a game mechanic where you use soldiers and vehicles captured on real missions in a turn based mini-game. This mechanic has some similarities to Uncharted: Fight For Fortune since you will be able to use treasures found in Uncharted: Golden Abyss to your advantage.
Let’s look at some facts about card games. Perhaps the most famous one out there is Magic: The Gathering with its videogame counterpart Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers. The game has sold well over 500,000 copies, which is pretty great for “just” a card game.
Taking a well established universe such as Uncharted and applying it to a card game has a couple of benefits. The heroes and villains we’ve all come to love (and hate) helps you understand on a intuitive level who’s good and who’s bad. This also goes for items and gadgets synonymous for the franchise. Card games in general (and board games for that matter) often have a big threshold to overcome in terms of complicated rules and setup time.
Do you think Uncharted: Fight For Fortune might be a sleeper asynchronous hit or will it fall apart like a house of cards?