Mobile is the perfect platform for card games, and it’s illustrated by the fact we have some of the best immediately available to us – whether that’s Legends of Runeterra, Gwent, or Hearthstone. But as card games have gravitated towards mobile, so too have their oddball cousins – that’s right, I’m talking about roguelike deck builders.
We only recently got Slay the Spire on the mobile, but even before then, Spire-likes had become prevalent on the platform – just check our list of games like Slay the Spire on mobile if you don’t believe me. In such a competitive genre, it’s hard to stand out and distinguish yourself, but just as its predecessor did, Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale manages to stake a place for itself.
Though its art style seems to draw seemingly endless comparisons to Adventure Time – which I’m sure Slothwerks loves – Krumit’s Tale has just as much personality as that beloved series, and is simultaneously wacky and adult in much the same way.
Each game of Krumit’s Tale is a ‘run’ where you must adventure through the land and complete as many dungeons as you can before dying. You start with a set deck, which varies depending upon which character you choose, but as you progress, your deck expands, allowing you to purchase more cards while also swapping out the ones you don’t want. After each dungeon you also choose a perk, which can further tie into any synergy you’re working on.
In this sense, it’s very much like Slay the Spire and most other roguelike deck-builders, as you build synergies on the fly, working with each character’s unique playstyle to complete each dungeon. Where Krumit’s Tale really distinguishes itself are its dungeons. Each one is a box filled with a mixture of tiles, representing enemies, items, spells, and abilities – it’s like someone took your backpack, tossed it into a scary-looking cave, and said “Go play!”
The good, the bad, and the weird
Bosses in Krumit's Tale are also lots of fun. Each looks pretty hilarious, but they also have a unique perk that changes how you have to approach their dungeon if you want to win
The sheer randomness of dungeon construction in Krumit’s Tales really feels in keeping with the game’s slightly unhinged style, but it also keeps you on your toes. The way you progress through each dungeon is by destroying tiles, which causes more to fall from above. If it’s an item or an ability, this might involve purchasing it with gold for your four slot inventory, or discarding it to earn health and gold. If it’s an enemy, you’ll have to defeat it in turn-based combat, and when it dies you’ll also get gold.
The combat system is pretty smart in its own right, allowing you to use weapons to increase damage, and armour to block. If you block an enemy with the same amount as their attack, it parries them, and prevents them attacking that turn. But be wary, as items also have durability, and only have a certain number of uses. The central play of Krumit’s Tale revolves around gold and health, and how you balance purchasing what you need to win, while also discarding tiles to heal yourself. Many-a-time have I discarded one too many items to find I lack the power to actually complete the dungeon.
It's like someone took your backpack, tossed it into a scary looking cave, and said "Go play!"
Another aspect of Krumit’s Tale is your character. Just like Slay the Spire, each has their own playstyle, which makes them interact differently with dungeons. Bruno, for example, is a straightforward smashy boi, fighting his way through tiles. But then you have Greybeard, who focuses around spells, Michief, who isolates enemies using stealth, and my favourite, Muldorf, who summons minions to fight for him.
Each character completely changes the way you approach the game, which creates a decent learning curve, and a fair amount of replayability. There are also daily challenges to complete, and mutations, which, for those who don’t know, are conditions that change each run. These mutations vary from fighting only boss dungeons, to having no deck at all. There is an easy mode mutation for those who find the main game too hard – and it honestly can be!
Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale is hard to fault – occasionally it might feel a little repetitive, and one could even criticise its difficulty if they wanted, but it’s hard to do that when the challenge is so rewarding. Roguelikes are all about trying and failing, and Krumit’s Tale creates a deck-builder in which it’s easy to learn with each successive run, and take a different approach each time.
If that wasn’t enough it’s also distinguished by the fact it’s so hilariously wacky and over-the-top – everytime Mr. Krumit does his creepy giggle at the start of a dungeon, I can’t help but laugh. Krumit’s Tale is a roguelike deck builder that may be hard, but is honestly more approachable than any other I’ve played, softening the harshness of the genre with a quirky art style, inventive cards, and a wonderful off-beat tone.