Step into the role of The Prophet. A mystical figure tasked with leading a convoy of followers across the vast wasteland of Soma. Your story takes place many years after The Crash, an apocalyptic event which lead to the downfall of civilization. Now the survivors scavenge the bones of a once great society to eek out a meager existence, devoid of hope.
Until you gave them some. The Crypt, a utopia offering both safety and technology beyond their imagining. You will lead them there…… or more likely, die making the attempt.
Nowhere Prophet is centered around two core game play aspects. Combat and Travel. Your convoy is the glue which holds these concepts together. Each member of your convoy is a specific card with special characteristics and abilities. This is important both in combat and travel, as specific cards will enable you to take special actions in certain scenarios during your journey.
The Perilous Journey
Traveling through the wasteland is a dangerous trek that requires to specific resources. Each time will be a little different as the maps are procedurally generated. Food and hope. Each day of travel costs will eat away at those commodities.
Food can be found in the wild, traded for, or may be rewarded for winning a battle. Hope however, requires more management. The only way to restore lost hope is to make a camp and share luxury items with them. This may be something as simple as a bag of sweets, or perhaps an ancient bottle of alcohol.
Should you run out of either or both, your followers will starve, desert you, or turn on each other. However, the farther you travel off your path, the more likely you are to find rare followers, resources, and equipment. Choose wisely traveler, or you may find yourself back at the start of your journey.
Your travels will be punctuated by Events, narrative options that will give you several choices, all of which may have amazing or disastrous consequences for you and your merry band. Events rarely have the chance to unlock a different convoy to start your journey with, or an additional class to choose for your Prophet.
These choices will also impact your conveys mindset, which is represented by three specific values: Altruist, Believer, and Scholar. Your choices will add to, take away, or possibly even close off these values. Higher values in a specific category will allow you to use special option in future events.
The Prophet and his Followers
The Prophet is the hear and soul of the convoy. Should the Prophets health drop to zero. The game is over, good luck on the next attempt. At the start of each run you will choose a Prophet class, which has a specific “Leader Deck” which are mostly special action cards that empower a follow, weaken an enemy, or allow you to draw more cards from you convoy deck.
As you journey farther through the wastelands of Soma your Prophet will gain experience to advance in level. Up to level ten, each advancement will grant additional hit points, new leader deck cards, and equipment slots.
Followers are the meat and potatoes of the convoy. Your convoy deck can consist of up to thirty cards, but you can maintain many more members of your convoy. On the play through that I cleared the crypt with, I had nearly seventy convoy members by the end.
Each convoy starts with a specific deck of followers that is then augmented by recruiting at specific locations, or gaining them through special events. Should a follower fall in combat, they suffer a wound and heal in a camp. If they fall in combat while wounded, they will die and be permanently removed from your convoy.
Combat in the Wasteland
Fights in the wasteland take the form of a turn based card game. Each side is represented by a leader, who brings a convoy deck, and a leader deck. The goal of combat is typically to reduce the enemy leader to zero health, but occasionally will have different objectives.
At the start of each battle you have three convoy cards, two leader cards, and three energy. Each card has a specific energy cost that must be expended in order to play it.
At the start of each turn your energy is increased by one and refilled. You also draw one convoy card, and one leader card, however if there is no card to draw, your Prophet will lose two health points.
The Final Verdict
Nowhere Prophet is a gem from Sharkbomb Studios and No More Robots that has benefited from a lot of time, energy and passion. I started playing, and before I realized it I had done nearly six games and eight hours. The game looks and feels very fleshed out.
I honestly have no gripes about the game at this point, which is a rarity for me and should speak volumes for this game. I give the game a solid four out of five and would definitely recommend any fans of card games or rogue likes to pick it up.
Nowhere Prophet will be available for PC and Mac on July 19, 2019.