Review: Ash of Gods: The Way (Nintendo Switch)

By now, you’ve heard all about deckbuilders. It’s that genre that continues to see new games get released at an almost weekly pace. I’m a fan of deckbuilder games but even I have to admit that it’s getting harder and harder for a deckbuilder to come across as unique. Many are fine at best, but constantly do the same thing as the last 10 deckbuilders. So I went into Ash of Gods: The Way with a ton of doubt that it’d be anything new. Yet somehow, I come away really impressed with this unique take on deckbuilders. It isn’t perfect but Ash of Gods: The Way is a fun take on the deckbuilding genre that shouldn’t be missed.

Review: Ash of Gods: The Way (Nintendo Switch)

In Ash of Gods: The Way you play a young man who lost his family in the last war with a rival nation.You’re tasked with infiltrating the rival nation, Frisia, to prevent another war from ever happening. You impersonate a Frisian Aristocrat to compete in the war games known as The Way. The thing is, the Frisians have also turned the game into a sport and use actual people in the games for entertainment. A little messed up, no?

Ash of Gods: The Way does follow the usual pattern of most deckbuilders, where you slowly get more and more cards as the game goes on. You then use those cards to build decks for each battle. The unique twist is that Ash of Gods: The Way leans more into the tactical strategy genre for its battles. It’s not enough to simply have cards to play in the battle, but like most tactical strategy games, understanding where you are on the battlefield is key.

One thing that will determine how good or bad your deck is has to be the rules for each battle. Every battle has a different set of rules and win conditions. Ash of Gods: The Way does have a standard set of rules, that being to defeat the other player’s commander. However, the fun twist in Ash of Gods: The Way is that different characters have the ability to change the rules of a battle. The battlefield is constantly changing in size. Your opponent might not even have a commander on the battlefield. There could be obstacles or traps that hinder movement. No two battles are ever the same and thus you have to rely on your own strategy instincts to win a battle.

Another impressive aspect of Ash of Gods: The Way has to be its great production values. The art style is completely unique and the quality in the details really shine. The entire game is completely voice acted, which is really impressive to me. No line in the game went unspoken, which is in stark contrast to even some major AAA games on the market. Even the soundtrack is absolutely top notch. It’s got a strangely haunting sound to it, which perfectly matches the world you’re in. 

My only major issue with Ash of Gods: The Way is that it always felt like the enemy had the advantage over me. No matter what battle it was or where I was on the grid, I always was at the disadvantage. The enemy would get off hits before me, I’d always take more damage, etc. There was never a single battle in the game where I felt like it was an even battle, or that I ever had the advantage (which I genuinely thought I had considering my deck). Sure I was able to figure things out and, in the end, win the battle. Yet it never felt like it was a fair fight.

In the end, Ash of Gods: The Way is a unique take on the deck building genre that fans of said genre should check out. It follows the usual “collect cards and build a better deck” that most deckbuilders follow but with the fun twist of leaning more into tactical strategy battles. Add in the potential to have different characters in a battle, which may change the rules of said battle, and you’ve got yourself a game that never has two of the same battles. Ash of Gods: The Way does make you feel like you’re always at the disadvantage going into literally every battle, regardless of the deck you’ve built. Regardless, Ash of Gods: The Way is a fun enough take on the deckbuilding genre that you should definitely give it a look.

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