It’s been a while since there’s been a new Fable game. The most recent one that almost happened was Fable Legends, but it was cancelled after it had been in early access for a while. Well, Fable’s back, this time with Fable Fortune! It’s in early release as well, but this one seems a lot more likely to make it into a final product.
Fable Fortune is a digital card game. If you’ve played Hearthstone or any of the other online CCGs that have come out over the last few years it’ll immediately feel familiar to you. That’s a good thing, because in its current state, Fable Fortune has no tutorial or gameplay guide at all. Surely they’re going to add one in, but for now you kind of have to figure things out for yourself.
Since it might be a little confusing when you’re first jumping in, I thought it might be helpful to show you what the game looks like and how the basic gameplay works. I’m not going to get into strategy or crafting or anything else like that right now. This is just going to be about how to play the game.
When you first open the game up, it’s clearly Fable. It has the same humor and quirky fantasy art style as the previous games, and I love that. It actually kind of makes me wish for the millionth time that there was a Fable 4 on the way.
There are a couple of multiplayer options, but right now we’re going into single player just to see how things work.
At launch there are 6 heroes you can select from. Each of those is like a hero in Hearthstone and represents you in the card battle. Each hero has a unique ability that’s special to them, again just like in Hearthstone. Also like with Hearthstone, your card deck is always 30 cards. The cards have different rarities, and the most rare here is Fabled. You can have one copy of each Fabled card in your deck, and you can have two copies of cards of other rarities. And, of course, there are class specific cards that only certain heroes can have in their decks. Pretty standard deck construction for this kind of game.
There are two types of cards in the game: units and spells. Units are the creatures and characters you play out on the board, and they show up as little game pieces. Every unit has a gold cost you have to pay to play it, and they also have a strength, which is their attack value, and a health, which is their hit points. Many units also have text on their cards that trigger special abilities. Strength and health are persistent over game turns, so if you increase or decrease one, it’ll stay that way into the next turn. If a unit’s health ever reaches 0, it’s killed and removed from the board.
The other card type is spells, and those work as one-off actions that do something when you play them, and then the card resolves and is discarded. Spells also have a gold cost, and each one has text that describes what it does when you play it. Some of them might enhance a unit’s strength, some might deal damage, it just varies from one spell to another.
Each hero starts the game with 30 health. Again, just like in Hearthstone and other card games, your goal is to reduce your opponent’s health to 0 before it happens to you. You can reduce their health by attacking with units and casting spells.
One thing that is unique in Fable Fortune is Guard. There’s a Guard button with a shield on it in your interface. Once per turn, you can click that button to pay 1 gold and assign Guard to one of your units. When a unit has Guard, the opponent has to get rid of that unit before attacking any other unit or before attacking you directly. This is the same kind of thing as Taunt in other games, but it just gets assigned differently here. Since you can put Guard on any unit, it really can save you sometimes if you’re down to the wire and about to be killed.
Gold is your primary resource in the game, just like mana in other games. You start each game with 3 gold, and you get one more each turn, up to a maximum of 10. Your gold replenishes each turn, so it benefits you to spend all of it every turn.
The main thing that’s really unique about Fable Fortune right now is its quest system. At the beginning of each game, you pick a quest to pursue out of a random selection of three. As you play, you’ll be trying to satisfy the conditions of the quest. It’ll be things like “Spend a certain amount of gold” or “Play a certain number of spells.” Once you complete a quest, you’ll be given a special card as a reward. You also will upgrade your hero by selecting whether they are Good or Evil.
This is really cool because morality plays a big role in the previous Fable games. When you choose Good or Evil for your hero here, it affects your hero power and also modifies some cards that have different effects depending on your morality.
In the video above I play through a sample round of the game to show you how it all comes together. If you’re into online card games, this is the newest flavor to keep an eye on!