The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game takes the content from Jim Butcher’s books and presents it in a whole new way. Learn more in The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game review!
As the name suggests, The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game from Hidden Achievement is based on the tabletop game of the same name, which is, in turn, based on the fantasy/mystery book series from author Jim Butcher. Before you dive into the game proper, you should take a closer look at the Tutorial so that you can learn the basics. The game can be played either with the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, or you can use the console’s touchscreen when in Portable or Tabletop Mode – or if you’re playing this one on a Nintendo Switch Lite.´
At first glance, things will seem to be rather packed since there will be a ton of cards on display on the table. Up on the left corner of the screen will be Fate Points (FP) display. FP is used when playing cards, and you can recover some FP by discarding cards. The game is played with a pool of 13 FP for the Apprentice difficulty setting, 8 FP for the Wizard setting, and 4 FP for the Merlin setting. As you can probably imagine, the smaller the FP pool, the higher the overall challenge will be! The more players that take on each match, the smaller the number of cards each player will get for their hand.
Your hand will be displayed at the bottom right of the screen, and it will be different depending on which character you’re using. Since there’s a lot of cards on your hand, and because the text on each one of them is important to know, you can press the ZL button to zoom in so that you can get a better look. Each card will have a cost for the FP you need to use to bring it into play. Discarding the card will also grant you that amount of FP for your stock. The next number in the middle of the card will show the number of Clues that said card will apply to the Case, helping to bring you closer to solving the whole thing.
If you have an attack card, then the number in the middle won’t be for Clues, and it will instead be related to Hits since, you know, it is an attack card. The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game uses Fate Dice to decide the outcome of actions. Each Fate Dice has six sides, with two being blank, two having the “-” sign, and two having the “+” sign. Up next is a number in an arrow, which is the Range of the card. This will establish how far you can attack from the left side of the board, so be sure to always keep it in mind!
In the middle of the playing field, you will see all of the cards that represent the challenges you have to overcome. They are for Cases, Foes, Obstacles, as well as for Advantages. On the upper right corner of the screen, you can see the counter for the number of Foes that remain, as well as a counter for the number of Cases solved. In The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, to be able to win the match, you’ll have to solve more Cases than there are Foes remaining. Because of this, you will also need to make good use of the power of your allies.
Allies are displayed at the top-center of the screen. They will be represented by circular icons with each character’s portrait. Said icons will also have numbers in their lower-right corner, which will represent the number of cards that remain in said ally’s hand. If you’re in a multiplayer match – which can include up to five players in total – then these allies will be controlled by other players. But if you’re playing on your own, then you will take control of your allies so that you can use their abilities to suit your plans.
Characters will have special cards that can help to change the outcome of each match. The Stunt card can only be played once per game, since it’s a very powerful special card that could, for example, allow you to flip it so that you can collect one FP for each Foe with Hits and each Case with Clues on it. On the other hand, the Talent is a special card that will activate every time you discard a card, which can prove to be very useful if you plan things right.
As cards are removed from the board, be that from you using an Overcome card to get rid of an Obstacle, or if you do what is needed to defeat a Foe, the cards that remain will move to the left to remove the empty spot. This can be used to your advantage if, for example, you have an Overcome card with a good enough range as to attack the third card from left to right on the top row so that another card you want to take on moves close enough for you to activate a powerful card that has a shorter range.
At the end of the game, you’ll go into the Showdown phase. During this period, you will get a chance to roll the dice to try and defeat Foes you’ve landed Hits on and solve Cases on which you have made some progress. Showdown cards will present the different rolling options available during Showdown, as well as their costs. The thing is that each book represented in the game will have a different set of rules for the Showdown, so you should check those out so that you can plan accordingly. For example, for Storm Front, there will be different FP costs for adding extra Hits to Foe cards and FP costs for adding Clues to Cases.
Once you go into the final Showdown, there’s no turning back, so make sure you’re ready for it! Each card that is eligible for a Showdown roll will have buttons above it showing the different roll options you have, so that you can select with the A, Y, and X buttons – or by using the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen – if you’ll be spending some FP or none at all for each of the cards. As long as you manage to solve more Cases than there are Foes left once the Showdown is over, you’ll be victorious.
As a fan of board games – and of those that are brought to Nintendo Switch as digital variants of the source material – I was definitely up for taking The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for a spin. I’m here to say that, while it does offer a fun single-player experience, the main draw will certainly be using the multiplayer options as you control Harry Dresden and his allies to beat Foes and solve Cases. You can take on the multiplayer side of things either with the pass-and-play option, in which each player takes turns controlling each character, or you can go online to play with players from around the world. The game gets bonus points for offering cross-play since it helps to expand the number of players out there who can join a new match.
You can get The Dresden Files on its own on the Nintendo Switch for $16.99, or you can go for the Pyrofuego Bundle, which includes the main game and all of the expansions, for $35.99, saving you a little over $6.00 in the process. The Pyrofuego Bundle gives you a chance to play the main adventure along with all stories from 15 books in the series, 14 characters, variant character decks, variant cards, as well as an expanded Side Jobs scenario deck. There’s also the option of getting each of the five expansions at $3.99 each, $2.99 for the Mouse & Variants DLC, and $1.99 for the Ra Crossover DLC.
This The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Hidden Achievement.