Fights in Tight Spaces from Ground Shatter, Mode 7, and Bithell Games is a roguelike deck-builder turn-based experience that pays homage to classic action movie settings. Check our Fights in Tight Spaces review!
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Fights in Tight Spaces from Ground Shatter, Mode 7, and Bithell Games is a roguelike deck-builder turn-based experience that pays homage to classic action movie settings. The game was released on PC in 2021, and it’s now making its way to the Nintendo Switch as the definitive version. Your journey will begin as the mighty Agent 11, a member of Section Eleven who is called into action to fight against criminal organizations that operate outside of the realms of electronic communication.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate each location and take on organized crime in the best way possible: by cracking open some skulls. Experiment with your inner Jason Borne and unleash your full potential! Once you’ve completed the game’s tutorial – since, you know, you probably haven’t played this game before – you’ll be able to select your first case involving a biker gang. There’s a problem with a network of so-called club houses across Scandinavia that act as a front for smuggling operations on Northern European borders.
Once in combat, you can rotate your view with the L and R buttons. The left analog stick or the D-Pad can be used to highlight the card from your hand that you can activate. Once you’ve made your choice, press the A button to activate it. By highlighting each card, you’ll get to see its cost, damage it deals, or other effects it might provide. Say you go with a Spinning Back Fist. It costs 2 Momentum, deals 10 damage, and allows you to draw 2 cards to your hand. It has a range of 2, so you can use it to attack an opponent that is not right next to Agent 11.
Momentum is the resource that substitutes energy, mana, or any other resource you might have run into when playing a deck-builder before. Finding the right time to, say, use a card that adds some extra Momentum to your count will prove to be crucial during your time with Fights in Tight Spaces. As the name suggests, since combat will take place in tight spaces, you’ll need to make the most of the cards on your hand to not only attack and damage enemies around you but also to quickly move around the area as needed so that you can lower how much damage you receive, or set up a combo of sorts as you go focus on gaining some extra Momentum, to then using a spinning kick to deal damage to an enemy as you move forward towards it, to then deal the final blow with a mighty jab.
You’ll sometimes be given a heads-up as to where a new enemy will enter the scene so that you can plan accordingly. Say that an enemy is about to pop into play during the next turn. If you move Agent 11 over that red square, then that enemy won’t go into action until the turn right after. This can be very useful to manage how many opponents you need to worry about at any given time.
To get a better view of the current scenario and plan what you’re going to do next, checking out your opponents’ health is certainly a good option. You can do this by pressing and holding down the X button. You should also use the cursor to hover over each enemy so that you can evaluate what they will do next once activated and they get their turn to act. The icon displayed will give you some insight into their next action.
Play your cards right – no pun intended – and you could make it possible for enemies to attack each other! Say that a pair of enemies pop into play, and one of them is carrying a gun. That enemy will start activated, which means that as soon as you end your turn, it’s going to shoot its gun. Because of this, you should make sure that Agent 11 is not standing within its line of attack because nothing hurts more than a bullet to the chest! But what if you kick an enemy into the shooter’s line of attack?
Accounting for enemy movement is also going to be part of the mix. Enemies will try to remain away from any tiles near a void, as well as move out of the way of other enemies that are trying to attack you. Knowing this will allow you to stay one step ahead of your opponents. Some of your cards will allow you to send an enemy out of the combat area, something you’ve probably seen in many, many action movies. Kick an enemy over a rail – or push it real good – and that’s that!
Knowing when to use a card to move and when to use a card to block an incoming attack will be just as important as setting up long chains that string a handful of attacks in a row. If you don’t manage to defeat an enemy and only have a single point of Momentum left, you better hope to have a Block card in your hand! As is the case for other deck-building experiences, a Block card will add a set amount of block to your character, which will prevent up to said number of incoming damage.
Your actions – and some special cards – will help to build up your combo, which you can see on the left side of the screen right below Agent 11’s health. Some cards will require you to have an active combo in order to be put into effect. A good way of building up your combo is to use a card that will send an opponent into, for example, a wall. This will not only build up your combo, it will also deal some extra damage. And to keep the cycle going, if you have a Counter card in your hand and enough Momentum… use it!
As you complete each node on a mission, you’ll be rewarded with money and with the option of adding more cards to your deck. Money can be used at the gym node to purchase additional cards for your deck. Extra cards are important since they allow you to diversify your deck as you start to work towards specific deck builds. You can also upgrade your existing abilities and even remove cards that you feel are not good for complementing your current strategy. The bad news is that along with adding useful cards to your deck, you can sometimes also end up with injury cards in there.
Injuries are undesirable cards that are added to your deck here and there during a fight. The good news is that some of them won’t give you much trouble and will only end up cluttering your deck, keeping you from accessing the cards that you need to survive. Unfortunately, there are some cards that can also give Agent 11 negative status effects. Do know that injury cards are only temporary, and they will be removed from your deck at the end of a fight. That is… unless you end up with a long-term injury.
A long-term injury can be removed at a medical node. A medical node can also be used to restore some of Agent 11’s lost health or to boost the max health total. There will also be event nodes for you to explore, but you never know what you’ll run into. Agent 11 could end up being kidnapped, waking up thanks to the cold water thrown at their face. How will you decide to take on something like that? You could tell them what they need to know, thus losing some of your money and an enhancement. You could lie through your teeth and end up losing 10 health. Or you could let your fist and feet do the talking and start a fight.
Fights in Tight Spaces is an interesting roguelike deck-builder on Nintendo Switch. It follows many of the rules you’ve seen in other deck-builders on Nintendo’s console while managing to stand out due to its action movie theme, as well as thanks to also adding grid-based small locations where you’ll stand your ground as you try to survive against all odds. The one thing there is to complain about is that as is usually the case with games moving from PC to consoles, the text can, at times, feel a bit tiny and hard to read. The good news is that this is easily fixed by going into the options menu and activating Dark Mode. There’s also a Daily Challenge option so that you can take on a new objective each day as you compete against gamers from around the world. Fights in Tight Spaces is out today on Nintendo Switch with a $24.99 price tag.
This Fights in Tight Spaces review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Mode 7.