‘Hand of Merlin’ looks like heaven for fans of complicated strategy

Early Access gameplay can be intimidating – have you ever heard of “too many chefs”, except that all chefs are gamers? – but they can also lead to some lovely polished games that can’t go into Switch mode until they actually, really good.

It sounds like Merlin’s Hand is one of those games, which has been in Early Access on Steam long enough for eight major updates, all of which are coming to version 1.0 on Switch.

The Hand of Merlin is a turn-based roguelite RPG that combines dark sci-fi horror with Arthurian lore, as your chosen group of three heroes adventure from Albion to Jerusalem on a quest to save the world. In addition, there are some really in-depth strategy mechanics, from the sound of the blurb game:

Utilizing turn-based and team-based combat, players can employ cunning tactics to hide, set up ambushes, and coordinate attacks to conquer enemies that abhor both humans and enemies. The world is trying to harm them. With a big focus on exploration and encounter, players will traverse an intricately crafted multiverse as they jump from one parallel dimension to the next.

Every world saved will be saved forever, but every world lost will be lost forever, into darkness. Adventurers will need to weigh the consequences of their actions in the decisions they make as their human form has its limits.

The game gives us strength Divinity: Original Sin II and XCOM vibe, with the familiar grid-based chess you can also find in Fire Emblem Game. But there’s also the story element, it seems like Magic! games, or Your Own Adventure-style narratives, are certainly an intriguing combination.

Hand of Merlin arrives on the Nintendo Switch eShop on June 14 and will cost £26.99 / $29.99.

Looks like your strategy is stuck? Let us know in the comments section!

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