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Death Roads: Tournament – Early Access Impressions

Mad Max X Destruction Derby X Card Games... Why not?

Given that I am the “Prima Teama” person for card games, I couldn’t help myself but grab this title for some Early Access Impressions. Immediately I was sold on the idea of a card game that involves cars with a side mechanic (well, two of them actually), so let’s jump right into it. This game is brought to us by The Knights of Unity and Surefire.Games. Upon checking their Steam pages I’ve established that this is their first game! Welcome to the indie gaming scene!

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What’s this Mad Max Destruction Derby Card Game About?

Well, in short and simple words, the game is about traveling from the West Coast (of the United States of America) to the East Coast. Well actually, no. Not about that. About the journey! It’s always about the journey, and not about the destination!

Like in many rogue-like (rogue-lite?) card games, you have a couple of different paths that you can take to reach the finish line. On this route, you’ll see a lot of different battles and events, and you’ll be able to shop for parts for your car (and tune it, as well!). And naturally, all that, just to get killed somewhere along the way, so that you can retry, but with a better arsenal than last time.

Why is Death Roads: Tournament a Unique Game?

Death Roads: Tournament is Unique because of the multi-layered mechanics that you do not get to see often.

  • You have the aspect of moving your vehicle between lanes, forward and backward.
  • You have the aspect of shooting your vehicle’s weapons (which have different functions, and directions in which you can shoot them)
  • You have the aspect of ramming the enemy vehicles… or just running away from the fight by taking it to the highest gear.
  • Speaking of gears, you can shift gears on these cars, and unlock more power on some of the cards you own.
  • You have a little bit more randomness in the moments after your turn, where your vehicle may randomly swerve on the road.

Related: Metal: Hellsinger Review (No Spoilers!)

Is Death Roads: Tournament a Good Game and Should I Buy It?

Once again, let’s emphasize that this is still an Early Access game. The game might be a great hit when it comes out, or it might just stop existing at some point. You (we) never know.

Related: Power Chord Review | Send Them To The Slaughterhouse, BREEEEEEE

In its current state (April 2023), it looks like a fun experience. I toyed around with it for a bit, and the mechanics are challenging to grasp. The game might be too random for someone’s taste, but what else do you expect from a card game, realistically? RNG is at its core for crying out loud.

Regarding the graphics – they’re pretty basic. But playable.

Regarding the audio – the soundtrack (OST) needs to be worked on as it seems repetitive and monotonous after a few hours of playing (once again, I understand it’s “Early Access™” but I also emphasize that there are probably lot of small-time local rock and metal bands that deliver decent quality music and would love to provide some of their songs free of charge or with minimum royalties).

If the current price tag is not much for you, and you love card games on Steam, give this game a shot. It’s bound to provide you with at least a weekend of fun. Check out the official trailer below!

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Image of Nikola L
Nikola L
Nikola has been a Staff Writer at Prima Games since May 2022. He has been gaming since being able to hold an Amiga 500 joystick on his own, back in the early 90s (when gaming was really good!). Nikola has helped organize dozens of gaming events and tournaments and has been professionally attached to gaming since 2009.