From the creative minds of Yoko Taro (Drakengard, Nier, SINoALICE) and Yosuke Saito (Drakengard, Nier, DQ XI) Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is an turn-based RPG set in a world of swords and sorcery, told entirely through the medium of cards.
With character designs by Kimihiko Fujisaka (Nier Replicant, Fire Emblem Heroes, The Last Story) and music by Keiichi Okabe (Drakengard, Nier, Super Smash Bros), the story follows a self proclaimed hero as they set off to slay a recently awakened dragon, presented in the manner of a tabletop RPG and playing out through narration from the gamesmaster.
Our main protagonist is a bounty hunter who hopes to secure an immense reward for slaying the dragon. He’s joined on his travels by his companions: Mar, a monster very attached to him, and Melanie, a black witch with a grudge against the Dragon. Along the way, they will meet an array of unique characters including Wynifred of the Ivory Order and her silent soldier, Berwyn, and Heddwyn, her sage and mentor, as well as the Queen of Castle Advent, who rules over this vast land.
Fans eager to dive into the world of Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars can download the free demo from the Nintendo eShop, PSN Store, or Steam. The demo acts as a prologue to the upcoming release and features events that unfold in the lead up to Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, as the Ivory Order search for stolen royal treasure. Click on your preferred platform to find a link to their respective store so you can try it, too!
Furthermore, pre-ordering the game will net you the “Golden Dragon Pattern,” which swaps the reverse card design to an original design by Kimihiko Fujisaka as well as a “Traditional Avatar,” which allows them to change the design of the game piece on the field into a traditional craftwork. Fans of the NieR series will also be able to enjoy theming their adventure with a special bundle set, which includes the game, the Pixel Art Set DLC, and seven more DLC themed after NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… There's also a physical limited edition, although I'm not sure that's available anywhere other than Japan at the moment.
Opencritic - 74 (Fair)
Screenrant - 4/5 stars
While Voice of Cards does stumble in spots, it shines as a brilliantly told story that successfully replicates the feeling of the best tabletop gaming sessions, with a game master whose engaging voice carries much of the emotion and tension required to make the setup work. While it certainly won't be for everyone, Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a beautiful title well worth a look from any roleplaying fan, and an example of how excellent design can breathe life into any game with enough to say about its world and its heroes.
NoisyPixel - 8.0/10
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars provides a gratifying experience with a distinct presentation, delightful soundtrack, and remarkable storytelling stellarly utilizing its tabletop context. Even when accounting for its lack of challenge and questionable character focus, it still manages to be a welcoming turn-based RPG any intrigued party can dive into without fear of obstruction.
wccftech - 7.6/10
- Full narration by Todd Haberkorn
- Extra side quests and hidden treasures keep players hunting for clues
- Little RNG, allowing players to focus on strategy and synergy first
- Unique card-focused presentation
- Calm soundtrack that evokes memories of Hamauzu's Final Fantasy XIII works
- Narration lacks emotion and energy during more high-energy story moments
- High encounter rate makes returning through early areas a chore (until you get the ability to evade enemy encounters in NG+)
- The card game minigame is frustratingly bad
- No option to fast-forward or speed up the slower-paced moments in traversal and combat (a patch will arrive after launch to address this)
Destructoid - 7.5/10
If you’re looking for an enjoyable RPG with some novel ideas and strong presentation behind it, Voice of Cards can easily eat up a weekend or two. It’s sweet and doesn’t overstay its welcome, even when I wished it would. While those factors aren’t enough for it to match up against the best-in-class competitors, there are many worse ways to spend a cozy fall evening than curled up with Voice of Cards.
Nintendo World Report - 7.5/10
- Competitive mini-game that can be played outside of the game locally
- Interesting story with some twists
- Simple and accessible gameplay
- Unique card-based presentation
- Only the last dungeon provides much of a challenge
- Soundtrack and voice work could use more variety
- Too many random encounters
Metro - 7.0/10
A traditional turn-based role-player which utilises its tabletop disguise with charm and polish, but isn’t long enough to fully capitalise on its ideas.
Pros: Great battle system and the tabletop presentation is endearing and satisfying to navigate. Script and characters are enjoyable. Brilliant soundtrack.
Cons: As a role-player its short length limits its potential. The world can feel repetitive and thinly sketched. Main narrative is a little underwhelming.
Siliconera - 7.0/10
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, the new Yoko Taro game, puts aesthetics first. But if you love a slower pace? You'll have a good time.
It feels like combat was designed for the endgame and deconstructed to make the early stuff simpler. A full game with the boss fight's complexity and balance would be cool.
It's weird to cheer for your party member getting an ailment, but since it replaces any previous one, it happens sometimes!
RPG 101: always take out the healers first.
The Gamer - 3/5 stars
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars features a striking and quirky tabletop style with delightful gameplay that doesn’t overcomplicate things. While the storyline won’t necessarily grip you, it’s told in a fun and interactive way and this is an easygoing pick up and play title that you can enjoy at your own pace. You won’t be challenged when going card-to-card against your enemies, but you can still find the thrill of a frustrating hand if you delve into the minigame.