Haxity is a brand-new game that takes the deckbuilding components of a game like Slay the Spire or Monster Train and transplants them into a cyberpunk world. Despite those futuristic new threads, it’s still a rogue-like game, and you still build your deck. In the early build we went hands on with there are also three characters to choose from, each of whom has different styles to try out.
The campaign is cool; you fight your way through enemies, get stronger, and get to find out a little more about the world. However, as involving as the single-player set-up is, it’s not what makes Haxity special; it’s the unique gameplay.
You set out three moves out once; there are attacks, debuffs, buffs, special effects, timings to worry about, and a few other things. That’s all incredibly relevant, but what makes Haxity so easy to understand is that it all boils down to rock-paper-scissors.
See, you’ve got melee moves, ranged moves, and skills. Melee beats skills, skills beat ranged, and ranged beats melee. All makes sense. Each round consists of you and the opposing player placing down three cards in secret, which basically means you’re playing rock-paper-scissors with three arms at once, all revealing at the same time.
That’s stage one of each round. When all of the cards are revealed, you’ll see whether or not you made any successful attacks, if it was a mix, or if you’ve been decimated. It’s a really interesting way of doing things, and I really like how it feels, however, the best is still yet to come.
Once you’ve both shown your respective hands, you then have a moment to panic/bathe in your own magnificent abilities, and then the turn order becomes relevant. You now get to take turns to use your hacks on the cards. These alter a lot of different things, and can turn a loss into a win, or a tie into a crushing defeat.
You can do things like swap the order of cards around, make an attack hit first, boost the damage a card does, or just stop your opponent messing with your stuff. It adds an almost real-time element to the turn-based battles. It makes them far more lively, far more interesting, and a lot of fun.
What makes Haxity extra-specially-cool though, aside from everything already mentioned, is that it has a PvP mode. In fact, I’d wager that more people will play the PvP mode than the single-player campaign. Getting PvP in a roguelike deck-builder is very rare, and Haxity pulls it off wonderfully.
I had the chance to play against one of the team last week, and aside from getting thoroughly thrashed (of course, I don’t have to tell you that some of the matches were close), I had an excellent time. You fight it out across multiple battles, and in-between each one you get a chance to upgrade your deck, or your character, or just remove cards.
It adds a layer of strategy to the PvP that allows for mind games and bluffs, just like the best card games. It’s a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see it out in the wild and witness how people just break it all open and trash each other. Haxity is an ultra, top marks, superbly cool game – have I mentioned that? – but the PvP mode is an exceptional addition that really sets it apart from its peers.