Neurodeck has its flaws; there are a few balancing issues that still need to be resolved, and the pacing needs a little fine-tuning. But the good definitely outweighs the bad. There’s something strangely wonderful about facing down phobias with cards like Comfort Food and Grumpy Frown. And with the promise of more improvements to come, Neurodeck can only get better from here.
Neurodeck is an engaging take on the deck-builder genre. The enemies are varied, the cards have cool synergies, the runs in their entirety integrate combat and other activities well. Some difficulty spikes feel unfair. The good news is there are no opponents that cannot be taken down with good card selection and battle strategy. The game does not have the breath or innovation of the best of its class. But the focus on phobia, mental health, and stress make it an interesting experiment. Neurodeck shows how you can create a video game that offers information about the real world without looking preachy while also offering good core mechanics.
Neurodeck is a fascinating card game that explores an often ignored aspect of gaming – our psyche, and in an interesting and fun manner. I would have liked to see more of a storyline as opposed to the raw card game, and phobias would have been more interesting if linked to personal character emotions, but overall the game is fun, well thought out and unique. Deal with that how you like, but cards on the table, the game is aces. (It isn’t; it’s pretty good. But who can resist a good card pun?)
Neurodeck offers up an interesting premise and beautiful visuals. Story-wise and gameplay-wise, however, the whole experience feels like an Early Access release; many areas of gameplay are repetitive, and it’s easy to encounter the same enemies multiple times in a single run. I’m convinced this could be a stunning game if given a bit more love by the developers, but it doesn’t match up to the giants currently dominating the card-game genre. If you’re looking for a deck-building challenge, it’s best to keep looking a little longer.
In the end, Neurodeck is not a bad game. Those who would occasionally start a new session might enjoy their time, as it relies on a refreshing concept and fine visuals. In the long run though, the gameplay mechanics really lack of depth and the difficult topics of the game, such as toxic masculinity or post-partum depression, reveal to be approached in a too vague way.
SummaryNeurodeck is a psychological deckbuilding card game to challenge your fears. Build your deck & capacities by answering personality tests, visiting rooms or meditating. Face your phobia and defeat them through the power of life-inspired cards.