Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Game Poster Image
Role-playing/card game hybrid has strong female characters.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Though players can choose questionably moral methods along the way, their job is to defend a kingdom from evil usurpers. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players get to play as two strong female role models; the brave and noble queen and one of her allies - a mighty female warrior, both of whom are trying to save a kingdom.

Ease of Play

The strategy card game mode is complex and difficult, but Adventure mode lets players skip it and focus on story and exploration. 

Violence

Combat appears in the form of a turn-based card game, but blood and dead bodies can be seen as players explore the map. 

Sex
Language

Some swearing such as "shite." 

Consumerism

The latest installment in the popular The Witcher franchise, which has spawned games, toys, and an upcoming TV series.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional references to alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a downloadable role-playing/strategy card game hybrid for Windows PCs. The game is set in the world of popular fantasy series, The Witcher. It contains some swearing with words like “shite” and alcohol is visually and verbally referenced. Combat takes the form of a turn-based card game, and violence is implied by cards being destroyed. During story mode, players will encounter dead and bloody bodies.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGeraltOfRivia2077 November 14, 2018

A Masterpiece of Modern Art

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is, without a doubt, a true masterpiece of modern art. It transcends the barriers of our mere mortal understanding and ascends... Continue reading

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What's it about?

THRONEBREAKER: THE WITCHER TALES is half role-playing game, half turn-based card game. In it, players assume the mantle of a warrior queen who must defend her kingdom from an invasive foreign power, and gameplay revolves among several different modes. Adventure mode lets players explore various maps, fighting monsters, recruiting soldiers, and collecting resources. Resources come in handy during Camp mode where players manage their armies, craft new cards, and build custom card decks. The twist-filled story unwinds as players solve puzzles and defeat AI opponents in turn-based card game combat. In addition to the practical business of running a kingdom, players are also faced with morally complicated decisions that affect people's livelihoods, belief systems, and freedom. 

Is it any good?

This exceptional game is the result of an unlikely blend of adventure game storytelling, resource management, role-playing, and collectible card game mechanics. As entertaining as the various modes of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales are though, the game's true center lies in Queen Meve. This armor-clad monarch possess the strength and charisma of Geralt of Rivia, (the series' usual star) while also being a smart and fearless defender of her people. Though you have the freedom to play Meve as stern and mercenary, she's a noble character faced with the burden of running a kingdom, fighting her enemies, and dealing with a weak and wayward teenage son. As a result, the decisions you're asked to make are never easy. 

What's great about having to make the tough decisions though is seeing how they affect the world around you. Do you hang a highwayman or let him go? Find in favor of one neighbor or the other? These choices will come back later on to help or to haunt you. While exploration and dialog are readily accessible, the turn-based card game combat is considerably harder to absorb. It isn't easy to remember what each card does and how it interacts with every other card, On top of that, various narrative twists alter which cards are available to you. Thankfully, if your skills just aren't up to the task, the easy difficulty setting lets you skip (without penalty) harder battles and get on with the story. In addition to its awesome heroine, emotionally-wrenching storyline, and brain-taxing combat, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales succeeds because of its great visuals and sound. The game comes with more than thirty hours of gorgeous character and background art, not to mention an evocative musical score and great voice acting. Despite all this goodness, card game purists could be put off by deck usage and building limitations. Still, these are small things compared to the fun you'll have sharing playing such a stellar Witcher game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how women are represented in games. How often do games let women be heroes? Why is it notable that Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales chose to focus on female heroes for this game?

  • Which women (in real life or fiction) do your kids look up to? What makes them great role models?

  • Is it better for a leader to be strong and imposing or kind and benevolent? 

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