Testament features an unlikely set of heroes. Kukurito is a little boy cleric who looks uncannily like a little girl. Together with a boy band member ('a valiant knight') and two sexy female companions, they set out to explore the mysteries of the ark: a ship that inexplicably emerged one day from within a mountain. None of the previous exploration teams survived the expedition, and now the king is paying handsomely for a new batch of victims. Will they all be consumed by a giant man-eating plant? Most definitely.
As you can tell, I don't care too much about anime art style, but I don't dislike it either. I suspect I may warm up to the characters if I like the gameplay. Which brings us to what seems to be the strength of this game: card-driven combat. While my website partner, JW, glows when he rolls numbered cubes, I am at my happiest when I play with cards.
The ark spews out monsters beyond any reason or affinity of kind: a wild boar, a carnivorous plant, a flying whale, an armored colossus, a chimera, and 'Testament'. Minions come in wide variety too: rats, skeletons, Indian deities, mushrooms. Since generic epic fantasy types don't excite me, I am glad to see this weird mix instead.
Testament is rich in combos and characters come with their own decks: at the beginning of the game, you choose cards from these decks, mixing and matching them to form a customized hand for each hero, and adjust the heroes' stats accordingly. If you choose wisely, your team will inflict damage or stun the minions that attack them, and also manage to take out the boss of their current level. The game has a reputation for being hard (crazy hard), so working out the perfect coordination of damaging and healing will be a challenge.
As the game will not be available in retail, I have placed my trust and funds in the Kickstarter campaign, and I hope I won't be let down. I think Testament stands out enough to be proclaimed our Solitaire Select of this month. The problem is I am now curious to check Kuro's other game, Unicornus Knights. Ugh. Heal my acquisition disorder, Kukurito!