Settling a bet with Rock, Paper, Scissors is nice but it’s even better when you can read the future. In Fortune 499, you use fortune-telling cards to predict your opponent’s move and win battles against the demons attacking the human resources department. Fun combat and a unique twist on magical bureaucracy make it a perfect Indie Pick.
Developed by AP Thompson and available on PC, Fortune 499 casts players in the role of Cassandra, a fortune-telling mage working for large corporation. With the threat of downsizing on the horizon, Cassandra needs to prove that there’s still a place on the payroll for a soothsayer. Thankfully, an influx of nasty monsters plaguing the company provides the perfect opportunity to read the future, beat up the bad guys, and prove her worth.
Combat in Fortune 499 is literally magical Rock, Paper, Scissors. The player can cast magic spells for buffs or extra attacks but it always comes down to throwing down your sign. Cassandra has a deck of cards that help predict what the enemy will do. You can up to draw four cards in a turn, each giving an indication of what the enemy will do next. It’s not a perfect prediction of the future but it is usually enough to choose the right move. Fights are brisk and reading the future on the fly is a great time.
Fortune 499 tosses curveballs to mess with the player. Some monsters will magically reduce your attack damage if you draw too many cards, limiting how much of the future you can see. Others will only be vulnerable to magic spells, which recharge if mana is pulled from the card deck. In those fights, the player will need to keep the fight at a stalemate until they can cast their attacks. It might just be Rock, Paper, Scissors but Fortune 499 adds in a lot of tactical variety.
Fortune 499 exudes playful charm with demons and photocopiers that the player can use to print more cards for their deck. The character writing is snappy and the portrait art, done by artist Jenny Jiao Hsia, have an old school, cartoon vibe. (Note: Kotaku video producer Tim Rogers has a close personal relationship with Hsia.) The mind-games are fun and the working class woes relatable. Fortune 499 is a short game that only takes a few hours to play but it holds the player’s attention and is worth checking out.