Fights in Tight Spaces Steam Early Access Report
Disclosure: This Fights in Tight Spaces Steam Early Access Report is based off of a copy of the game provided for free.
Fights in Tight Spaces, developed by Ground Shatter, is a deck-building and turn-based tactics game that presents tactics in a way that I personally have not experienced before. Sent on missions by Section Eleven, it is your job to fight criminals and maneuver your way through a rogue-like combat tactics experience without dying. Like the title says, all fights are fought in ‘tight spaces’ and it is up to you to pick the right card for the right moves to put you in the best position to advance to the next level.
In the currently version, players can’t build their decks from scratch, but you start with a “Balanced” deck and can unlock more preset decks as you play the game and get farther. In my experience with Fights in Tight Spaces so far, I’ve found the game be very rewarding once you figure out what the cards do and how each card affects your movement within the level to prevent harm. The actual gameplay involves using “Momentum”(Mana equivalent) that you spend to play cards that have various attributes like damage, shields, and probably the most important element, movement effect. For example, some punches and kicks may not move the enemy back a space, but some will, which can impact how the level will play out in a significant way. As you learn the game you will figure out tactics like kicking enemies out of the level through doors and positioning yourself so enemies end up attacking each other. Some cards even need to use combo points that are obtained through consecutive attacks.
So far in my experience I really enjoy the gameplay mechanics. The rogue-like aspects of the game are very similar to Slay The Spire, as you choose paths moving from level to level and your cards upgrade similarly too. One thing I really like about the game are the various bonus objectives, for example you can get extra cash if you complete levels in a certain amount of turns. For now, I found the difficulty of the game to be relatively fair with learning the cards and spacing as the bigger obstacle. Once you learn how the cards are structured and a decent flow of tactics, your enjoyment levels will increase dramatically as you fly through the levels.
Given that this is a Steam Early Access version, the game still obviously has flaws, but are expected. Probably my biggest issue with the game so far is the overall grey-white theme of the levels and fonts because it makes it difficult to read text, and even worse, the outlines of obstacles within levels do not pop out enough if your character is far away so you know not to move into them and get boxed in by enemies. Although you have rotation camera control with Q and E, the camera feels stiff and sometimes I felt like I needed a better angle to view everything, like a different Y-axis to spin the camera on the X-axis with Q and E than what the game was providing me.
Fights in Tight Spaces just entered Steam Early Access on February 14, 2021 and they have estimated version 1.0 will be released in less than a year.
I am excited about what the game has to offer moving forward, especially the Daily Play Mode and more variables to starter decks. The developers have provided a roadmap that can be found here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1265820/view/3037086990119472040
My Version 1.0 Wishlist:
- Better Level and Font Color Scheme than White-Grey
- Better Camera Movement
- Level Obstacles Better Outlined