Take back your swamp in Toads of the Bayou, a deckbuilding roguelike with a splash of turn-based-tactics for flavour

I know we've had a downright deluge of roguelike deckbuilders over the past few years, but by golly I can't seem to get enough of them—I just like gathering my funny little cards, and the process of rinse & repeat is soothing to me, as my recent Hades obsession can confirm. Toads of the Bayou certainly looks like the next darling to scratch that itch.

As revealed in this year's PC Gaming Show, Toads of the Bayou is a deckbuilder-slash-roguelike game that blends cards with good ol' fashioned turn-based tactics. Baron Samedi, a nasty spirit, has trapped you and your fellow hoppers in a cursed bayou to wallow and suffer. 

Unfortunately for Samedi, he didn't realise toads have invented firearms. Classic blunder, could happen to anyone.

What's interesting, to me, is how Toads of the Bayou has both combat and movement cards on offer—generally-speaking, deck builders are turn-based affairs where your only real consideration is finding synergies to get their numbers down and your numbers up. Requiring players to consider cards for movement is a genuinely interesting twist to a genre that could be considered by some (not me) a little overdone.

The game's sense of visual identity is also doing a lot of heavy lifting. Toads of the Bayou has a satisfyingly crunchy pixel art style ala Into the Breach, but the card art has this faux-3D rendering style similar to what you'd get in Hearthstone legendaries. The character design is also peak—I mean, there's a toad wearing a nun habit and slinging a rifle. Tell me you don't want to hang out with her, and I'll show you a liar.

Being a roguelike, the game's core concept also seems smartly placed, justifying your continued upgrades with city-building. There's an element of city-building where you and your fellow toads are making the best of your new ghostly landlord's crummy facilities—as the Steam store page lays out: 

"All of the buildings such as: The Garrison, The Witches Hut and The Armoury will be inhabited by allies who will grant you unique abilities and cards to add to your deck. Set up traps and upgrade your territory to fight off enemies attacking your settlement."

It sounds like a familiar gambit to Pyrene, a game I tried out earlier this year and had a ball with, so I'm on board. If kicking it with some wart-ridden friends down by a cursed river seems like your idea of a good time, Toads of the Bayou will be hopping onto Steam in October of this year. 

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.