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Signs of the Sojourner is a card game with chats instead of battles

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Deck-building games typically give you cards that represent weapons or spells or a big orc who wants to smash heads. Sometimes you get a field. Your deck is your arsenal. Not so in Signs of the Sojourner, however, where you must use cards to forge connections with people and develop your personality. 

It's a narrative card game where battles are replaced by conversations where the goal isn't to 'win'. Both you and the person you're talking to put down cards in an effort to match symbols that reflect personality traits. If the conversation goes well, you can then swap one of your cards for a new one, a trait you've learned, making it easier to connect with other people. 

There are more advanced cards that can duplicate other cards and slot between ones already in play, but you'll need to meet new people to get access to them. There are also ways to stop you get a strike even if you can't match the previous card, so you've got quite a few options. It's unusual because the people you chat to are trying to help, and if you play the right thing, they can complete the board in one go and let you move onto the next part of your conversation. It's not adversarial, though sometimes it might be difficult to find common ground.  

You can go out of your way to make friends and appease people, but your deck has limited space, so I expect it will be tough to please everyone. Instead you can just choose to develop your character the way you want, which will mean you get along with some people but just rub others the wrong way. It starts out seeming abstract but can get pretty real. 

As well as card chats, you've got a shop to run, though you'll spend a lot of time travelling, looking for new food to stock or doing favours for friends. Chill deck-building, introspection and snacks sounds pretty amazing to me. 

If your interest is piqued, you can check out a free alpha build today. Just join developer Echodog's Discord channel and you'll get immediate access. The full game is due out this year.

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.