Ruff Ghanor (Nintendo Switch) – The test

Halfway between physical card games like Pokémon, and virtual collectible card games like Hearthstone, there is a large number of rogue-like or rogue-lite type card games like Slay the Spire for example. The latter paved the way for a large number of games of the same genre, so it's not easy to stand out from the crowd. Ruff Ghanor is part of this group and he has a few tricks up his sleeves to stand out from the competition.

For a handful of action points

Ruff Ghanor is an adventure game, RPG with card-based combat in a heroic fantasy universe populated by monsters, bandits, orcs and all the bestiary corresponding to the genre. It's a rogue-lite, which means that death is permanent but the improvements that we buy or the new cards that we choose remain in our inventory for the next game. So each defeat still makes us progress in the long term since we improve our overall equipment.


The player plays Ruff, a young goat herder who will have to take up arms to fight against hordes of enemies who have come to destroy his village. For this he will be helped by his friend Korin and his lover Axia. His quest will ultimately take him far from his family to save his world. Nothing but very classic, but still effective. Moreover, this game is taken from a novel entitled The Legend of Ruff Ghanor written by Leonel Caldela.

The game is played turn-based. When our turn begins, we draw five cards, and according to the indications above our enemies which tell us what they are going to do next turn, we will use our cards to the best advantage by spending our action points. We have three action points per turn and cards are worth zero to three points as a general rule. So depending on their value we can play one or more.

If an enemy is preparing to attack us, we will instead prepare our defense and increase the value of our shield. If our enemy prepares to defend himself, then we must attack him immediately as long as he has little or no shield. It's all about anticipation and strategy. Particularly at the end of a fight where it is better to avoid ending with an almost empty life gauge because we keep our life bar from one fight to another.

And for a few more action points

The cards are divided into three categories, red attack cards, yellow defense cards and blue healing cards. Quite regularly, between fights, Ruff's story is told to us and there are random card draws to decide the rest of the story. For example, you must draw five cards and have at least two healing cards in the lot. If successful, we gain a new card for the current game which will provide us with a bonus. In case of failure, we will win a card which will cause a penalty when we draw it. This random aspect is quite frustrating because it happens that we lose a game because of several unfavorable random draws, and it's annoying.


Cards have a basic effect, like dealing a blow, increasing the shield or healing a little, but they also sometimes have secondary effects like giving miracle points. These miracle points, once in sufficient quantity, allow us to cast an attack spell or protect all of our heroes. Quite often, our hero finds himself associated with another character to fight. Each having specific cards, this allows for even more strategic battles.

The story of Ruff Ghanor is divided into three acts which must be done in one go to win the game. But you will have to try it a certain number of times before getting there, because you will have to win money to unlock new cards or to improve cards already in our possession. One last thing helps our hero in his quest, these are the relics that he will be able to gain as he progresses and which have various but always beneficial effects to help him in his fights. A relic gains one miracle point per turn, another will increase the damage when you play an attack card. The choice of relics and their number is important if we want to see the end of the game.

Finally, graphically, the game is pretty, it recreates a Dungeons & Dragons atmosphere with its stylized drawings and its typically heroic fantasy settings. The soundtrack is of the same caliber, it fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the game.

Ruff Ghanor is available oneShop at the price of seventeen euros.



  • Great replayability
  • Intense fights
  • A real progression curve
  • Very pretty drawings


  • Quite frustrating randomness
  • Only in English

Note details

  • Graphics
  • Soundtrack
  • Difficulty
  • Fun
  • Replayability