Into The Spine Of: Fortune-499

The life of an oracle in a full time office job

Have you ever wondered how it might be working as an oracle in an office environment? How about in a world where magic is normal and demons engage in hostile takeovers of businesses? No? I didn’t either, but Fortune-499 is an interesting RPG tackling that very scenario. While the game is simple in story-telling and gameplay, it proves to be a fun experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Fortune-499 stars Cassandra, an oracle working in the Magic Resources department of an unnamed company. Under this premise, it’s Cassie’s job to predict the future events, hopefully for the prosperity of the business. However, the inner workings of her magical work are a bit difficult to explain to the higher-ups. After all, bad deals being dodged and good hires being made look more like random luck than the skills of an oracle! Just when she is about to get handed the pink slip, though, monsters attack the company in a hostile takeover. With the rest of the wizards and witches away on a work retreat, it’s up to her to stop the hostile takeover and save her own job in the process.

Looking into the somewhat unique world of Fortune-499 is interesting, though its storytelling isn’t perfect. It sounds like there’s an interesting world to explore–but, Cassie is a slave to her job, and the only place the player will get to explore is the office building as she takes down monsters plaguing the various departments. Of course, this itself plays into the story of Fortune-499, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed to not learn more about what surrounds this place. Even something like an optional news page on the office computer would have been nice to have, but ultimately this story is about Cassie, and a lack of complete world building is more of a minor gripe.

Since Cassie needs to stop a hostile takeover, she needs a way of fighting back against the threats rampaging in the office. But, she is an oracle, and not exactly a battle mage. Therefore, she has to get crafty in order to defeat her foes, even if it just looks like punching monsters in the face to onlookers. Battles in Fortune-499 use simple rock paper scissors mechanics, but you don’t have to leave battles up to luck. Cassie invokes her powers of prediction via cards, and the cards can make it easy to decide which move to make. These will raise the likelihood of an opponent to pick certain moves… however, predictions are rarely going to be 100% accurate. The unpredictable powers of an oracle means that even the best in the business cannot perfectly see the uncertain future, and sometimes enemies will make moves you do not expect.

The deck will not only raise the probability of an enemy picking a certain move, however. There are cards that will open doors, cards that can hurt Cassie, and more. It makes each scenario a puzzle of sorts, as you run across monsters with unique tricks up their sleeves. Overall, these battle puzzles are well-crafted and offer multiple solutions. There were a couple end-game bits that didn’t sit well with me, as one was just tedious and the other required writing down a bunch of letters and numbers, but for the most part Fortune-499 avoids frustration and provides interesting twists on the battle system.

Also, I want to mention the art style of Fortune-499. It’s simple, yet striking, only using pastel pink, yellow, and blue against a stark black background. It’s the art that originally piqued my interest in the game, and I enjoyed the cute and colorful pixels throughout.

Fortune-499 is a fun game that’s worth experiencing. It’s simple, yet isn’t afraid to challenge the way you tackle its battles and doesn’t overstay its welcome. There are a couple tiny sticking points, but ultimately it’s a well-crafted title that deserves your attention.

By Elizabeth Henges

I'm actually an accountant, but I like being a multifaceted nerd. I enjoy writing about nearly anything, but I'm partial to video games, cats, and trying to find neat little doodads.

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