As in the original Hand of Fate, adventurers explore a dark fantasy world built from collectible cards distributed by a magical dealer in a meta boardgame. Each overturned card reveals a new trial: third-person combat, high-risk high-reward minigames or Tabletop RPG-style decision making.A little over a year ago I reviewed Hand of Fate, an action-RPG with deckbuilding strategy and a lot of tough choices. The concept was unique and clever—you create a deck from encounter and equipment cards, the dealer mixes in some nasty ones of his own, and then a dungeon path is dealt out for you to traverse, making risky decisions and fighting real-time battles along the way. Unfortunately, the experience got bogged down by frustrating balance issues and repetitive combat. Now, Defiant Development has announced Hand of Fate 2, a more nuanced action card game that puts the emphasis on smart deckbuilding, and the original game’s good idea may get the execution it deserves.I got a chance to play an early demo at GDC last month, and I was pleased to find tweaks to the deckbuilding, the encounter designs, and the decisions the player needs to make. The sequel doesn’t feel drastically different, but focuses more on improving and expanding the concepts and systems of the original.Hand of Fate 2 is basically a board game with a series of Oregon Trail-style encounters, each of which gives you dialogue options and choices—the more risk you take the greater the reward. Some of those encounters drop you into combat, which is real-time and very reminiscent of the Batman Arkham games. Each encounter is represented by a card and the dungeon you’re exploring is randomly dealt from the top of a deck, but you get to choose the majority of the cards in that deck, giving you certain level of control over which encounters you may run into.