Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire

Let’s get one thing out of the way: since it’s both a roguelike and a deck-builder, there are going to be times in Slay the Spire where the line between success and failure is decided by luck. If you can accept that, however, you’ll find that the game is an incredible mix of the best aspects of both genres. The vast array of available actions that come with a deck-builder combine with the procedural generation of a roguelike to form one of the most addictive single-player games in existence. Even the soundtrack is maddeningly catchy. Importantly, Mega Crit Games understands the correlation between efficiency and continued play. As such, there’s very little separating players from the elegant strategic gameplay – the writing is snappy but effective, tutorials are built into the interface as tooltips, and there’s almost no deck micromanagement.

“Fast-paced” is not usually a word you hear in the same breath as “card game,” but it definitely applies to Slay the Spire, which is something of a miracle. Battles are governed both by the balance of offence and defence against limited energy reserves, and by status effects (yours and your enemies’). These range from standard effects, to punishing certain types of card uses, to filling your deck with junk cards that must be removed. There’s a huge variety to the events, items, and strategies available, and much of it cleverly plays with the possibilities of introducing card mechanics to an RPG. And that’s before you even unlock the character who cycles through the cumulative effects of different elemental spheres. It’s admittedly quite easy to break the system with the right equipment combinations, but there are plenty of incremental difficulty levels to counteract that.

8.5/10
8.5/10

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