[Beyond PlayStation] Slay The Spire Review
Slay the Spire from Mega Crit and Humble Bundle is a dungeon crawler that mixes in deck building mechanics for an interesting roguelike experience. Learn more in our Slay the Spire review!
Slay the Spire offers three gameplay. You have Standard which is the main mode in which you’ll embark on a quest to, well, Slay the Spire. Your only option at the start will be to play as The Ironclad, the last soldier of the Ironclads who has sold his soul to be able to harness demonic energy. He has 80 hit points, 99 gold, and a skill called Burning blood which heals six hit points at the end of a battle. Once you finish a single run, you will unlock a second character to use, and after completing a run with that character, you can unlock the third one.
There’s also the Daily Climb which allows you to compete against other players to try and get the highest score. As the name suggests, each day you’ll be able to take on a different challenge, which helps to keep the game feeling fresh since you can dive back into it for a bit, take on the Daily Climb, and once done you can carry on and go back to doing a new run in Standard mode, or just go play a different game so that you can do a new Daily Climb in the morning. There is also the option for a Custom mode in which you can customize your experience.
Once you start a new run, you will advance through the game’s areas by selecting your starting room. Each room has an image that will let you know what you’re about to face. You might get to battle an enemy, an elite enemy, get a chance to rest to heal your hit points or smith to upgrade a card in your deck, find valuable treasure, meet a merchant with whom you can do business, an event room in which you’ll get to make a decision that might give you a reward while also introducing a weakness for your character, or enter a room that is marked as unknown, which means that you could end up finding any of the above when you enter. Knowing what type of room you’re about to enter is certainly very important, so you’ll need to pick your starting room wisely and plan accordingly.
As for the gameplay of Slay the Spire, as I mentioned before, this is a dungeon crawler roguelike that mixes in deck building mechanics. When in battle, your objective is simple: defeat your enemies! To do this, you will need to play cards from your deck, and this will require you to use some energy. Your turn will need to end once you’ve run out of energy, and it will be your enemies’ turn to attack. Once your new turn starts again, you will be dealt new cards, and your energy will be replenished – which is shown by the small circle on the lower left part of the screen that will show your total energy count and your current energy count – so that you can repeat the cycle until either one dies.
You can’t just go all out and attack enemies over and over since that is the best way to get yourself killed. You should also play some defensive cards to gain block points, which you can use to reduce some of the damage enemies try to deal to you. To do this right, you’ll need to pay attention to your enemy’s intent, shown by a small icon over their head. If you see a sword, then that means the enemy is intent on attacking you, so it would be wise to stock up on some block points to defend yourself.
Win a battle, and you will gain some valuable loot as a reward for your efforts. This can include some gold for your bag, items such as fruit juice to heal some of your wounds, relics that offer bonuses that will accompany you for the rest of your run – as is the case of an ancient tea set that will allows you to improve at a Rest Site -, or you might get the chance to select a new card to add to your deck. The more powerful the enemy or enemies you defeat, the better the loot you will get after the battle.
Let’s talk a bit about the merchant. Once you reach a merchant room, you’ll be able to put your gold to good use to purchase either new cards for your deck, pay to have a card removed from your deck, or purchase an item to aid you on your quest. The items include things such as thread and needle which allows you to start a battle with a four Plated Armor, Ice Cream which allows you to conserve energy between turns, or a potion that gives you the chance to draw three cards, to name some examples.
When you die – yes, not if but when -, you will be given a score based on the number of floors you managed to climb, the enemies you defeated, the elite enemies you’ve killed, and the bosses you’ve killed. That score will be added to your tally, and once you get enough points, you will be rewarded with more cards that will be unlocked for subsequent runs, changing how you approach the game’s challenges.
Slay the Spire is an easy to understand but hard to master release. Since it’s at its core a dungeon crawler, you can expect a good challenge when you dive into this one. Add in the roguelike elements and the deck building gameplay mechanics as the foundation for combat, and you have a solid combination that makes this a must-have Nintendo Switch release.
This Slay the Spire review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Humble Bundle.