Thero’s Recommended Gaming: Slay the Spire.

It has been quite some time since I have recommended a game on A Reluctant Hero. I thought I would change that today, by recommending a game that I still play three years after its release. The game I am recommending today is Slay the Spire.

Slay the Spire is a roguelike deckbuilder developed by Mega Crit games. In the game, you select one of the characters that you will use to traverse the Spire, a mysterious location filled with treasure, aggressive creatures and strange events. As you progress through the Spire, you will have to choose the path you take which affects the encounters you will experience. Do you choose to fight an enemy for more rewards or choose a rest site which allows you to recover some HP or upgrade one of your cards? In this way, Slay the Spire reminds me of the old choose-your-own-adventure books that I used to read as a teenager, as your adventure in the Spire is down to your choices.

Image source: Slay the Spire‘s Steam store page.

The choice of character is also an important decision as each of the characters plays differently and has access to different cards. For instance, the Ironclad is focussed on melee combat and is all about strength or defence; whilst the SIlent is more about poison or small but more frequent attacks. I personally enjoyed the Ironclad’s playstyle but my boyfriend enjoyed playing the Defect. Each of the characters are so different that there is a character for anyone’s preferred playstyle. You start each game with a basic set of cards but as you win battles, visit the shop and experience encounters, you will be able to expand your deck with more varied cards that will allow you to shape your deck based on the way you want to play. This offers Slay the Spire a huge amount of replayability as each of the characters have a lot of cards that are available to them and it will take you a few playthroughs to experience the cards available.

Image source: Slay the Spire‘s Steam store page.

A major part of Slay the Spire is combat. Most of the floors will be enemy encounters, with some being ‘elite enemies that are effectively mini boss battles. Each act ends in a boss battle that will test the deck you have created. Battles are turn based and each card is an action that you can use in the battle. The cards cost energy to use and you only get a certain amount of energy each turn/ The fights themselves are balanced, with each type of enemy having a particular tactic and their intentions are displayed above their heads. I like this approach as it means Slay the Spire isn’t trying to cheat you but if a monster does defeat you, iot will be because of your choices. If an enemy does reduce your HP to sero, then it is game over. However that is not a bad thing as each run of the Spire, successful or not, will give you experience that also unlocks additional cards that will appear.

Overall, Slay the Spire is a challenging but fun experience. It has a nice level of strategy and learning curve that won’t put off newcomers. It  is a rewarding experience, that means a game over isn’t truly punishing. It is a game that gives you that ‘just one more round’ feeling, so be prepared to put many hours in Slay the Spire, if you do choose to give it a go!

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