Video Game Review: Slay the Spire
Title: Slay the Spire
Genre: Roguelike Deckbuilder
Lead Developers: Anthony Giovannetti and Casey Yano
Grade: A but not A+ since it's still in development and it's hard to give a concrete judgement to a constantly changing game.
In a Nutshell: Slay the Spire is a strange game that is legitimately one of a kind. To quote their description on Steam, “We fused card games and roguelikes together to make the best single player deckbuilder we could.” In this, you pick one of two characters (a third is available in the beta version) and start with a basic deck of attacks and defensive cards that you can upgrade and add to your deck as you battle your way up each of the three floors of the mysterious Spire.
The Critique: It’s Early Access. That comes with a weird association of low quality since some games put out in this way tend to be sub-par since they are unfinished and in development still. This game is the best Early Access/in-development game I’ve played yet, but it’s unfinished.
Thankfully, in Slay the Spire, the unfinished part is the story to background the strangely compelling gameplay. There’s no story to speak of. Pick a Character. Pick a path to fight up the Spire. “Slay” the Spire. That’s it. There’s a whale named Exordium that gives you rewards after you defeat one of the first bosses. Why is he there? Why is he helping you? Where did he come from? How is this whale alive without any water? Does he have a family? Does he have a reason to dislike the Spire and help you? We don’t know. But we don’t need to know right now, because it’s still bizarrely addicting and the "Overwhelmingly Positive" Steam reviews reflect that.
That said, if the (as of time of writing) exclusively beta version character were not there, I would have stopped playing immediately after I “slew” the spire the first time. When you beat the game, nothing happens (this could change though,
since the game is still in development). You just get to go again. If one of the three character’s play styles doesn’t really fit you, it could get stale pretty quickly as it started to for me before I switched to the beta and tried the third character out.
This is a weird game and it looks weird. Watching people play, I was bit put-off by the general art style and strange gameplay style. I changed my mind when I got to play it though, it’s just one of those games that are not good to watch but are practically hypnotic to play.
Shout-Out(s): Megacrit took a risk and made a really weird concept into a really fresh feeling game. I’ll certainly be putting many more hours into it. Thankfully, they are being rewarded with massive popularity and “Overwhelmingly Positive” Steam reviews with some of the most excited and positive reactions I’ve seen to a game in a long time.
Buy it Now, Wait for a Sale, or Just Watch a LetsPlay: Buy it Now. As I said, it has a one of a kind play style and it’s a must-have experience for any fans of Roguelikes, Deckbuilders, and fun.