Slay the Spire has become my latest obsession


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PC/Mac/Linux •

I still haven’t figured out how to use Steam. I mean, I play games on Steam quite a bit, but scanning the store for new arrivals and Early Access gems isn’t something I’ve acquired a skill for. As such, I have to wait until I see someone tweet or post about a Steam title before I’m aware it exists. Slay the Spire is a recent example. I’ve been playing the Early Access version for a couple days, thinking I stumbled onto something special, only to find that it’s been available for 2 months now and we’re the only damn site that hasn’t written up something about it. So, just ignore the fact that Slay the Spire isn’t a brand new release and play along.

Slay the Spire is a roguelike deck-builder which is a combo that should get your blood pumping because it’s the same magical duo that powers a certain gem with terrible artwork. Yes, I’m talking about Dream Quest, and Slay the Spire has much of the same feel. Luckily, it adds enough new mechanisms that while the thrill remains similar, gameplay feels completely different.

As in most dungeon-crawling roguelikes, you play as a single soldier drawn from one of three available classes. You’re offered a map with multiple starting points that twist, converge, and diverge all on their way to a boss at the top. You get to pick which paths to take, with the map clearly showing if you’ll be battling a monster, an elite, nabbing a chest, or whatever. The map is also filled with question marks which can be anything, but often seem to be choose-your-own adventure style events where you get to pick your own destiny. Everything you do leads to more gold, magic items, and cards. You’ll get to add new cards after just about every encounter, while other encounters will let you upgrade cards you already own or discard fodder from your growing deck.

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This might be Carmen Sandiego’s sister.[/caption]

Combat is a simple affair from a rules perspective, but isn’t something you can wade into just tossing cards from your hand willy-nilly. First of all, you have a small pool of energy to draw from each turn, and each card you play will drain some of it. Your starting cards are either “defense” or “attack” cards, so you’ll have to decide if you want to use your energy this turn to protect you from the enemy’s oncoming attack, or do you go on the offensive? As you earn cards and items, the game’s depth begins to emerge. You’ll be looking for combos with your own cards, but also need to be aware of special abilities that your enemies are throwing at you, making some of your cards less effective than they should be. Each battle is a new puzzle to unravel and it’s great.

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I move for no man.[/caption]

A big part of what makes Slay the Spire so damn good is the sheer variety of options offered each encounter. The game has over 200 cards, over 50 unique encounters, over 100 different items to find, and every level is procedurally generated so you’ll never see the exact same sequence of events twice.

Slay the Spire is currently in Early Access on Steam for PC/Mac/Linux. We’re not sure when it will be going into full release, but I’ll say that the EA version is pretty polished as-is. I haven’t encountered any crashes or bugs yet, and I’ve been playing the hell out of it. We’ve put in a call with developer, Megacrit, to see if there’s a chance Slay the Spire would ever appear on mobile. It seems like it would be a perfect fit, particularly for tablets, but we haven’t heard back [Dave sent them an email only a few minutes ago, so it’s not their fault.- ed.]. We’ll keep an ear out, and will most likely be posting an in-depth review when Slay the Spire has its full release.


It’s an excellent game, with a dev who’s very active pushing weekly updates and communicating on the game’s Discord channel.


What’s a discord channel



Slay the Spire Discord channel invitation


The gateway to the Fifth Circle of HELL!

I’m sure there’s some folks who like it, but I lasted less than 45 minutes on Discord. Too many clowns afraid to have an unexpressed thought.

Re: The actual post. Nice find. Investigating now. Since, you know, it’s not like I have an “Unplayed, Please Play Me” folder of games …


Dave’s making a “funny” since we just added a Discord channel.

Doesn’t everybody have such a folder @TheDukester? :slight_smile:


Holding out hope for a switch or mobile version, but last I heard that wouldn’t even be considered seriously until the pc version is out.


Based on this review I went and bought the game, and immediately spent my next 6 hours playing it!

Really fantastic, finally the successor to Dream Quest that I have been waiting for. My only complaint is that there are only 2 character classes. I am ready for more :slight_smile:


There’s a third character already in the works, but it seems like that’s the only additional one planned.


That’s a downer. For it to be a DQ-type experience, it seems like more classes would be vital. Part of that game’s charm is how very different each class plays, and there’s so many of them.


In case anyone is interested, this works quite well on ipad with touch controls via the steam link app.


It’s also coming to Switch on June 6th with touch controls!


Right, and I had been waiting for it to come to switch. But when I finally saw the announcement for the switch release, I realized I could instead play it on iPad via steam link or PS4. Those options haven’t been available for all that long. So I decided not to wait any longer. In all likelihood, I will get it on switch as well.


Actually, just FYI and just for completeness of information; StS and basically any computer game on PC or Mac, has been available for stream play for many years now by via other apps such as Splashtop, chrome Remote Desktop, VNC viewer, and team viewer. Steam link actually does little more than those apps, and they’ve been around for years. They even all 4G internet play, which steam link is only just about to allow (if not already?? It did in the beta). Also, some of those apps imo offer a better control scheme.

I’ve been using Splashtop with my Mac and iPhone for about a year now and settled on it because I liked the way it simulated the mouse control.

Basically any “mouse only” input game that is turn based can be played using these apps quite well. I play StS and Into The Breach remotely to my Xs Max.

Anyway. Yes. StS is incredible and I can’t wait till it releases on phone supposedly later this year. Until then, on iOS there’s Dream Quest, night of the full moon, pirates outlaws, Card Quest, lophis roguelike, dimensions of dream, spellsword origins, Silent Abyss and Royal booty Quest (is a clone of StS with terrible graphics and some changes up basically because they just couldn’t quite copy it completely in all its intracies).


Ok, sure, this particular method. I’ve actually used splashtop (not recently, mind you). I’ve also used the physical steam link hardware. The new app is better than either of those experiences.

I’d happily play an updated version of dream quest. Can’t get past the programmer art.



I am the person who asked him for a way to give him more money. I love this game.


Interesting game … but all conversations about its future have to begin with the “art.”


But if he is working on an art update, which he obviously is, I’d gladly shove a wad of cash at it. I’ve never played, but it is basically the grandfather of a genre, and many love despite how awful it looks. I mean, it HAS to be good to get past that. I recall people describing monster slayers as a lite version of Dream Quest.

And thanks for that @Shadowfax


It’s the game that makes me understand why people love Dark Souls. It is brutally hard and that makes every triumph truly awesome and exciting. And every character, every enemy, they all play so drastically different.

Also, call me crazy but I love the art. I hope if he changes it he adds the option to keep the old stuff. It had charm, and hey, he was letting his daughter do it.