Indie Overview: Slay the Spire

Indie Overview: Slay the Spire


Combining card-based gameplay with a punishingly hard difficulty curve, Slay the Spire has all the rogue-like elements you love in a compact package.

The term ‘souls-like’ has been bandied around a lot in the gaming world, with any new release that has a steep difficulty curve, intense bosses or simply a dark fantasy perspective described as equal in difficulty, and complexity, to the Souls series. When it comes to card-based titles, Slay the Spire is that ‘souls-like’ game, wrapped up in a compact, rogue-like package.

Currently still in the early access phase of development, Mega Crit Games’ first title has already become a hugely popular title, even while the game continues at a slow pace through its beta phase and on towards release, with many bugs and balancing issues still to be ironed out.

A welcome and refreshing addition to the rogue-like/card genre with an exciting premise, appealing art style and almost boss rush feel, Slay the Spire is based around one concept. Defeating the bizarre creatures you come across, progressing through each progressively more difficult stage, each with their own unique boss, and eventually find yourself facing up against the toughest enemy of all.

The full scope of a Slay the Spire run starts with your choice of three characters, from the melee-based Ironclad to the mysterious poison-and-dagger-heavy Silent and the robotic wizard known as the Defect. Each character offers a different style of gameplay, and their own unique cards and decks to work with.


It might sound like not much content for its ambitious gameplay, but that’s where Slay the Spire’s difficulty, and versatility comes into play. Instead of increasing the number of levels or amount of enemies you face, you can crank up the pressure, choose alternative paths or even take on the daily challenges to create an entirely new experience with the same tools.

Almost a riff off the much-beloved indie title Binding of Isaac’s highly successful daily mode, Slay the Spire is kept fresh for even veteran players by these regular randomised variables. These can provide highly entertaining runs some days where you can wipe out every enemy on the map with an incredibly overpowered desk, or alternatively punishingly tricky runs where you’re left with nothing but the basics.

For those who love the concept of the card game, but aren’t so into the competitive scene that games such as Hearthstone promotes, Slay the Spire is the ideal mix of single-player gameplay and healthy competition. Scoreboards are available for daily runs as well as the opportunity to beat your own end score with each playthrough, arcade-style, but there is also the ability to take your time and enjoy yourself without worrying about end scores and final tallies.

For those who have a love of rogue-likes or enjoy the appeal of card games, Slay the Spire is more polished than the average beta, and absolutely a title to add to your Steam library – especially when it is such a steal at its early access price of £11.99.

About author

Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Creative Digital Copywriter by day, Indie game fan by night. Give me a rogue-like, simulator or RPG to play and I'm happy.


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