parasurv@webspace ~ $

Slay the Spire

Date: 2021-02-03

I wanted to buy Slay the Spire for a long time, but either I missed sales, or I didn't have money when it was on sale. However I got an email newsletter from GOG, with a code, and a 55% discount, which is the most this game was on ever. I couldn't miss this, and bought the game!

slaythespire-cover.png

What is Slay the Spire?

I am not a math expert, or a card player, but I liked the concept of Slay the Spire. It is a single player card game, where you build your collection throught the journey, and face monsters, get relics through merchants, and find bosses. It's a simple game, but hard to master. It also has some rogue lite elements, since every run is different, the paths are different, so you will never have two runs the same. Some people are turned off by random events, but it keeps the game fresh and challenging.

There are many classes that has different abilities and starting stats, plus the greeting monster also offers some variety at the beginning of each game.

I doubt I'll ever master this game, but the nice graphics for the cards and monsters, plus the game music, which is very listenable, makes the game a good timewaster and gives our mind a little bit of an exercise as well. And since it's not really graphics intensive, older computers, and even laptops can run the game.

Classes and other gameplay elements

Every character has a starting deck, that we can expand when we slay monsters along the way. There are normal monsters, expert monsters and bosses. Plus we have merchants, where we can buy cards, potions and relics too. There are random events, which are signaled with question marks on the map. Some of them are risky, but sometimes we can find another merchant too. Rest places offer us to rest and regain HP, or improving one selected card from the current deck. When you are using the map, you can highlight these points, so you can plan the way for you to go.

There are 3 acts, each ends with a boss, but there is a long way to that. Personally I am still dying at the beginning part of act 2. I still trying to find my character that's best suited for me. Each one has there own stuff they do, things they carry, and they are not similar.

After character selection we got a randomly generated map for act 1. The starting point is usually a fight against a weaker monster. We have 3 energy points that we can use to play cards. Every card has its own points from 0 to 3. However we can get energy points through some cards and I think even potions? Every class has its own starting HP, relic, etc. There are currently 4 classes, but we start with Ironclad and unlock the others as we play the game.

There are no timer for plays, since it's a single player game, we can think about our decision as long as we want.

Game modes

Talking about game modes. We have standard, which is just the regular game mode. Then we have the daily climb, which are daily challenges, something new every day, and then we have custom where can modify our run.

Music, UI

I have to say the music is very pleasant, I like listening to it, fitting for the game. The graphics and UI is simple, but it helps to identify stuff on screen clearly and fast. If you don't know something, you just hover over it, and you get an explanation. Important part for us, beginners is the Compendium, which is an in game lexicon for all the cards and items. Note that only the discovered ones are in there. You will unlock cards and items as you play the game more and more.

slaythespire-compendium-cards.png

One good thing is, that I can put StS on a different workspace and I can take a break whenever if I want to. I guess it's alt-tab friendly too, if you are using floating window managers. I had trouble starting the game on Linux at first, but I wrote about a simple solution for that.

While the game is primarily controlled by mouse, there are surprisingly a lot of keyboard shortcuts in game, which they are all modifiable. Kudos for the devs doing this! Another nice thing is the language support, even Esperanto is there.

Profiles and stats

slaythespire-stats.png

Another thing I like is that the game is profile based, so if more people use the computer, they can play parallel. Or one player can have different profiles, although I am not sure if it's useful or not. I like that under our profile we can see the gametime, which for me is now, just short of 4 hours. What can I say, the game is addictive. And of course we have even more detailted statistics in the menu, per character, and some achievements. The game preserves everything, including our past runs, which have a seed number to it, which of course mean, that in custom mode we can replay that exact journey.

I recommend

While I watched the game before, mostly on Lifecoach' stream, I still didn't know what to expect when I actually play the game myself. I am not a card player, although I dipped my toes into Hearthstone, MTG (digital version), Gwent, and some weeb card game that I don't remember the name of it. Those card games have the incredible timesink to not just get better, but to get cards at all, especially if you don't have money to get cards.

Slay the Spire however combines the deck building, with dungeon mastering through random dungeons. The perfect single player card game, combined with rogue-lite elements. In fact this is my favorite rogue-lite game right now, taking my personal throne from Ziggurat itself. At least here we don't have angry carrots, hehe.

If you like card games, or turned based games that don't make you rush through places, this is a game I can recommend, with potetially hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay ahead of you. It's a pick up game, you can play a half hour, then quit, and continue that run later.

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