Slay the Spire is a card-based roguelike game where you try to battle your way up the titular spire and is available this month on PS NOW. You start with a basic deck that varies depending on whatever class you’ve picked for that run. As you progress up the floors you power up with new cards, potions and relics. Cards have abilities, potions give you temporary little boosts and relics give you permanent bonuses that range from minor little extras to wildly powerful abilities.
Along the way you’re going to be facing off against all sorts of enemies like slimes, snakes and all kinds of weird monsters. At its core this is a lovely little premise, it’s simple and easy to understand but underneath that simplicity is an incredibly deep and complex engine of synergies and tactics all of which make themselves clear just through your time with the game.
Slay the Spire is one of those games that kind of sneaks up on you, I definitely liked it at first but after a while it was all I could think about. Theorizing card synergies and planning out my next run. It just managed to drill its way into my head and to be honest I can’t say I mind it too much. The personal progress I made playing Slay the Spire where I started of vacantly staring at the choice of 3 cards at the end of combat was amazing as after a few hours I was starting to understand synergies in each card or relic I picked out.
Both were informed by and influenced the vision I had for that deck. Every run is a new experience and after a while I knew which synergies worked best and building each new deck was this fantastic exploration of the different possibilities you could run into. Where Slay the Spire truly shines is the absolutely fantastic combat. Having a very easy to grasp action point and block system gets you into the game quickly with tons of room for growth as you strengthen your skills.
What’s more is in Slay the Spire you can go through this satisfying game with each class and as a little bonus they’re unlocked in order of complexity. It allows you to get to grips with the game as you progress through the classes and each class is entirely unique, they have a completely unique pool of cards and massively varying playstyles.
The Ironclad is a sword wielding soldier that’s all about damage, the Silent is a huntress who wields a dagger and utilizes poison that cause crippling effects and the Defect’s playstyle revolves around a unique orb mechanic that causes him to snowball into an absolute monster. Along with being single player, Slay the Spire throws out the frustrations I have with other deck building games. I like playing Hearthstone, Magic the Gathering and Gwent.
The tactical thought is really interesting and exciting to me but I don’t enjoy the overhead work of researching and building a deck. By giving you a choice between just 3 cards after each battle, Slay the Spire turns the tedium of deck building into a series of rewarding little decisions. This also applies to the trips to the shop and the choices between relics after every boss.
This all results in every deck having its own personality and quirks and the process itself feels entirely organic. Slay the Spire is so slickly designed it will drill its way into your head while making the process of learning it’s complex mechanics an utterly thrilling process. If you enjoy deck building games or are just looking for a bit of a challenge you should definitely check out this game.
Slay the Spire is available on PS NOW until December 6, 2021.
*Requires an active PS NOW subscription to play this game.
Slay the Spire is so slickly designed it will drill its way into your head while making the process of learning it's complex mechanics an utterly thrilling process.