Slay the Spire was a hit in 2019. For a while, she took first place in various ratings among releases, overtaking the high-profile hits of reputable studios. And users rated Slay the Spire with very high ratings. It seems surprising to many that such an unusual mixture of card game and bagel has achieved such success. The uniqueness of Slay the Spire was immediately apparent, even at the early access stage.
Download Slay the Spire for iPhone and iPad (App Store)
Are you far from card games? Slay the Spire introduces them from a new perspective, and it really captivates!
The meaning of most bagels is simple – to reach the final goal, through mazes and obstacles, and using improvised objects. Slay the Spire wasn’t particularly far from this idea. Here are just a classic maze or catacombs here. We are invited to fantasize the process of moving ourselves, while all events will occur at key points. The player is offered a rather sketchy map of a certain Spire tower, to the top of which we must climb. There are three acts in the main mode, at the end of each of which you will have to fight with the boss. The routes on the map branch, and the player himself chooses which way to go up to him. The game scenes themselves take place in nodes, each of which has its own expressed specificity. We have to choose: whether to fight with an ordinary or elite opponent, meet with a merchant to replenish resources, whether to relax in the camp or open a chest with an artifact. And some locations will be a surprise – they are marked on the map with a question mark. Often it is there that one has to make a deliberate or “good luck” choice and expect the consequences of a decision.
To storm the Spire, we are asked to choose one of three characters. By default, only the Cuckold is available, but with subsequent sorties, Defect and Silent are added to it. Each character has its own unique set of cards, style of warfare and relic. If the Cuckold is a classic warrior with physical attack and defense skills, the Silent relies on poisons and daggers, and the Defect robot relies on magic. Based on your character’s talents, you can build battle tactics, devising how to defeat another villain with unbanal skills.
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What is a battle? No, you will not have to actively press the keys, relying on dexterity. The battles take place in the form of a two-dimensional turn-based duel, where the cards are weapons. A great option for those who do not like Action-RPG. Opponents become opposite each other and take turns performing their actions. For this, cards are used. Before the start of the game, a deck is generated, which will be significantly modified during the ascent. Before the start of the turn, the player is given a set of cards for action, after which they are discarded back into the deck and mixed, or even burned. Each card has its own cost of use, while the player has 3 basic action points in reserve, which, of course, can be increased for a while. Given the options that have fallen, it is possible to perform a variety of actions: from a simple hit or block to pulling out additional cards, increasing mana, and much more. Improved maps are very rare, but they can turn the tide of even a badly developing battle.
Your relics also influence the course of the battle, but whether they are worth the requested fee is up to the player to decide and plan. Strengthening is possible due to potions, which can be used at any time, without spending your mana on this. In total, it is possible to place up to five of these bubbles, since there are a lot of opportunities for finding them in the game.
At the end of the battle, the player will receive a well-deserved reward. It can be gold for purchases, artifacts and various options for upgrading the deck – adding new cards, deleting or changing unnecessary ones.
Random events or traders can also help shape your “deadly weapon.” But the points of life are not automatically completely replenished, you will have to plan the climb in such a way that you don’t approach the final battle completely exhausted. Editing a deck or changing artifacts at an arbitrary moment will not work – this can be done at those very key points.
The seemingly simple process quickly puts a naive player at a standstill. Bosses are becoming more and more cunning, using powerful weapons and ingenious tactics. But Slay the Spire attracts with its simplicity – there is no need to farm cards on the side or to understand the complex character leveling tree. The combat sessions are short enough, they do not bother. But you have to think about tactics – a constant choice makes it possible to create weapons to suit all tastes.
Death finally interrupts the ascent to the top. However, this will not be a fatal disappointment. Not only can you always save, and you will not have to tediously pass the same levels – the map and events change randomly. New ways and quick sessions only increase replay value. Yes, and more powerful cards will be injected into subsequent passes. One climb takes about an hour, but then you will want to repeat the path, based on new experience and advanced options.
The exciting gameplay makes the graphics and music secondary. The pictures are vivid, but the character models themselves are rustic. And the drawings on the maps do not cause enthusiasm. There are few musical themes, variety is achieved by their mixes. All this is nice and pleasant, but no more. It is worth noting the level of localization, thanks to which it is possible to clearly understand the purpose of the cards.
Slay the Spire is a very understandable and comfortable game that will catch on for hours. There are no microtransactions and shareware chips in it. The game will truly reward you with pleasure from original solutions to problems. At the same time, the possibility of choice retains an important sense of control over the process. Criticism can only be won by the lack of a plot (and we all love Interesting Stories), and by the random, which sometimes throws inappropriate and unpleasant surprises.
Download Slay the Spire for iPhone and iPad (App Store)