There’s really no particular reason why you should climb that mythical spire, slaying monsters left and right and killing dreadful bosses. You’re probably thinking that this is just what heroes do. Maybe there’s treasure beyond your wildest dreams, maybe there’s an ancient evil in need of a good beating or some royalty in need of rescue. Either way, the spire is looming before you, so you better start climbing.
Your ascent of the spire starts simple enough: every step of the way, you encounter a most terrible foe. Get ready to fight, draw some cards, attack, and block. Basic combat is simple: you play the cards in your hand to either damage your opponent or build up enough blocking power to withstand their next attack. Your enemies are nice enough to signal how much damage they are going to cause in the next turn, so combat is entirely deterministic.
However, every time an enemy lays slain at your feet, you get to pick a new card for your deck – and lo, we’re in deck building paradise, where each new fight brings new, exciting options to the table. These new cards may shake up the way you play, adding buffs, debuffs, and useful synergies. Of course, this makes combat much more complex and varied, but that’s the good part of every deck building game, right?
While the simple joy of building up a powerful deck of cards is the main attraction here, everything about Slay The Spire plays into that, from well-designed enemies that cannot be defeated with regular attacks to extremely powerful artifacts which change some ground rules and force you to adapt accordingly.
Mighty bosses try to stop you at the end of every chapter, and those really put your skills and your deck to the test. You’re also able to unlock some new cards as well as an extra character for subsequent playthroughs, which adds a nice sense of progression to your journey up the spire. Even though the game is still an early access title, there’s a wealth of gameplay options available to you.
And if you die? Well, it’s back down to the very beginning with you, you fool! But then, you probably deserved it, anyway. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Slay the Spire’s combat feels so incredibly good that you won’t mind repeat trips up those lofty heights.