Slay the Spire – Mini Review

It Keeps Getting Better & Better

Please note that this is an early access title that receives regular content updates and changes

In the world of video games it feels like people are starting to get sick of early access titles and rouge lites, especially dungeon crawlers. Who can blame them? Many of these games over promise and under deliver, cost too much, or are just plain terrible games. This doesn’t even mention the shear volume of them competing for your attention. Slay the Spire is both of these things, and before I lose you, I assure you that this game is well worth your time and money due to its engaging gameplay and continual updates. This is one hell of an effort for Mega Crit Games first ever game!

When I first got Slay the Spire on Jan 19, 2018 it only had two characters and one game mode. Each Thursday, outside of one announced instance, this game receives an update. Usually these updates bring in content and fix a lot of issues but some even bring in major amounts of content such as new characters or game modes. Today it has three characters, multiple game modes, and has received numerous additions and rebalance to gameplay. This constant support and love from the developers is a big reason why I love this game.

At first, when I saw some people playing the game prior to purchasing it, I thought it was a neat idea but not something I was interested. The game was pretty ugly, and while I enjoyed the concepts, it just didn’t seem to have enough content. However, that was until I saw a video a few weeks later and things in Slay the Spire had changed fairly dramatically. I knew then that this game was something I could get behind, and a purchase I am so pleased with as it has offered over 120 hours of fun.

You may be wondering how exactly Slay the Spire plays and why this stands out from other rouge lite experiences. In this game you explore three acts, or dungeons, doing battle and having other encounters. What is unique about this is that you choose your route as you go, much in the vein of games like FTL. On top of that, you battle using a deck of cards that starts off not so great and gets better over time as you add new cards to your deck. This works much like the board game Dominion where you draw a hand, play cards based on the number of actions you have, and then discard your hand before drawing a new one for the next turn.

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Example of the map and what to expect

Slay the Spire has three very different characters to choose from. You only have access to one, The Ironclad, at first but as you play you will unlock the other characters and various cards as well as items that can be found within the dungeons. This hero focuses on strength and gets some bonus passive healing which is very valuable in a game like this. Normally, you can only heal at campfires but those are also upgrade spots, so needing to heal less is a big deal.

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An example of cards The Ironclad has access to as you play

The other two heroes, The Silent, and, The Defect play very differently. The Silent is a defensive fighter that likes to apply status effects to her enemies like poison while The Defect utilizes various orbs that provide both passive and active effects. Personally, I am terrible with The Ironclad but have really been loving The Defect, who was only just recently added to the game not too long ago.

At first beating the game even once with any of these characters will be very challenging. This is partially because you won’t have everything unlocked at the start, but the game does have a small learning curve as you figure out what enemies show up where and general attack patterns. However, you’ll soon find yourself breezing through the game and beating it consistently. Don’t worry though, the game still manages to keep itself fresh even after you beat it with each hero.

Slay the Spire has three game modes. The first being the primary, “story” mode, though I use story lightly. Right now there isn’t really one. After you win the game with a character once, you unlock accession mode which adds more and more difficulty each time you beat it, having 15 levels in total. When I started out beating even level 5 was something that felt impossible, now I’ve beaten level 10 no problem. Funny enough, 15 still seems pretty far from my reach, especially with every hero.

The other game modes on offer are a daily challenge mode where you compete on a fixed board against others for the highest score. It’s an ok mode that offers some fun from time-to-time. Lastly, there is a custom mode that doubles as an endless mode. This is where you can try some of the silly settings from the daily mode as well as absurd challenges like beating the game with only one HP.

I love Slay the Spire. It’s a really fun game that is perfect for people who want a game that receives a ton of support and has a lot of replayability. There are still several things I haven’t even seen in the game yet, and that’s pretty incredible for the hours I’ve put in. If you still aren’t convinced, or would like to see the game in action a bit, I have included the trailer below.


What are your thoughts on early access titles and rouge lite games? Love them or hate them, let me know in the comments below. I’d also enjoy hearing your thoughts on Slay the Spire and if you enjoy the game or not too. If you like the work I do here please hit the button below and donate a few dollars to me. Lastly, I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews, and as always, thanks for reading!

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15 thoughts on “Slay the Spire – Mini Review

  1. I kind of like the idea of early access titles because in a lot of ways, they’re extended demoes, and developers can learn what does and doesn’t work from fans. On the other hand, I find it’s difficult to fully judge a game unless I play the entire thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you are saying. Thankfully this game is constantly being worked on so it is pretty easy to judge because they really listen to community feedback. Very positive experience here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That actually looks really fun. I just picked up a game because of a review recommendation and as time poor as I am at the moment I’ve barely given it a few hours. So I’ve added this one to my wishlist and hopefully I’ll find some time to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lost Technology. I’m trying to remember who reviewed it, but they did a great job on making me want to check it out and then it was only $4. It isn’t quite finished with a lot of areas not having their story modes finished, but the game itself is quite addictive (I meant to just play the tutorial and ended up losing about three hours to it). My biggest issue is learning the real time combat with large numbers of units because it isn’t something I usually do and I’m still relying heavily on the auto for managing a lot of my units during combat.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I really do love games that at least keep being supported and not abandoned like many others have in the past. As you know, I prettty much quit gaming altogether, except for that one game I did a post about last week, but I do still love reading about videogames (a big reason why I just love Pete Davison’s blog so much). This does sound like a game that I would have really enjoyed in my gaming days. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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