Video Game Review: Slay the Spire

I love me some video games, even though I don’t get nearly the amount of time to play them these days as I used to. (Though I wonder how much time I ever really had. Maybe it just felt like I had a lot of time because I played an hour or so a day, and an hour or so felt like a longer amount of time when I was 16 than when I’m over 40 . . .)

That said, I’ve had some time at home for some strange reason the last few months, and I’ve taken that time to explore new things. One game that was suggested to me was Slay the Spire (now available on iOS). I tried it out, and I’ve really become hooked. It’s a great single player card game, so if you like drafting a deck on the fly, then this is the perfect game to scratch that itch when you have to be socially distant.

What does it mean to “draft a deck on the fly”? The concept behind Slay the Spire is that you’re working your way through various levels of a tower. You use a deck of cards to beat enemies. The cards either give you defense for the turn, or they attack for the turn, and you can only play a certain number each turn. Once you beat an enemy, you get to add a card to your deck, choosing between three random options. So bit by bit over time, you do your best to create a deck that will be successful in a variety of fights.

Better yet, the game’s difficulty scales. Once you beat the game, you’re able to increase the challenge, and when you’ve beat that harder level, you can do it again, up to 20 times. And on top of that, there are four different character classes you can use, each with their corresponding strengths, weaknesses, and card sets. I’ve put in many hours on this game, and I’m still not past the fourth difficulty level on all four characters.

Even if you manage to beat all of that, the game has daily challenges: custom made games you get to try to get a high score on. (And then you get to see where your score ranked compared to all the other players who tried that day. I’m proud to say I’ve gotten one day when I ended up #1 at the end of the day. It’s tough.)

If any of this sounds remotely up your alley, you should give it a shot. (It costs $10 on iPhone/iPad, $20 or so on PC.) It definitely plays better on an iPad screen than an iPhone screen, so take that into consideration. Honestly, as far as deck building games go, I think this is one of the best ones out there. An easy 10/10 in my book (because I love deck building games.) Tons of value for a pretty cheap investment. If you end up playing on iOS, add me as a friend. I’d love to compare scores!


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