Slay the Spire is finally coming out on the Nintendo Switch this week, months after it dominated Steam and PS4 with its addictive take on card-turn-based JRPG battles and Roguelike procedural content. It’s such an easy game to learn, but the early successes you’ll have in battle soon give way to the notion that successfully slaying the Spire is not going to be an easy task. Are you ready for your next Switch gaming addiciton? This is our review of Slay the Spire on the Nintendo Switch.
Slay the Spire was in Early Access on Steam since 2017, launched this year, hit PS4 in May, and lands on Switch this week. The concept is simple – take a hero, climb a never-ending tower, fight monsters, collect loot, and don’t die. The battles are turn-based, and if you’ve played the excellent SteamWorld Quest you’ll come to grips with the combat immediately. You start with a basic deck of cards, and they’re filtered into your hand each battle at random. You have a limited pool of energy, and each card costs an amount of that energy to use. It’s your job to figure out when and how to use them best to defeat a myriad enemies that are hellbent on killing you and stopping your ascent throug the Spire.
As you play, and die, you’ll unlock new heroes to use, new skills and relics to choose from, and with each feeble attempt you’ll get a little further, you’ll die a little less harshly. It’s a game of learning, progression, and strategy. It’s completely new each time you play, and while I’ve grown a little tired of the idea of “Roguelikes”, this is one that I’ll gladly champion as a thinking person’s Dead Cells.
Whereas Motion Twin’s game is all about reflexes and action, Mega Crit’s game is more about strategy and learning to best use the hand your dealt. The art is simple, but well-wrought, and while the idea of starting over each time you fail can seem daunting, the progress you make and the new unlocks you achieve make each run through the Spire feel worth the trouble.
It’s genuinely difficult to find anything bad to say about Slay the Spire, except to note that if you’re not a big fan of turn-based combat or Roguelikes, you won’t somehow suddenly love them here. You might, I guess, but just know what you’re in for. There are no DLC (yet), no micro-transactions, just $25 for a hell of a fun strategy Roguelike RPG with near endless replay value. Get it, love it, play it all the time like I have been.