Monday, December 5, 2022

Slay The Spire – When Cards And Video Games Meet > NAG

“Apocalypse proof” that’s how one of my best friends likes to refer to board and card games. They are games that are solid forms of entertainment that aren’t reliant on things like electricity to enjoy, games you could take into a bunker during the apocalypse. And you know what, he isn’t wrong.

Last month, I, along with a vast majority of South Africans, found myself without power for most of the day, for days on end. And one of the ONLY things that kept me sane during this time was my collection of board and card games. Don’t get me wrong, my love for these games predates our electricity crisis and will (hopefully) outlast it too, but I digress.

After spending so much time playing deck-building card games, the thought of returning to regular video games when the power returned didn’t appeal. Although, all it took was one full day reunited with my PC again for love to return. But anyway, when my partner told me to try out a game on Xbox Game Pass called “Slay the Spire, ” which was supposedly just like the card games I had been playing, just digital, I jumped.

Slay The Spire - When Cards And Video Games Meet

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Slay the Spire is essentially a turn-based deckbuilding game that presents you with a tower you need to ascend, monsters you need to kill to climb, and roughly 300 cards that allow you to do the above. However, unlike a game like Hearthstone, in Slay the Spire, the monsters don’t fight with their own cards; instead, they fight more like Pokemon.

Each round will see the monsters inflicting damage, applying status effects, or buffing themselves. And you will respond to their actions by linking cards together to create a domino effect of damage and ultimately win. However, Slay the Spire is also a procedurally generated roguelike game and has all the choices that come with that.

One of my favorite parts of the game comes down to its balancing mixed with the game’s randomization. Not only do you have to focus on winning the card aspect of the game, but you also have to consider each path taken, each reward chosen, and each card picked up. All these choices will either lead to your victory or your demise.

Slay The Spire - When Cards And Video Games Meet


Slay the Spire has all the elements that make card-based games great. You get the joy of building your deck to optimize your hand as much as possible. You get the satisfaction of layering damage into some devastating avalanche provided you have the right cards, which is then mixed with the joy of roguelike video games.


Great variety of cards to choose from

Interesting enemies

Capture the real world joy of deck building


The “spire” is procedurally generated and boasts all the unfairness that comes with that. Sometimes your runs can feel super easy, and other times it feels like you’ve picked a fight with an angry elephant

I found myself wishing the art was nicer and the animation was more engaging

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