I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately, including Celeste and Night in the Woods.
Slay the Spire, a deckbuilding roguelike, is the one I’ve spent the most time on within the previous two weeks. That’s a lot of hours for a game I’ve had for eighteen days.
Let me define “deckbuilding roguelike”. To play a roguelike, you control a character and battle creatures in randomly created stages. The game is always different since it is randomly created.
The game is also turn-based rather than real-time, so you can take your time making decisions, and it has permadeath, so if your character dies, you have to start again. Rogue is the archetypal example.
In a deck builder, you keep your deck of cards distinct from other players. Then you draw cards from your deck at the start of your turn, spend energy or money to play your cards, and so on.
then all cards are discarded. Assist Then reshuffle them into the draw pile. and discard cards from your deck during the game. Dominion is the archetype.
You are an adventurer attempting to slay aspire. Your cards attack, protect, and do many things.
Beating foes add cards to your deck and earn money for store purchases. Beat three acts (each with sixteen floors and a boss battle) to win a run.
The game’s visuals, soundtrack, and plot are average. That said, the game’s gameplay is fantastical, with simple cards, relics, and potions interacting in unexpected ways.
Every choice is significant. Should I take these cards and expand my deck, or keep it short for a better draw?
Should I sacrifice half my life for powerful cards now, or store it for a big fight later? When you lose, you can usually identify where you went wrong.
To cut to the chase, here are some insights about Slay the Spire that may be applied to real life!
Boring is better than spectacular. That is a nice card. Playing a 30 damage attack twice is awesome. But, is that really what the deck needs right now? Does it work nicely with your existing cards?
Early decisions may shape whole runs. Slay the Spire uses this a lot:
Before your first battle, a six-eyed space whale named Now gives you a choice of blessings. These might be little, like additional money, or big, like a rare card pick.
Slay the Spire contains various campfires where you may improve cards or heal yourself. Early on, improvements trump resting. But a better card will see you through the rest of the game.
Elites are bouts in an act that are between an ordinary fight and a boss. They’re tougher and deadlier, and an elite combat usually costs 20-30 HP.
Beating them increases your chances of getting rare cards and relics. You often want to pick your Act 1 course to strike as many elites as possible, even if you wish to avoid them later.
Priority is another early aspect that influences us all but that none of us can control. Being an Asian man isn’t all horrible. Zipcode determinism is a sad reality. My relationship with privilege warrants a blog post of its own, but I always feel like I could be more conscious of my own.
On sees the first after the tenth punch and blocks after the twenty. I love this go adage, and it certainly relates to Slay the Spire.
It implies you’ll likely be punished for the same error often before you recognise it, and it’ll take time to repair it. So just keep playing.
My early Slay the Spire games were a bust. I still lose a lot of Slay the Spire games, but I’m playing on a harder setting now, so that’s pleasant. Even the best streamers on the toughest setting don’t win every game.
(Except Lifecoach, who has a 96% victory record with Watcher. However, most broadcasters’ Watcher victory percentage is twice their other characters’.)
How does this relate to real-life… I won’t lecture you on the virtue of losing. Communities rock. The community created several amazing resources for Slay the Spire. On the game’s subreddit, one guy posted every day for 600 days. Slay the Spire has a superb reference spreadsheet and a detailed wiki. And there are so many fantastic memes.
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