Developer Mega Crit Games' superb dungeon-crawling deck-builder (with a twist of rogue-like, natch) will be leaving Steam Early Access and launching in its Version 1.0 guise later this week, on January 23rd.

Admittedly, this isn't new news, as such - Mega Crit actually revealed Slay the Spire's launch date just before Christmas - but today seemed as good a day as any to issue a reminder for those that, like me, may have missed the announcement due to an excess of holiday spirit.

Slay the Spire, if you've not yet had the pleasure, entered Steam Early Access in November 2017 and very rapidly won the affections of players with its wonderfully rich, strategically thrilling (but still very accessible) blend of rogue-like dungeon crawling and deck-building.

Each game begins by picking a hero (you've a choice between The Ironclad and The Silent at first, although a third character can be unlocked later), and then it's off to try and reach the top of the titular Spire. Most frequently, that involves encounters against increasingly fearsome creatures, requiring players to select cards from their deck in order to both strike enemies and pre-emptively block their attacks - which are revealed ahead of the enemy turn.

On a conceptual level, it's super simple stuff - but, with a limited number of cards available per round and an energy limit restricting the cards that can be played, there are some tough strategic choices to be made. And they only increase as you ascend the tower.

After each battle, you'll earn a few rewards - perhaps a health potion, some gold, or a new card for your deck - then you're whisked away to a map screen offering a choice of routes up the Spire. These routes are more than just an endless procession of fights, however - some stops might reveal treasure, a place to rest and recuperate, a surprise event, or a merchant selling new cards, artefacts, and potions, as well as the option to remove a card from your deck.

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Given Slay the Spire's rogue-like nature, there's the constant pressure of your dwindling health and supplies to contend with, not to mention the ever-increasing toughness of creatures, so a spot of tactical route planning can go some way toward mitigating the pitfalls of adventuring.

It all adds up to an experience that's a real joy to play, with heaps of personality and some wonderfully elegant design, helping freshen up the more familiar elements at Slay the Spire's core. Oh, and there's even Steam Workshop support with a lively modding community too.

Slay the Spire's full release will introduce Steam trading cards, a few final balance changes, and some extra stability. It will also usher in a price increase - although, based on Mega Crit's previous talk, that could well happen before January 23rd's launch day. As such, if you're at all interested, you might want to snap it up now while it's still Ł11.99/$15.99 USD.

Slay the Spire is also scheduled to launch on Switch later this year.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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