Backlog Club: Slay the Spire Part One – Be More Tortoises

This article is part of our new experimental series Backlock Club, in which we (Nintendo Life!) Choose a game that may be on the “Games we must play” list, and then we (NL + you!) Will play that game next month. This is the half point, the first part of the two, pausing for a minute to watch the game and how much we enjoy it.

In April 2022, we’re playing Slay the Spire! It does not need to be completed, but we will try to give it a fair impact.


Large (14)

I do not believe in “winning the race slowly and steadily”. I think this is a silly feeling, even if there are particles of truth in it: take the time, be careful, you will get the best results. I don’t think so Wins a race. Myth of the tortoise and the rabbit only works because the rabbit is asleep! The rabbit deserves to win because it is high, very fast, and has nothing to do with whether or not the turtle is good at racing and sleep.

This preface had to reconsider my need for speed in the face of all the rugged techbuilders, which is the one I was most inspired by. Slay the Spire – this week’s selection for the Backlog Club – one of them, it’s so good. (Oh, and if you do not know what I’m talking about, take a look at the Backlog Club introduction I wrote two weeks ago. It will be understood shortly.)

In roguelikes and deckbuilders, slow and steady does not win the race (i.e., a fast match) but it certainly wins the game.

My usual trick is to try to get things done as quickly as possible

In most strategy games, my usual tactic is to try to do things as quickly as possible, filling my list of attacks with the most damage, and I hope I only have to make a few moves to kill myself. The enemy is dead. In RPGs, I usually pick a rugged or DPS configuration because they allow me to hammer the “attack” button until my opponents sink into defeat. I am no strategist, most of the time; I’m a spiky tank, and I’m satisfied with repairing the damage until it comes out victorious.

That’s it does not work In system-based techbuilder games like Slay the Spire. So I have to try something new, although it’s not new to most people, I like to call that tactic “really caring about defense”. This is the genius thing I’m really trying to do Not valid Instead of stopping the damage as usual, they attack before they are done.

Large (14)

Slay the Spire is not picking up hits – your name is only 80hp and you can’t really buy it. Instead, you must use multiple strategies to survive, because survival is for the next fight, the next and the next. You are inferior.

Other video games, especially RPGs, tend to position you as the strongest punch man in the world, but Slay the Spire instead gives The Ironclot as your starting fighter, an intermediate character. Off-the-wall tactics (other characters that can’t be opened will vary depending on this, but since we only have a few weeks to Slay the Spire, I will only focus on the opening character). His tactic goes towards Tight-for-Dot combat styles: Strike, Black, Strike, Black and many more. The challenge is to survive long enough to attack enemies with 80+ HP, because your attacks usually cause only 6-15 damage at a time.

Large (12)

Survival is about taking things in stride. I usually hit hard and have to spend a large portion of my twists to mitigate the damage instead of doing as much damage. I only have three “powers” at a time, and I can use it to increase stats, reduce enemy stats and attack, protect or use multiple personal cards. I’re tempted to use all three power points to use my Cool Damascus cards, but Wisdom is the key to success, So instead I use it to defend two power points, attacking the remaining one and slowly lowering the enemy HP. Keyword: Slowly.

Sometimes all you can do is do what you can to prevent damage so you can move it to the next room or the next day.

The thing about Slay the Spire is that it’s not a race. You will not receive bonus points for being fast or efficient. Reward only if you go to the next room. But sometimes, that’s all you need – the next room can heal you, motivate you, strengthen you or make you flexible in some way. You have to survive.

Yes, I’m going to make a clumsy analogy here: it’s like the gentle persuasion of Slay the Spire, and the most effective lesson in general is to take care of yourself before you try to kill the monsters. It says, “Wear your oxygen mask first before helping others.” When you are in the pickle – even if that pickle is a bad day for you, or you are fighting with weird little giants who are cursing you to do more damage – sometimes all you can do is prevent yours so you can move it to the next room or the next day.

Preserving, preserving and surviving can feel a little boring and inactive, but they can be the difference between failure and success – even if that success is in the skin of your teeth.


So, two weeks later I’m feeling the same way about Slay the Spire! I’m eager to try other characters – I’ve just opened The Silent, and while I’m enjoying The Ironclad’s silly tactics, I’m still interested in The Silent’s passive poison attacks. With The Ironclad, I was able to go to the boss of the second part, and he attacked me completely. Tips and Tricks Welcome!

And, of course, this is half the point: come back at the end of the month to our full thoughts and discussion area about Slay the Spear. Book forum Backlog Club!

Leave a Comment