Slay the Spire took the world by storm when it hit early access in 2017. Its artful blend of strategic card game and randomised roguelike went down a treat, leading thousands of fans to rack up hundreds of hours in the addictive title. While it wasn’t the first pioneer in the world of roguelike deck builders, it certainly popularised the genre, paving the way for all sorts of similar titles. If you’re looking for more games like Slay the Spire, you’ve come to the right place.
Since you clearly enjoy games like Slay the Spire, you might also enjoy perusing the best turn-based games, trading card games, or deck-building games. But settle down for now, we’ve got plenty of card-based roguelike titles to take a look at.
The best games like Slay the Spire:
If you love Slay the Spire and haven’t heard of Monster Train then let me tell you, this is your lucky day. Or perhaps unlucky, if this kind of game quickly consumes all your free time. The archetypal ‘game like Slay the Spire’, Monster Train scratches exactly the same itch as its tower-based forefather, though it has a more colourful, cartoony aesthetic, themed around a train ride to hell.
Indeed, Monster Train builds delightfully on Slay the Spire’s deck building gameplay, in particular nailing that compelling feeling of finding unexpected and powerful combinations. You can pledge yourself to different demon factions, and upgrade cards in the attempt to build the perfect deck. One difference between Monster Train and Slay the Spire is that rather than playing a lone hero, you rely on a champion and various defenders, using them to prevent monsters getting to your train’s engine. It’s essentially Slay the Spire, combined with a (extremely good) tower defence game.
Across the Obelisk
Do you find long Slay the Spire sessions a little bit lonely? Across the Obelisk has the simple innovation of inviting a friend along for the fun. It also features a party-based combat system reminiscent of Darkest Dungeon, and tons of variety to explore. It doesn’t have quite the same feeling of polished perfection as Slay the Spire, but there’s plenty of strategic fun to be had here all the same – and, hey, it’s co-op!
Aces & Adventures
A game like Slay the Spire, and also a game like Poker, Aces & Adventures has you battling monsters and adventuring through a traditional fantasy RPG-type campaign using a deck of regular playing cards. In this game you do combat with Poker hands, augmented by an increasing collection of ability cards.
You’ve got the choice here between 13 short adventures, forming a campaign, and the challenge of a longer roguelike game mode, through which you can level up and upgrade each of the game’s five different characters. It’s still early days for this deck building battler, but there’s plenty of content here, and it certainly looks promising.
Luck be a Landlord
When you don’t have the energy to devote your brain goo to a more strategic deck building card game like Slay the Spire, Luck be a Landlord will be waiting in the wings for you. It pairs the illicit thrills of fake gambling with gameplay that’s a little like an MTG draft. In Luck be a Landlord, your aim is to generate money with a magical slot machine, picking and choosing symbols to add to try and create strong synergies and keep the cash flowing. Obviously highly luck based, this game will make you feel smarter and more skillful than you really are, a bit like Vampire Survivors – and not-coincidentally, this game is just as addictive.
Hand of Fate 2
Hand of Fate 2 (and its predecessor) is a rather different take on the roguelike deck-builder genre. Instead of tooling out your deck with new abilities or powers, here your deck consists of encounters you’ll face throughout the adventure itself. An interesting mix of skill and luck, Hand of Fate 2 is an engaging game thanks to its varied, gamebook style encounters.
Though the real-time (!) combat system is a little weaker than we’d like, we reckon you’ll still be able to while away several evenings with this title, even if it’s just to wipe the smile off the face of the vindictive dealer, who taunts you throughout the game.