Slay the Spire adding more characters ‘almost certainly’


The roguelike card game Slay the Spire has marched into RPS and conducted a coup. Now a slug with a pocketwatch is forcing us all to write articles about how great it is. For example, I’ve just done an interview with the game’s creators, which you can read later. For now, let me sneak out this bit of info, while the slug isn’t looking: They plan to add new playable characters after the game’s full release. “We will almost certainly have more than three characters,” said Anthony Giovannetti of Mega Crit Games. OK, it’s no huge surprise, but at least you know they don’t plan to dust it off when it drops out of early access in the summer.

There’s currently two characters in the game – the Ironclad and the Silent – with a third under construction. When asked about adding more cards to the game, and the possible bloat that might add, Giovannetti told us there was a more elegant solution.

“We definitely don’t want to put too many cards into one colour…” he said. “So right now we have about 75 cards for the Ironclad. If we just bloated that out to 200 cards for the Ironclad, then you would have no ability to make any planning at all. And we think that would be a much worse experience.

“We are much more likely to make more characters and just give them all unique card pools, or do things that let you change your card pool around.

“There is a ‘sweet point’ number, and we’re either at it or very close to it for the Ironclad and the Silent. So we’re much more likely to make more characters. We will almost certainly have more than three characters, but we just want three characters initially, during early access.”


I spoke to him alongside Casey Yano, the other designer and artist of the game’s horrible mushroom rats and abstract murderthings, who says future plans also include some more inventive potions (although the examples he gives here are just off-the-cuff ideas for now).

“Potions are definitely getting a huge bump,” he said. “We could have a potion that’ll let you upgrade stuff, or transform stuff, or let you escape… I think currently the concept of what the potions do are very vanilla, so there’s a lot of leeway for that.”

“We also want to add a lot more events to the game,” added Giovannetti. “Especially ones that are kind of like the vampire event, where they’re very transformative to the play experience when you get them. That’s a good example of the kind of event we want more of…”

They also spoke about how the game was tested on expert Netrunner players, plus what happens at their design meetings. Don’t worry, we’ll put the full interview up soon. Lord knows, it’s what the slug wants.

Slay the Spire is on Steam now, and is planned to leave early access in the summertime, according to the game’s roadmap.


  1. Faldrath says:

    People complain about randomness, but when all the stars align it’s a beautiful thing. My last win with the Ironclad was like that. I got an event that gave me 300g. I found a merchant next. He had a (ridiculously overpowered) colorless card that upgrades *all* cards in your deck for the duration of the combat. Very expensive, but I could afford it. Then, almost immediately afterwards, I get an event (or a relic, can’t remember now) that lets me choose one card to always be in my starting hand.

    I guess you can tell how it went from there.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      The randomness is good, but I wish they’d add another level. It’s a bit deflating to try a certain strategy for hours, perfecting it, only to then win the game in one easy run because you lucked out with a particular variation of artifacts or something.

    • Joppest says:

      I like the randomness, especially with the ascension runs. Made it to floor 45+ so many times just to fall with a 1 hp margin. That shows it isn’t as random as it feels.

  2. TehK says:

    For god’s sake…

  3. Deano2099 says:

    Okay, can someone explain to me why I would play this instead of Monster Hunters or DreamQuest (graphics snobbery aside for the later) ?

    It seems to be basically the same game, except those other two are finished and cheaper with like 12+ classes in each.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love those games, love the concept and have been telling people to play Dream Quest for about five years now. I can’t wait to play the fully featured Slay The Spire. I just don’t get why someone coming to this sort of game for the first time now would play this and not one of the finished versions.

    (This isn’t a whine either, I’ve not picked up Slay the Spire yet, but primarily as still have stuff to beat on the other games, so curious if this is actually better or it’s just been the variant that’s gone crazy on Steam)

    • aepervius says:

      Don’t you mean monster slayer ? because monster hunter is a different genre.

    • tasteful says:

      the two existing slay the spire classes have a LOT more content than any one monster slayers / dream quest class.

      • tasteful says:

        im a huge fan of dream quest, but even in EA, slay the spire has so much in it. relics, which aren’t class specific, are a really important factor in deck design as well

    • Landiss says:

      I bought Monster Slayers and played it for about 20 hours before buying Slay the Spire and playing it for a few hours longer, so I have fresh comparison between the two. During this time I managed to successfully finish 2 runs in Monster Slayers and one in Slay the Spire.

      Monster Slayers is made by Nerdook, the author of many fun, free flash games with characteristic aesthetics and design (you can find them on Kongregate). This was very clearly visible in this game. And don’t get me wrong – it’s a nice game, I liked it (as I liked his flash games), though I also didn’t like some elements of it.

      The main thing is that it lacks the kind of polish Slay the Spire already has, even though it’s in Early Access. It’s a bit hard to explain, because it’s not just one big element, it’s all the little ones. The way you can much more easily look in the discarded cards pile (and that you can look in the draw card pile at all), the way some things are much faster and don’t waste your time, even the way card movement is animated and look so swift and light-weight, it all adds up.

      Furthermore, there are mechanical differences and while I liked some mechanics from Monster Slayers, overall I think the mechanics are more interesting in Slay the Spire. There are more interesting cards. There are relics which change each playthrough a lot (much, much more than the very generic and randomly generated equipment in Monster Slayers) and much more random events that also feel more interesting and game-changing in general.

      So, overall, right now I strongly prefer Slay the Spire. However, Monster Slayers is not a bad game and if you like the genre, you should give both games a try. They are not expensive.

      Having said that, I also want to promote some other game, fully released a few months ago – Card Quest. It’s really great, quite a bit different than the I discussed above, a bit more puzzle-like, with completely different graphics style. But I liked it a lot, I spent 79 hours in it during its Early Access, and I don’t usually spend that much on one game. It might be a bit hard to get used to at first, but once you get to know how to get successful strategies and combos, it’s getting great, and then it opens up with more, more, more and even more different playstyles and interesting mechanics. Right now it definitely feels more complex and deep than either Slay the Spire or Monster Slayers.

      Uhh, it was supposed to be a quick reply, I got carried away.

      TL;DR: I think Slay the Spire is better, but Monster Slayers is good too. Also, check out Card Quest, it’s great.

    • falcon2001 says:

      I’ve played Monster Slayers and Dream Quest a bit, but Slay the Spire just nails good feeling deckbuilding and card design. All three are great though, so I would get them in addition to each other, not instead of.

  4. Elgarion says:

    God, I’m having a blast at this game. It’s purely amazing. I’ve made it to world 3 but died miserably a few fights before the boss. Some fights seems unwinable at this moment though(I’m having a very hard time with the boss who spawns his ‘torchlight minions’…)

    • Zachmark571 says:

      Tip: Kill the minions as soon as you can, if possible save some energy for his second turn, don’t let the torchlights live.
      I’ve never lost to him thanks to this, because he will never attack 2 times in a row if his minions are dead.

      • Elgarion says:

        Oh, good to know, thanks! Until now I was focusing on him, trying to kill him as fast as I could…