Slay The Spire’s excellent new daily challenge mode is a reason to play forever

slay-the-spire-daily-climb

Casually fulfilling its destiny to become the videogame that consumes the rest of my life, ultro-superb CCG/roguelike combo Slay The Spire just introduced its third mode, the Daily Climb. It’s about the most logical move Spire could have made, adding a daily challenge mode of the type popularised by Spelunky and The Binding Of Isaac (even big ol’XCOM 2 was inspired to do it, though the sadly the take-up hasn’t been great).

Just as my Spire obsession was starting to waver – I’ve unlocked everything, and the difficulty gonkery for the sake of difficulty gonkery of Ascension mode isn’t quite for me – this solid gold reason to play every day turns up.

The Daily Climb isn’t a straightforward once-per-day fixed map, mind you. The Daily Climb applies weird’n’wonderful modifiers not found in other modes to the run – how about an Ironclad build that wields Silent cards, for instance, or the contents of every point on the map being a mystery?

Here are the modifiers applied to today’s inaugural Climb, actually:

daily-climb-slay-the-spire

It’s a surprisingly sweet setup – my Ironclad was blessed with two of The Silent’s Bouncing Flask cards, which meant they had a whole lot of poison added to their high-damage mainstays. It was enough to see me blitz through the first floor with barely any damage, and I began to dream of top-10 leaderboard placements.

The wheels came off on floor two, where I was almost immediately greeted by lads dealing 27 damage a turn, and that’s where not being able to see what each new map point would contain became a serious handicap. I needed a campsite or maybe a merchant, but instead managed to wander into three Elites in quick succession, and that was that.

slay-the-spire-map

It’s my only slight reservation about Daily Climb, or at least today’s take on it. The obscured map markers aren’t a test of skill, but of pure luck. Another player who stumbled into a campsite earlier or a treasure room with an excellent relic would have had a completely different floor two experience to me.

But I don’t mind really – I’m too happy that the game I’m currently most in love with (though these affections are torn between Spire and Into The Breach) has just given me a new reason to play every day. Ascension mode felt like going through the motions, but stuff like cross-class cards will keep things much fresher.

Devs Mega Crit note in today’s patch notes that “This a work in progress and modifiers will be added and tweaked, randomization will be reduced, and leaderboards will eventually be added as well”, so hopefully stuff like the above gripe will be finessed over time. The lack of leaderboards at present is a bit glaring, but for now Daily Climb survives entirely effectively on the pleasure of getting to play a remixed game.

The new early access update also adds some extra music, localisation for Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Polish, and Thai, as well as assorted minor bug and UI fixes, which you can read about here.

10 Comments

  1. Lord Byte says:

    One of the biggest issues I have is that the more you unlock, the harder the game gets….

    Because the chances of you getting the right cards for your build is highly diminished. There should be an unlock reward that allows you to lock certain cards before you start the run, so that the chance of getting just the right build is not such a huge luck factor, and unlocking new cards is not such a detriment.
    This also means that you could “lock” certain builds that don’t fit your play style. (Doesn’t need to be much, a card or so per series of unlocks would make it a little less luck-based).

    • AmazingPotato says:

      You read my mind! This is exactly what I think – plus, it’d stop the start of every new game (for me, at least) feeling a little boring, since you’re stuck with exactly the same starting cards every time and so it becomes a (minor) grind to hurry through a bunch of fights so you can start getting decent cards.

      • iamleyeti says:

        In most deckbuilding games, the ability to remove cards is very important and usually part of a card system or combo. Here, you have to find a merchant, and spend money… I feel like the game should give players a better way to remove cards, thus decreasing the awful mix of randomness and dfficulty.

        • anHorse says:

          You can also remove them via several “?” events and via the campsite if you obtain the peace pipe relic.

          Adding any more than that would make the game laughably easy and remove any real variance between runs since one would always be able to produce say a small rampage deck.

  2. iamleyeti says:

    OK.
    That’s it.
    I’m buying it.
    Can’t wait another second.

  3. skeletortoise says:

    Speaking of Into The Breach (obligatory derailment), I would absolutely kill for a daily map for that.

    • anHorse says:

      ITB and Slay the Spire are all I play now, I’ve been meaning to play other games for a while (I was finally getting good at Dark Souls) but I’m hooked on them.

      • skeletortoise says:

        Yeah, I’ve already sunk a surprising amount of time into ITB and have only scratched the surface. I was actually (very wrongly) kind of worried that I’d be disappointed because it seems an order of magnitude less complex than FTL, but they leverage such a small ruleset for such a huge return. The result is that every single individual battle is really engaging and interesting, whereas with FTL many or most battles could be done almost on autopilot and so I was usually more invested at the strategic level of it.

  4. Jayseki says:

    ” …just introduced its third mode, the Daily Climb”

    uh, isn’t it the second mode introduced, not the third?