Tag Archives: Slay the Spire

First Impressions: Griftlands

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I mentioned in my first impressions of “Arcanium: Rise of Akhan” that Slay the Spire is a game that I have spent a lot of time with, more than 100 hours. The only other game I have put that much time into outside of “Smash” and “Hearthstone,” the one’s I play competitively, is “Final Fantasy 13.” Actually, wait, that is a lie. I forgot how long it took me to beat the original “Persona 5.” I might just be really bad at video games…

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that often times when I get obsessed with a game I end up putting an ungodly amount of time into it. It is not always a great personality trait to have, but ya know, its there. I say all of this because “Griftlands” is a lot of fun, and while I could also see myself putting a lot of time into “Arcanium” because the card game roguelike subgenre is just one that I enjoy a lot, there are some things that set it apart.

For starters, “Arcanium” being the visual mess that it is makes it a lot harder to concentrate on the particular tasks at hand. “Griftlands” circumvents this problem in a couple of ways. First, it just straight up has less happening on screen while arguable being more mechanically involved, even in just the normal story mode. This helps focus the player on important stats and deck mechanics. Second, the size of the display at the top feels just big enough to make sure the player knows they are there while also not being distracting. Lastly, the game also hides its big chunks of text and story within character dialogue by allowing one to hover over it and get a brief explanation.

Speaking of, something else that Griftlands also does that its peers within the genre do not is incorporate a significant story element. Each of the characters, Sal, Rook and Smith, each have a dedicated story mode which tell about their place in this bounty hunter filled world, and utilize mechanics related to that story. A good example of this is Rook’s lucky coin. Not only is the coin instantly recognizable, but also plays into how the character functions. Using a mechanic called gamble, Rook flips a coin and gains additional effects based on the flip. There are even certain cards whose effects revolve around rigging a certain outcome of the coin toss.

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One concern that was brought to my attention by others who have played the game a bit more is replay value. Generally, the core appeal of roguelikes is their diversity of experience, and thus being able to play the game in many different ways, making the replay value significantly higher. However, because the game is a bit more story focused, it may lack that same value due to having to slog through the story bits. While I can understand where that concern comes from, my minimal experience with the game thus far leads me away from making strong conclusions about this aspect. It might be worth noting that the game does have a total of three modes for each character: the initial story mode and two others

The art in the game is also incredibly nice to look at. As far as the characters go, it feels like the designers went the extra mile to make sure that even minor characters of an alien race were distinct enough to be recognizable outside of specific contexts. On top of that, the main characters also seem to have a well developed backstory and are each interesting enough to carry a few 3-4 hour runs at least.

So, yeah. There is a lot more that I probably could say about “Griftlands,” even with just seven to eight hours played, but overall it is just a solid game. Anyone who is remotely interested in this type of gameplay should definitely peep it, especially considering its only about 20 dollars after tax on steam right now.


How do you all feel about “Griftlands?” Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

“Slay the Spire” is a Lot of Fun

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Card games have been a huge part of my life for a long time, almost as long as anime, and most of the people who I would now consider my best friends I met while playing TCGs like “Yugioh” and “Cardfight Vanguard.” More recently, since I have had less time and interest in playing cardboard based card games, as well as losing interest in games like “Hearthstone,” I have been in a bit of a card game dry spell. That is, until I found “Slay the Spire.”

For those who have not yet been acquainted with this indie game darling, “Slay the Spire” is a rouge-like card that now features four different characters on their way to the top of the spire. Each character has a different play style and set of cards used to build a deck and defeat enemies on each floor.

As of the writing of this post, I currently have about 90 hours dumped into the game, and by the time this post comes out it will likely be more. The reason for that is because “Slay the Spire” has an incredibly addictive design. Each of the characters starts with a certain number of their class cards locked, and those cards tend to be a lot better for future runs. However, even after unlocking all of the cards for each of the game’s four classes, the challenge of actually making it all the way up the spire probably still remains.

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Because each run starts with a brand new set of options, the deck a player receives will always be slightly different each time. The challenge then becomes making a deck consistent enough to make it through every fight.

Even after making it through the spire with all four characters and unlocking every card, players are still left with another option. They can choose to climb the spire again using ascension rules, which make the game harder. Combine that with daily challenges and customizable runs, there is a lot of ways to play the game.

There is also a lot to love about the game design wise. Each character plays in a totally unique way, and their play style is reflected in their character. For example, The Ironclad seems to be based on a fiery warrior, which comes through in his card options, which has a fairly balanced pool of good offense and defense cards. Similarly, the newest addition to the game, The Watcher, seems to be based on a religious warrior, and because of that can switch stances between attack and defense.

The game admittedly does not have a lot to speak about musically, though. The main track of the game is the one that will be heard for about 90 percent of any given play through, and while it is a nice song, it does get boring after a while.

“Slay the Spire” is a fun game, plain and simple. It has an incredibly addicting format with tons of replay value, along with a unique set of characters and different modes for various different runs. Those who have yet to give the game a chance should rectify that immediately.


How do you all feel about “Slay the Spire?” What are your initially impressions of it? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!