Slay the Spire, the decade’s best deckbuilding game, coming to iOS in June

Slay the Spire‘s success story is a remarkable one. As one of thousands of games to land on Steam in 2017, this fusion of roguelite progression and “deckbuilding” mechanics, made by a heretofore unknown development team out of Seattle, managed to become a phenomenon due entirely to word-of-mouth. The game has since surpassed its “2.0” milestone and climbed the download charts on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

Yet the game has stayed an arm’s length away from smartphone platforms this whole time, in spite of being built primarily using libGDX, a flexible, open source development framework with smartphone-specific hooks. That changes this month, as the development team at MegaCrit ironically used its Steam community page on Wednesday to announce Slay the Spire‘s next platform: iOS.

The game’s first smartphone port will launch at $ 9.99 “this month,” according to the developers at MegaCrit, with an exact date likely coming during the upcoming Guerrilla Collective game reveal stream, currently scheduled for June 6-8. (“You should try to tune in” on the event’s first day, June 6, according to MegaCrit’s latest update.)

That price will include every single feature included in the game’s existing versions on PCs and consoles—with MegaCrit acknowledging, via a joke about “anime mods,” that it won’t include Steam Workshop features. Though the post acknowledges plans for an Android port, MegaCrit wasn’t ready to estimate when fans should expect that one; “we took the decision to launch the iOS version first.”

If you’re wondering what the StS hubbub is about, consider this comment from our last feature on the game, which included a lovely interview with MegaCrit’s staff about the game’s genesis. As Ars commenter digital0verdose wrote in 2019:

I must have watched half a dozen or so videos on this game trying to understand the appeal. Finally I just downloaded a copy to get my head around what I was missing and within a short period went and bought a copy on Steam. This, for me, was one of those games whose appeal only really came through with hands on play. StS was a fun game whose repetitiveness was not as tiring as I initially expected. Definitely a good purchase and I recommend it to those who, like me, are not really into card based games as you may be surprised.

Wednesday’s announcement includes a mere two screen shots, but they’re enough to confirm what we’ve assumed for some time: that StS‘s card-based gameplay will translate neatly to a smartphone’s touch interface. (And thank goodness; I for one am tired of using makeshift solutions like Steam Link or Xbox Game Streaming to run the game on my phone, as both of these require a gamepad of some sort.) And the StS iOS timing is perfect, as another contender to the deckbuilding-adventure throne, Monster Train, has been getting our attention (and racking up our play time counters) since its May 21 launch on Steam.

Ars War Stories: Slay the Spire

Listing image by MegaCrit

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Gaming & Culture – Ars Technica

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