Slain the Spire

After 970 hours, I have slain the spire and achieved everything.

I previously wrote about Slay the Spire for GameSpace (thanks again, Bill) two years ago. I loved it then, and that love  never stopped. I am not an achievement-seeker or a completionist at heart. However, I never mind doing either as a side effect of playing a really good game.

Ironically, in my byline for GameSpace, I mentioned my chasing of the platinum trophy in Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I accomplished that a while back, and walked away from the game completely afterward feeling really good about myself.

Slay the Spire occupied the hole left by Binding. It was the game I played to get away from playing other games. It was what I used to relax (yes, as strange as it sounds, I find roguelites to be very relaxing). A game or two before bed? Sure. Before work? Only if I dare.

To accomplish all achievements on my Steam copy of Slay the Spire, it took me 970 hours. That’s more than a month (approximately 40 days). Considering I bought the game in December 2017 for $16, that’s roughly 60 hours per dollar spent. In other words, with one purchase, I bought 16 copies of Final Fantasy VII.

I can’t tell you how much time I spent playing Binding since that was on my PS4, but I am sure it was similar (if not more). The next closest game on Steam, just in terms of time played, is Terraria with a bit over 300 hours. I am glad I cannot look up total time played in something like World of Warcraft …

Earlier this month, I gave myself an ultimatum: finish all achievements or uninstall at 1,000 hours played. I am glad I made my goal because I am sure after a month or two away I would be lured back in to keep trying. The Eternal One, the game’s achievement for unlocking all other achievements, has been done by just 0.7% of Steam Slay the Spire players. That’s a hell of a lure when it is in reach.

Combine that with my platinum trophy in Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and I feel like a really rare creature right now.

Sadly, as eternal as it has been, I do feel the need to walk away from Slay the Spire, even with a new character set to come out in the near future. I am going to pre-order this sweet t-shirt first though.

To MegaCrit, the game’s developer, thank you. It is a little scary admitting I put 40 hours into “just a game” out loud, but there were days (and nights) where I needed something like Slay the Spire to just chill. Life, responsibilities, things outside my control: they all took a step back while I hoped to draw the perfect card or loot a useful item. Never to a self-destructive level, thankfully, but enough to continue surviving adulthood and all its ills. Whatever you make next, I am buying.

To anyone else who may be interested in Slay the Spire, go for it. If you want to ask me anything, feel free. Just remember: it took me 970 hours to get here. I am persistent, not an expert.

My Top 3 Games of the Year

It has been a little while since I wrote a video game post or a list. Here’s my top three I played this year:

#3: Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)

Marvel’s Spider-Man had me hyped from day one, but the game delivered more than I had expected. I even went as far as getting the platinum trophy. I am glad now that I skipped the DLC, but I could use a sequel as soon as possible.

#2: Hollow Knight (Switch)

Hollow Knight took me by complete surprise. I expected to like it, but I did not expect to love it. For a few weeks, I obsessed over the game, going as far as defeating a really challenging optional boss. This game was an absolute blast and one of my favorite game experiences in 2018.

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Persona 5 (PS4) – I wanted to like Persona 5, but I didn’t take to it. I haven’t deleted my save though. I do intend to give it another try in the future.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (PS4) – Absolutely beautiful, the latest Dragon Quest did nothing for me. I hated the characters, I was bored by the story, and the gameplay did nothing for me either. I know that Dragon Quest games are “vanilla” by design but I had hoped for some hidden sprinkles. There were none.
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (PC) – For an expansion dominated by my favorite race, trolls, it was a huge disappointment to last less than a month and leave behind the three months I prepaid for. This was a terribly weak expansion.

Honorable Mentions

  • Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4) – It was good enough to finish!
  • Dead Cells (Switch) – I played a ton of this on Switch. Though I was never successful enough to finish it, it was a lot of fun.
  • Donut County (PS4) – I didn’t play this indie game directly. Instead, I watched as Diane thoroughly enjoyed it. We both laughed together at the jokes. It was an incredibly funny experience given the odd subject matter.
  • Frostpunk (PC) – I wanted more than what I got with Frostpunk, but it was still an incredible experience. I love a good city-builder and the fusion of that with survival mechanics to make a game I dreaded playing was a match made in heaven (or in this case hell).
  • Overcooked 2 (PS4) – It is Overcooked only better. Our couples nights playing this game every weekend were just as fun as when we did them for the original. I consider Overcooked 2 to be superior in every way.

#1: Slay the Spire

At over 700 hours, I have one achievement left to get in this blend of roguelikes and card games. I cannot think of a better game to carry me on now that I am completely done playing Binding of Isaac. That said, my obsession is currently waning, so I doubt I get to 1,000 hours unless they add something new when the game finally launches early next year.

GameSpace: Murf on Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire Has Slain My Free Time

If you didn’t see my previous article on GameSpace reviewing Son of Scoregasm, I don’t blame you. Beyond the great title to that review, it wasn’t exactly my first idea (though I enjoyed the game and you might too).

Slay the Spire, however, is my jam. I am at 80+ hours in this Early Access gem and I am ready to call it my GOTY for 2018 (but it dropped in 2017). I love deck building and card games and roguelikes. Slay the Spire is all of that.

Check out my preview and then the game!