Parents' Guide to

Slay the Spire

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Card game/adventure hybrid brings the best of both worlds.

Slay the Spire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Variety of mental gymnastics required to play well

I play this together with my 6yo son; it would be beyond him if we weren’t doing it together. It is a card-drafting solitaire of sorts. There are many difficult words, and playing well requires good mental-math. The game requires significant short- and long-term planning at higher levels. This makes this game surprisingly valuable academically for probably the 10-15 age range; the hardest difficulties feel like a good brain workout for me. This game pits fallen anti-heroes against ruthless inhabitants of the “Spire.” There’s a lot of violence, but none of it is explicitly animated. The setting is pretty dark, but it’s not scary per se. The player strives against both physical and mental adversaries, but the narrative is abstract, most of this is “setting” and helps provide clues to how to use cards strategically. Parents should understand that while cards like “Greed” might ultimately give players a significant advantage, the game doesn’t really glorify any of its own content; this is a big part of what makes the game feel “dark.” My emotional intelligent 6yo seems to get it, though.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

The big risk that comes with mixing different tastes together is that you're just as likely to wind up with a complete mess as you are to have the next big thing. Thankfully, Slay the Spire, a unique hybrid of a rogue-like dungeon crawler and a collectible card game, is the most successful blending of flavors since chocolate and peanut butter. The game leans much more heavily into its card game elements, which is a perfect fit for the turn-based battles. While the early part of the game is little more than a constant mix of basic strikes and blocks, it's not long before new cards added to the deck open up a slew of unique opportunities for devastating combos. And while there's a certain element of chance involved, successfully progressing higher up the Spire requires a level of strategy and forethought that makes victory feel like a true accomplishment rather than just the luck of the draw.

While the adventure elements in Slay the Spire aren't quite as much of a focus as the card gaming, they do add enough twists and quirks to the gameplay to keep things interesting. Potions, items, and artifacts feel right at home here. And when you run into a chance event, you might need to thing long and hard before deciding if that strength boost is worth losing half your max HP. Choose wisely and you can make it to new heights in the Spire. Choose poorly and you're back on the ground floor starting fresh. Of course, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the game is procedurally generated, meaning each adventure is a brand-new course than the one before, which will keep you coming back for more exploration and more treasure. It's that engaging gameplay that makes Slay the Spire a game that's packs in loads of fun and is a must have for card game fans.

Game Details

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