Saturday Morning Gaming: Trying To Find A Second Slay The Spire
Seriously, Slay the Spire was one heck of a game. I’ve talked before about how good it was, and how I could play it with Netflix in the other monitor, and I could play it when I couldn’t handle the stimulation of playing a game at the same time as having Netflix in the other monitor.
Slay the Spire is one of those games that you can play and lose and not mind…and then play and it’s irritating until you win and then, finally, you figure out how to win…and then beat so many times that the only way you can win is for everything, absolutely everything, to go perfectly. But, by that point, the game is as comfortable as an old pair of slippers so you don’t mind so much.
But you will go out searching for other games that will remind you of Slay the Spire.
And it’s with that in mind that I picked up Iris and the Giant. Iris and the Giant is a game that reminded me a LOT of Slay the Spire… until after I beat it.
When I first started playing Iris and the Giant, I was entranced by the various mechanics I saw before me. I got a certain number of cards per turn. Arrows could hit any monster on the field but playing an arrow card ended your turn. Swords could only hit monsters in the front lines… but you could play sword cards until your hand no longer had sword cards in it (so if you had 3 sword cards, you were likely to be able to kill the monster that, otherwise, you’d want to use an arrow on). Dagger cards automatically kill whatever is in front of you, no matter how much armor it has (but it ends the turn). Whips bring something from the back rows to the front rows and then give you a second chance to play a card (making whip/dagger a great combo with which to beat minibosses).
And, as you played, you’d unlock stuff. You’d unlock powers. You’d unlock invisible friends. You’d unlock… the story.
The story is about Isis, a young woman who is going to a swim meet in the middle of a duration where she’s being bullied at school. And, as you play and unlock stuff, you’d find out more about the troubles that Isis is going through at school.
As I played, I was entranced. I wanted to learn more and figure out different ways to play and I kept dying here, there, and everywhere and then, finally, after several dozen games, I FINALLY went up against the big boss. And, eventually, I FINALLY beat him.
And then I found that I didn’t really need to play the game anymore.
I’d already figured out the underlying mechanics. I’d mastered the different powerful combos that made the character either stoppable or unstoppable. I’d encountered the story and figured out what was going on with Iris. I wanted to figure out the various powers I got from beating particular bosses. I wanted to figure out what happened when I played these cards instead of those cards. I wanted to figure out what happened when I took THAT path instead of THIS path. And then, when I finally figured out how to take the roads less travelled by?
I no longer needed to play the game.
Now, it was WELL worth the money for the game because I loved figuring out how to beat it… but, after I beat it, I no longer needed to beat it.
Unlike Slay the Spire which still tasks me.
So if you are looking for something to deconstruct the way you deconstructed Slay the Spire, you need to check out Iris and the Giant. But if you’re hoping for something that you’ll be able to play after you’ve deconstructed it the way you deconstructed Slay the Spire… well, I’d say hold out and hope that Griftlands is as good as Invisible, Inc.
So…what are you playing?
(Featured image is a screenshot of Iris and the Giant. Taken by the author.)