Top 10 Games You Should Play if You Like Slay the Spire

If you like the deckbuilding roguelite gameplay of Slay the Spire you might enjoy some of these games as well.

slay the spire defect gameplay
Screenshot by Mega Crit Games
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The original Slay the Spire roguelite deck-building system has been innovated to perfection lately. There are now titles that take its idea into exciting new directions, like grid-based tactics, JRPG-like systems, story-focused games, and more. Here are my Top 10 games you should play if you like Slay the Spire.

Top 10 Games Like Slay the Spire to Play Right Now

10. Backpack Hero

backpack hero gameplay
Image via Jaspel

Backpack Hero is an adorable and incredibly charming game and a prime example of innovation. The combat feels similar, sure, but you aren’t wielding cards. Your attack and defense come from the items you can fit in your magical backpack — Tetris-style. This creates a unique dynamic of scavenging for items, where you’ll find plenty of gear but you won’t be able to carry everything until you increase the size of your backpack.

Furthermore, items gain benefits based on their position like having a damage-boosting gem next to your weapon or an armor piece benefiting if there are items below it in the pack. Couple this with a diverse hub system where you’ll explore the game’s fantasy setting through a town and unlock upgrades and you have an innovative Slay the Spire experience.

9. Beneath Oresa

beneath oresa gameplay
Image via Broken Spear Inc.

Beneath Oresa is one of the 3D animation-focused titles on our list. It’s probably the most cinematic game here, too. This is because it mixes Slay the Spire with fighting games, where each card offers a fully animated combat ability. There’s a diverse cast of fighters with whom you’ll be exploring the mystical apocalyptic underworld of Oresa.

Each one comes with special moves that you can chain together in combat for various special effects. Once you lock them in, you can watch your character dash around the 3D battlefield obliterating enemies. The emphasis on stylish graphics, animated moves, positioning, and movement isn’t something we’ve seen in Slay the Spire.

8. Banners of Ruin

banners of ruin gameplay
Image via MonteBearo

This medieval fantasy title set in a fable-like world of grim dark animal characters elevates the single-character combat of Slay the Spire to a more strategic one. Mainly, you’ll be controlling a team of fighters like a tanky axe-wielding bear or a swift cloak-and-dagger rabbit. Furthermore, the grid system allows for movement across lanes where attacks are locked to a specific lane based on the weapon you or the enemies are using.

Banners of Ruin offers a much more tactical approach to deck-building, as you’re not only planning which cards you’ll take but how you’ll deploy them on the different lanes. There are also RPG elements where your characters have pseudo-classes like tank, archer, or skirmisher and you’re trying to maximize their effectiveness with positioning. This is a highly immersive grim fantasy experience that fans of turn-based tactics should definitely try.

7. Dicey Dungeons

dicey dungeons selecting abilities based on dice
Image via Terry Cavanagh

From grim dark to light jovial fun, we have the game show-themed Dicey Dungeons title. In this game, you exchange your deck of cards for dice and abilities that only work whenever you roll their specific number or number combination. There are attacks that do damage based on your number rolled, those that are more powerful but activate only on odd or even numbers, and more. Defensive abilities work similarly, like rolling a die equal to damage dealt to block it or gaining a shield on dice above a certain number.

It might sound complex, but it’s quite easy and fun to get into. You can only bring a certain amount into fights which incentivizes you to create specific combinations or builds for the current level. Test your luck and beat the odds in the most brutal dice-based game show.

6. Hadean Tactics

hadean tactics combat phase
Image via Emberfish Games

Fans of grid-based tactical games will love Hadean Tactics. It mixes roguelite elements with deckbuilders and auto battlers like DotA’s Auto Chess and Teamfight Tactics. In this game, there’s a square grid where you can deploy your units which can be upgraded throughout the game. Then your deck of cards is used to buff them or lay waste to the enemy team with powerful spells.

From there, the battle phase starts where your units will be on auto-pilot as they face the enemy team and the various bosses of the game. Hadean Tactics offers a vast card skill system to customize your units and it’s one of those rare single-player auto battler games where you can relax and plan out tactics if you’re not in the mood to play auto battlers online.

5. Griftlands

griftlands combat
Image via Klei Entertainment

Griftlands is a gorgeous-looking 2D artstyle game set in an apocalyptic sci-fi world. This title innovates the deckbuilder subgenre in terms of narrative. Yes, the card combat mechanics are smooth and polished offering build-specific abilities based on your character selection, but what I like the most about the game are the social situations. You’re not only killing everything you encounter but are also making alliances.

Defeating enemies might have story consequences or affect your relationships with your friends. The neat choices-matter system is complimented by a rich game world full of socially interactable characters. You can overcome challenges through combat but also your words as your cards don’t just represent offensive maneuvers but also diplomatic ones.

4. Oaken

hex grid combat in oaken
Image via Laki Studios

This is a charming hex grid-based tactical game where you’ll be exploring a nature-themed world, recruiting powerful fey allies, and saving the Great Oak from rot and corruption. Your deck of cards represents your offensive and defensive abilities, which you can deploy from the position of your units. Speaking of which, they’re represented through your cards, as well. Oaken’s deckbuilding system therefore includes both your repertoire of creatures and magical abilities.

Furthermore, each run, you’ll equip a sort of General unit that will dictate your playstyle and spells you can use. Some General units focus on healing, some on strength in numbers, and some are quite aggressive. As you can guess, this game is all about positioning your units and moving them on the hex grid while taking out enemies in the most efficient strategic way. There are even side objectives you can do on the board for extra rewards so defeating enemies is usually not the only gameplay element that increases replayability.

3. Tainted Grail: Conquest

fighting monsters in tainted grail conquest
Image via Questline

Tainted Grail is a dark fantasy deckbuilder with RPG and hub management elements. What differentiates it from other entries on this list is that, similar to Beneath Oresa, it’s animated in full 3D. Instead of progressing down a branching line of encounters, you’ll be exploring the cursed island of Avalon on foot while worrying about light.

The map you’ll traverse is filled with combat encounters but also social encounters that will grant you special quests. You’ll populate your hub area with the NPCs you meet or rescue and increase your strength passively through its upgrade system. As for combat, it’s quite similar to Slay the Spire in terms of being stationary as you create combos with your cards. There are nine unique RPG-themed classes like the Necromancer, Berserker, Blood Mage, etc., offering hundreds of different cards and passive skills to differentiate your playstyle.

2. Monster Train

monster train gameplay
Image via Shiny Shoe

Monster Train is the game I’ve the most hours in on this list besides Slay the Spire. I loved the direction in which it took the deck builder genre by introducing different units you control instead of a single hero. In fact, the whole gameplay loop is that you’re defending a train heading to reclaim hell. Your train has multiple levels and the last one is a core you must safeguard.

Therefore, you can populate these levels with units you control which you can boost with your cards while hindering and damaging enemies with the same. The combat system is a mix of the Darkest Dungeon and Slay the Spire as you lead your team of monsters to victory against the heavenly invaders. The game even has modding support and a multiplayer system where you’ll be competing against players all over the world in daily challenges and the Hell Rush mode.

1. Gordian Quest

Image via Mixed Realms Pte Ltd

Gordian Quest mixes the best parts of stylish 2D animated graphics with a complex combat system based on a grid and various attack lines. Like in Banners of Ruin, you’ll be controlling multiple units which will consist of some of the ten hero classes in the game. Each class has its own set of unique cards that can be played with various different builds per class.

Furthermore, there’s also a story campaign across various acts where you’ll manage a small hub town and fight off the dangers surrounding it. As we mentioned with BoR, it’s not just about playing the right cards but moving your heroes across the battlefield into advantageous positions and discovering combinations and synergies.

You can also equip heroes with gear and relics that along with their abilities grant over 800 different passive and active skill choices. The game is without a doubt highly replayable similar to Monster Train, especially with the decisions matter system in the adventure mode.

That’s my list of the top 10 games you should play if you like Slay the Spire, and I hope you’ve found some potential new titles to play. An honorable mention goes out to the story-rich and atmospheric Inscryption, which I’ve yet to complete. Here’s to even more great entries in 2024.

About the author

Gordan Perisic

From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.