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Slay the Spire dev’s new free game protests Unity, and it rules

Dancing Duelists is a new free game from Slay the Spire developer Mega Crit, who has been testing out the Godot game engine after the Unity controversy.

Slay the Spire Dancing Duelists: the screen of a card autobattler made to look like a colorful disco

The team behind the incredible roguelike deckbuilder Slay the Spire has released a new free game, after moving to the Godot game engine following Unity’s controversial fee policy that would see game developers paying more per game download. The free deckbuilding autobattler Dancing Duelists is available now, and it rules.

The new Dancing Duelists from Slay the Spire developer Mega Crit Games was made in just three weeks as part of the Jump Ship game jam. You can download the free game right now, and it still has the roguelike deckbuilding quality fans of Mega Crit’s previous work will be familiar with.

In Dancing Duelists you pick between an array of colorful characters with different abilities and add a couple of extra cards from a random pool to your deck before going against an NPC. At this point, everything is pre-shuffled and completely random, with you watching from the sidelines and hoping both your card picks and the RNG gods are on your side.

Mega Crit says it built the game “to explore the Godot engine due to ‘recent events,’” and that “It happens to coincide with Jump Ship.” The recent events the team is talking about are the Unity fee policy changes, which were walked back after the company behind the game engine wanted to charge developers per download of their games.

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While it’s simple, Dancing Duelists is an incredible achievement for a three-week game jam on a completely new engine. There’s some Slay the Spire DNA in there, but I was immediately impressed with the music, character designs, visuals, and the kernel of an idea in the game’s autobattler mechanic. It might be a little too luck-based for my tastes, but with some more fleshed-out mechanics I could 100% see Mega Crit turning it into another roguelike deckbuilder that sweeps the indie scene.

Yeah, you’ll just end up watching two characters duke it out with pre-shuffled decks, but you’ll also be tapping your foot the whole time and itching to try out a new character and card combo – so Dancing Duelists is doing something right.

If you like the jazzy vibes of Persona 5, the deckbuilding of Slay the Spire, and the Super Smash Bros. announcer I can easily recommend this game. The fact that it’s 100% free on itch right now is also a big help.

We’ve also put together a list of the best roguelike games available on PC right now, and even the biggest free Steam games if you don’t want to have to pay.