Slay the Spire meets Into the Breach in new roguelike, demo out now

Tendryll blends the roguelike deckbuilding of Slay the Spire with the turn-based strategy of Into the Breach in its Steam Next Fest demo.

New Steam roguelike Tendryll is a mix of Into the Breach and Slay the Spire - The Mystic, a purple figure with large horns, holds one hand up, palm facing forwards.

Take the tactical combat and turn-based strategy of the phenomenal Into the Breach, but melded with the card game elements of beloved roguelike deckbuilder Slay the Spire, and you have Tendryll. One of the most promising new games I’ve played during the ongoing Steam Next Fest, you can try out Tendryll right now courtesy of a free demo, and I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot if you’re after that next roguelike hit after all those big 2023 winners such as Wildfrost and Cobalt Core.

Tendryll is a roguelike strategy game from three-person indie developer Brute Farce. The fastest way to describe it is to say it’s like playing Into the Breach but with your mechs replaced by a pair of Slay the Spire heroes. Each battlefield is divided into squares, with obstacles and hazards dotted around, and you must use two separate decks of cards to direct your chosen pair of heroes to success against the enemies that stand in your way.

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In the demo, you get access to the first two heroes: the Dragoon, a hefty brute relying on physical might, and the Mystic, a ranged magic user. Each turn, both heroes draw a hand of cards from their respective decks – by default they’ll get one move card, and two actions. You’ll see the enemies’ planned actions for the next turn, and the order they’ll play out, so it’s your job to work out the best way to put a stop to those as best you can.

Many of the cards you’ll find have bonus effects, of course, which can include buffing other random cards in your hand to encourage combo play. The Mystic’s ‘Spark’ card, for example, deals damage to a specific target at range, but also causes another card in your hand to gain an additional randomly placed damage effect when used.

The environment also plays a big part in creating your tactics; stepping into certain terrain types can have card-corrupting consequences. These aren’t always negative, however. Walking through fog will apply a random energy cost to one of your cards, which can be detrimental but can also give you a cheaper effect than normal.

New steam roguelike deckbuilder Tendryll - Creatures fight on a grid-based battlefield.

As you travel through the areas, you’ll also pick up or buy relics that can give the hero who holds them stat boosts and other bonus effects, potions for powerful one-off aids, and card upgrades or removal to hone your deck further. The shop can also offer items at an ‘anomalous cost,’ which means you’ll get them for free if you can make it through your next combat encounter with a detrimental debuff applied to your party.

The Tendryll free demo is out now as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday February 12. The Tendryll launch date for the Steam Early Access release is set for April 2024, so head over to its store page now to check out the demo and add it to your wishlist if you like what you see. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

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