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New roguelike blends Slay the Spire with Into the Breach style combat

Tendryll is an exciting dual-character mix of roguelike deckbuilder and grid-based strategy game, and it’s out now on Steam in early access.

Tendryll is a new roguelike deckbuilder and turn-based strategy game that feels like a mix of Slay the Spire and Into the Breach - The Mystic, a horned figure in a high-collared coat.

As a huge fan of both Into the Breach and Slay the Spire, I was immediately enticed by the Steam Next Fest showing of Tendryll, a new roguelike deckbuilder that’s just launched via Steam Early Access. A fascinating fusion of the two games, Tendryll is looking like it might just be my next obsession alongside my still-ongoing Balatro habit, and its early access release is already packed with plenty to keep you busy if you’re on the lookout for something new.

Playing Tendryll is a bit like playing two games of Slay the Spire at once, but with your chosen pair of heroes playing out their battles on a grid of squares most immediately reminiscent of Into the Breach. It’s got all the hallmarks of the best deck-building roguelike games, with runs offering plenty of potential to earn new cards, upgrade existing ones, or remove unwanted fluff from each hero’s deck as you progress. You’ll also find relics offering stat boosts or unique bonus effects, powerful potions that can save you in a pinch, and events where your choices can lead to a range of different outcomes.

The twin decks you’re building – one for each hero – are a mixture of movement and action cards, and by default each character draws one movement option and two actions each turn. Much like Into the Breach, you can see exactly what your opponents are planning to do on their next turn, and it’s up to you to find the best way to respond.

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The pairing of the two genres works really well in concert – some cards offer bonus effects that can affect your other cards for the rest of the turn, or create an opening for your other character to exploit. Certain terrain, meanwhile, will impact your cards when interacted with – walking into fog, for example, changes the cost of one card in your hand at random, which might ruin your plans, but could also open up new potential with a lucky roll.

One of my favorite mechanics is the anomalies offered by some shops and black markets. These are essentially items that are offered to you at no cost – but of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and taking one means you’ll have to face a detrimental effect in your next battle that could spell your doom if you aren’t careful about what you’re getting into.

At launch, Tendryll features three playable classes with 170 cards between them, more than 115 relics, and 14 runes. There are three acts to clear with five bosses standing in your way, along with 35 different combat encounters and a further 20 modifiers to mix them up. With ten ascension levels to gradually bump up the challenge as you get better, and 30 bounties to complete unlocking new heroes, relics, and potions, Brute Farce estimates that you’d probably need 50-100 hours or more to finish everything off with all the class combinations.

Tendryll - Screenshot showing the Dragoon using its 'Barreling Charge' ability to cross the map in one turn.

Tendryll is out now on Steam in early access, with a 10% launch discount until Friday May 10. Expect to pay $16.19/£13.40 if you pick it up now, or $17.99/£14.99 after that date, although the price is planned to increase once the full 1.0 release eventually arrives. There’s also a free demo giving you a chance to try two heroes through act one, if you’re curious. Brute Farce says it’s aiming for the early access period to last “a year or less, depending on player feedback and which features we decide to add.”

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