Nowhere Prophet screenshot

Slay the Spire may not be the first deckbuilding roguelike, but it is the game that popularized the genre. Since its release in 2017, countless games have followed in its footsteps, ranging from outright clones to games that feel wholly unique.

If you’ve ascended the spire and are ready to conquer new challenges, plenty of adventures await you. These are 10 of the best roguelike deckbuilding games that aren’t Slay the Spire.

Iris and the Giant

Inspired by papercraft, Iris and the Giant is a lovely and charming game with RPG, deckbuilding, and roguelike elements. While some deckbuilders toss you into the seem end, this title offers accessibility without sacrificing complexity or depth. It also offers several difficulty settings, allowing players to customize the game to their liking. If you just want to enjoy the art and the story, you can play on easy, but there’s plenty of challenge here for those that are interested.

Iris and the Giant is available on PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch.

Nowhere Prophet

If you’re looking for a deckbuilder that you can play over and over again, Nowhere Prophet might just be the game for you. With more than 300 cards to collect and new procedurally generated maps each game, it’s a title that’s always offering something new. Although it can be punishing at times, those painful moments feel true to the game’s desolate, post-apocalyptic world. If you can tolerate permadeath, it’s a unique, tactics-heavy game that’s worth your time.

Nowhere Prophet is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Monster Train

Monster train gameplay

No matter how many times I play Monster Train, it never seems to lose its magic. Part-deckbuilder, part-tower defense game, it’s one of the most addictive games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Whether I want to try a new deck combination, level up my favorite clans, or take on the game’s daily challenges, there’s always a reason to come back for more. If you play on PC, you can even download mods and player-created cards and clans, ensuring that the game will never run out of content.

Monster Train is available on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Dicey Dungeons

RNG is often the bane of roguelike players, but Dicey Dungeons embraces the fleeting nature of luck. Even though the game is constantly throwing elements of randomness your way, there are still plenty of opportunities to strategize. While a run can usually be completed in around 30 minutes, there’s enough variety here for countless playthroughs. Not only can you play as six unique classes, but the game is packed with open-ended puzzles that can be solved in all kinds of ways.

Dicey Dungeons is available on PC, Mac, Xbox One and Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

Fights in Tight Spaces

Card games are often light on action, but Fights in Tight Spaces is filled to the brim with stylish, beautifully animated fight sequences. While cards are an essential component of the game, you’re also encouraged to use your environment to triumph over your enemies. It can be frustrating at times, especially if you choose the wrong cards for your deck, but there’s no real fail state. You’re free to repeat battles as many times as you’d like.

Fights in Tight Spaces is available on PC and Xbox One.

Gordian Quest

Crafting, skill trees, and deckbuilding are gameplay mechanics I can’t get enough of, which is why I was instantly drawn to Gordian Quest. Even though the game is still in Early Access, it’s already packed with content, including nine playable heroes, a three-act campaign, and all kinds of events and exploration opportunities. The full version of the game is set to have even more features, including additional classes, another campaign act, and relationship mechanics. Whether you play it now or wait for the official release, it’s a title you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Gordian Quest is available to play in Early Access on Steam.

Loop Hero

Loop Hero

If you want a card-based game that emphasizes roguelike mechanics over deckbuilding, you just might get hooked on the loot-and-loop-based grind of Loop Hero. Since the game is an auto-battler, you can technically let it play in the background, but you’ll have to expand your map and face new challenges if you want to bring its dark and murky world to light. Loop Hero feels fresh and exciting, but it also feels reminiscent of the roguelikes I loved as a kid. Once you give it a try, you’ll find yourself going through loops again and again and again.

Loop Hero is available on PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch.

Griftlands

I’m a big fan of Klei Entertainment — Don’t Starve is probably my all-time favorite survival game — so I was pretty thrilled to discover they were working on a roguelike deckbuilder. After a long stint in Early Access, they finally released Griftlands, a visually stunning, story-rich deckbuilder that can stand up with the best of the genre. The worldbuilding and writing are absolutely fantastic, and the social system makes every character in the game a little more real. Even if you’re not big on deckbuilders, this is a title that’s worth picking up.

Griftlands is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Neoverse

Neoverse‘s 3D anime-inspired visuals might make it off-putting to some players, but if you can look past the fanservice-heavy surface, you’ll find a game with tremendous depth. With three heroes, over 300 cards, plenty of gear options, and a skill grid system, Neoverse gives players countless ways to approach the game’s challenges. Most runs can be completed within 30 minutes, which means there’s incentive to experiment, try new things, and check out everything this title has to offer.

Neoverse is available on PC and Mac.

Inscryption

Inscryption is the kind of game that’s almost impossible to talk about. Although it does have very solid deckbuilding mechanics, a huge part of its magic lies in its surprises. For the best experience, you’ll want to go in as blind as possible. It can be hard to take a chance on a game you know next-to-nothing about, but thankfully, you can play through the free demo on Steam to see if it’s worth your time and money. While it didn’t appear on our Game of the Year list, it’s definitely one of the best games 2021 had to offer.

Inscryption is available on PC.

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Tyler
Tyler
3 months ago

Another good one is Tainted Grail, very similar to slay the spire while having more unique gameplay.

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