I wrote a review of Slay the Spire for Steam. Later I bought the game for my Phone and posted a review on the App Store. I hadn't realized that posting there was the equivalent of writing on a piece of paper and stapling it to a telephone pole. What's worse, I had to write using my phone because Apple is apparently too good for the World Wide Web.

On a whim, I scrolled through the reviews and found mine. It was 3/5 stars and I wrote it on March 4, 2021. A few things are now out-of-date, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to post a copy below.

I enjoy Slay the Spire on my laptop and it seems a perfect fit for a mobile game. Card-based games usually work well because the screen is the appropriate size. Reading earlier reviews I saw this wasn’t a perfect port but I figured I’d adapt.

The first problem is you can’t import progress from other platforms. That didn’t seem terrible because I figured I’d enjoy starting over. The the first time I unlocked cards it was exciting to learn the systems. The second time feels like doing chores in order to earn the full experience.

Second the app doesn’t allow other sources of sound to play. So no audio books or podcasts. And you better love the music or play in silence. Not many games do this and most earn the privilege by integrating sound with gameplay. Super Hexagon is a fine example. Turns out this is a huge annoyance for me.

The controls aren’t quite as terrible for me as it seems they are for other reviewers. But it’s often hard to read the cards. There seems to be no way to zoom in so they fill the screen. This is criminal since the cards are the star of the game.

Again I figured I’d be fine since I’ve already played so much. But I forget some details on a card and can only read a line or so. For whatever reason cards on either side of my hand tends to be cut off. I can only read them by dragging them up and then my finger obscures the text.

While there is a bigger text option, it’s not big enough. I have a new iPhone SE. I’m guessing I need a small iPad to be comfortable.

It just feels like an unfinished port. Everything works but it needs to be scaled for a phone. Hopefully that will happen eventually but until then I don’t think it’ll get much playing time from me.

Writing now in November of 2021 I have a few emendations:

  1. There was an update after a year of no visible progress. It allows me to listen to audio books and podcasts, so that's a step in the right direction.

  2. I recently learned that it's possible to turn on an option to zoom in on the iPhone. It's intended as an accessibility option and I suppose that's how I'm using it. Not so much that my eyesight is hampered, but some ports to iOS are. Sadly it merely makes the game playable, not enjoyable.

  3. I also learned I could AirPlay my screen to the TV. Then I remembered I have the Steam version of the game on my laptop, so what's the point? (Well, there are a few games I have on iOS, but not Steam, so I do use that trick occasionally. Still irritating.)

  4. The Star Realms app works so much better. It makes any card nearly as tall as the screen (held in landscape) when you tap and hold. I should review that game. (But don't bother posting it to the app store.)