Slay the Spire is one of the best and most innovative indie games of recent years. Evidence of this is, for example, the fact that a large number of derived titles are created on its basis. Sometimes they are copiers without an idea, but a lot of high-quality titles have already appeared, which were not only inspired, but further innovated the concept of roguelike deckbuilding.
Among the really great ones, we have to name the more narrative Gordian Quest (impressions), Griftlands or maybe the Dicey Dungeons. And now they’re joined by Fights in Tight Spaces, which takes the same deckbuilding formula but uses it for quite unusual purposes.
Just like in Slay the Spire, you travel here on a map with several possible routes. You are a secret agent codenamed 11 and your task is to deal with the local gang with the help of hard fists.
Therefore, you travel from bar to bar, where you settle accounts with incentives, visit a hospital, where you heal wounds, spend a while in the gym, where you learn new grips, or you come across an event where you have to deal with, for example, email blackmail.
But everything here is much more realistic than in other named games. While in them the individual cards represent ordinary triggers of many abilities, here each card is one specific grip. From the image itself, it is clear what animation will be performed after playing the card.
And it’s just the visual design that makes the game stand out from the competition. There is an obvious inspiration from the color palette of the Superhot game, in which the splatters of blood left by the gunslinger’s head on the bar counter after you hit him hard are contrastingly beautiful.
The fights are turn-based, they take place on a square network of very tiny spaces, where four enemies attack you at once. In your turn, you have an overview of all their future actions, which you must use to your advantage – withdraw from the poor man about to swipe a metal pipe, or push the boxer into the shot of the shooter. The enemies will perform their actions, whatever happens, so let them kill each other!
Each round is thus a pleasant puzzle. Playing cards costs energy, so you need to think carefully about how best to deal with the options. In addition, each square you give you increases your momentum, which in turn reduces your movement around the location. Some cards are stronger the greater your momentum, making the game at the center of all enemies and slapping them head on without having to take a single step.
You are simply happy with the animations and physics of corpses that sprawl on furniture or roll into corners, and thanks to them you feel like an untouchable John Wick. Which is also one of the problems. The playable demonstration is far too simple, the enemies can’t do much, while you have one ace after another up your sleeve. While in Slay the Spire the first level can really bother you, here you can easily get to the end without losing a single life.
However, Fights in Tight Spaces has not yet been released, so we can attribute the low difficulty to the unfinished form of the game in its demo, which you can all try out for yourself on Steam, and you really should. This is a game that will easily excite you and has the potential to appeal to players who otherwise generally despise card games.
Emotionally, there are side cards. The main thing does not happen in your hand, but on the game board, where you try to come up with an ideal position to perform a few spectacular quizzes that will get you to the end of the level in time (for completing challenges related to the number of rounds needed .
Combining tactical, damn stylish duels with proven gradual deckbuilding is proving to be a great idea, and Fights in Tight Spaces is suddenly becoming one of the most anticipated games next year. We don’t have a specific release date yet, but we should look forward to next year, which we sincerely hope for, because we’d rather continue immediately.