I love the concept of a dying world with the last glimmer of humanity hanging on against overwhelming odds. It’s a bleak, existential look that provides a bit of comfort just for the fact that, yeah, I’ll die, but so will everything else. Okay, maybe that’s a little dark, but The Last Spell has me thinking about the end of the world—specifically, one where man’s hubris has driven us to the brink, and the only way to eke out a victory is from the cusp of demise.
The Last Spell is a turn-based strategy game with role-playing and rogue-lite aspects and some light building/management mechanics. Your job is to defend one of the last bastions of humanity against an unrelenting evil. Humanity, desperate to end all wars, instead contends with an apocalyptic evil which was unleashed on the world in an event known as The Cataclysm. The world is covered in a purple fog from which zombie-like monsters emerge nightly to ravage and destroy. Your job is to defend one of these last bastions of humanity. To do this, you control a small group of heroes who wield steel and magic against hordes of encroaching zombie-like monsters all to an amazing synth metal soundtrack.
When I’m talking about hordes of monsters, I mean huge overwhelming groups of enemies. The Last Spell has rogue-lite aspects, including an emphasis towards difficulty. It’s expected you will fail, but also learn from your experience while earning and purchasing power-ups and items to make your next run that much easier. Mana and health is limited, so careful planning and positioning is required for success. You defend against the hordes of monsters at night, and if you survive their onslaught, you have a chance to rebuild and fortify during the day.
While night time combat is heavy on turn-based tactics against an overwhelming horde of enemies, daytime is for assigning talents, exploiting the city’s ruins for building material or gold, and rebuilding the city’s fortifications to help against the night’s coming attack. You can direct your workers to build shrines and temples for mana to help regenerate your hero’s stats before their next fight. Resources are extremely limited, however—and so are the workers that are tasked to do the work. It’ll take careful planning to survive another night, and even sometimes that isn’t enough.
The Last Spell is releasing as an Early Access game, which means that the version that’s releasing today isn’t the final, complete game. According to the Early Access info box, Developer Ishtar Games plans on keeping The Last Spell in Early Access for about a year. As an Early Access title, The Last Spell is extremely polished, but obviously unfinished. Currently, you can play up to the first boss, with a custom game mode added in for extra replayability.
I’m excited for the future of The Last Spell. It comes into Early Access today extremely polished, and touting a ton of character. It has fantastic lore, great pixel art, and a killer soundtrack. If you like turn-based tactical rogue-lite games, The Last Spell looks like it’s shaping up to be something special.
The Last Spell is available in Steam Early Access today.
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