Griftlands - Deckbuilder rogue-like from Klei

I couldn't find a topic for this already. This looks to have a Slay the Spire feel to it, and it's by one of my favourite devs, Klei - they of Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja fame.

Currently only available in Alpha via the epic game store (on sale for under a UK tenner at the moment), but if you buy it there you will get a free Steam key when it launches in early access this June. The price is due to rise on the 1st May, going up by 5 £/$ by the looks of it.

Has anyone tried it yet?

kergguz wrote:

I couldn't find a topic for this already. This looks to have a Slay the Spire feel to it, and it's by one of my favourite devs, Klei - they of Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja fame.

Currently only available in Alpha via the epic game store (on sale for under a UK tenner at the moment), but if you buy it there you will get a free Steam key when it launches in early access this June. The price is due to rise on the 1st May, going up by 5 £/$ by the looks of it.

Has anyone tried it yet?

I believe Jeff Cannata discusses this game some time ago on DLC. I believe he raved about the game. I’d bite if the sale was a bit more generous.

A Klei developed deck builder game with a Slay The Spire feel, as soon as I get a sniff of this coming to consoles I'm in!

Really enjoyed Griftlands, always get distracted from it with the newest shiny, though. Thanks for bringing it up on the radar! I briefly mentioned it on ep 666 but I don't think I did a follow up. May do so again if this one gets more traction. I feel like it would play really well on a Switch someday.

I bought it at that discount. Thanks for the heads-up.

Here's an hour-long Giant Bomb Quick Look from 9 months ago. They've just added a new playable character. I've liked a lot of Klei's stuff in the past. I'll probably play it when the well starts to run a little dry.

Hi everyone. I see Griftlands just hit the Nintendo eShop today and is discounted.
Any newer impressions of this game?

Thanks!

Chad

I'm excited to play it but won't be getting to it for a month or two at the rate I'm going on Biomutant.

I never played it before the Switch release, but I'm enjoying it.

However, the in-game tutorials aren't very helpful. The game and UI are pretty densely packed with details, and if I wasn't watching videos and looking up fan-made tutorials I'd have no idea what was going on.

Even doing that, I'm still getting creamed in my initial runs.

If you don't like games that give you homework (i.e. looking up mechanics, strategies, even what icons mean because Klei doesn't explain it at all in-game) then you might not enjoy it. But I'm finding the gameplay, art/character design, and story quite entertaining despite that.

It's not as bad as, let's say, Cultist Simulator. But I really don't see how you'd understand the nuances of the game mechanics without looking up a few guides.

On that note... can anyone recommend some guides that helped them? A lot of ones I've found are older so I'm curious if that means they're out of date by now for the 1.0 release.

I ended up using:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil...
https://guides.gamepressure.com/grif...
https://griftlands.fandom.com/wiki/H...

But there are noticeable gaps in info available. Maybe it's just not popular enough?

There's an in-game compendium with more info on game progress, although when I first downloaded Griftlands I couldn't figure out how to navigate it (some of the controls are a bit funky), but it seems to work with the L/R buttons.

I managed to beat the game with with the first character. It took a lot of goes though. Stun cards are super useful and I never had them before my winning run. Cards that summon sidekicks can get you out of a tight corner too. I got the dog type pet upgraded and trained and it survived all the way through.

Being brutal does seem to have some perks.

The extraneous stuff that slowed the game down was just annoying after a few runs but you can speed it up.

I played on the switch and my old eyes really struggled with the small text. A lot of symbols on the screen that were quite fiddly to get the information on that, I think, would be much more simple on a PC. And moving a cursor with a stick is always a annoying.

Very much a slay the spire feel. Very additive and sucks up time effortlessly. Looking forward to playing the second character.

I've been playing this and having fun thus far. I've beat the game once with the first character and am working through the second character's plot for the first time currently. Definitely a lot of replay value in terms of both the mechanics and the narrative.

My main gripes at this point are with the pace of the unlocks (after 3 runs with the first character, one of which was a victory, I think I'm still only halfway or 2/3rds through unlocking all of their cards) and the controls/layout on Switch. I do basically 100% of my gaming in handheld mode and there are definitely times when I'm fighting the game to figure out a tooltip on an opponents negotiation wheel or get a card out of the way so I can see an enemy's HP in combat.

I'm also not 100% convinced of the depth of the mechanics (i.e., it kind of looks like there are two basic paths to go down for each type of combat and it's just a matter of picking one and excluding the other), but this may just be because I haven't unlocked all of the cards yet. I've also been spoiled by the robustness of Slay the Spire's design.

That all being said I'm having a ton of fun and anticipate many hours lost to this.

Resisting the urge to take a card every time is hard, but that's been the key in having a much easier time of winning for me. 20 is good. 15 or less of really good cards? Even better.

There's technically 2 different paths, like you can go "Diplomacy" or... is it called Intimidation? Green or Red for negotiations.

But even within those branches, there's different gameplay mechanics to focus on. Like some special effects are triggered when you reshuffle (so a small deck is key). Or some effects are generated when you discard. Things like that.

Combat is similar. Like you can focus on bleed, wound, burn, or straight damage. But then there are discard mechanics, and "improvise" mechanics (I haven't gotten too far into that one).

So focusing purely on green or red, or bleed or piercing, or something like that can work really well and consistently. So those are kind of the equivalent of "big money" in Dominion, in that it's reliable.

Once you play the next characters, the gameplay also changes slightly. Rook doesn't have that built-in 1 damage prevention for negotiations, so you have to be a lot more aggressive because it's a lot harder to avoid all damage.

I can't speak to how it compares to Slay the Spire, Monster Train, or similar games. But there is depth if you wanna pursue it.

I like the pacing, personally. Three runs really isn't that much, especially if you consider how you can change what missions you accept/strategies you pursue (like whether to focus on grafts or leveling up a pet or two). And how they stack with the different perks you can select.

There's also the other game types/daily challenges. And "mutations", although that locks out achievements (achievements are pretty hard, I lost mine due to the Switch save wipe bug that's now patched and didn't feel up to getting them back.)

I still think the in-game tutorials are a bit bare. Reading the above tutorials opened up some interesting strategies to try I wouldn't have thought of/pursued based on what's presented to you in-game.

The controls are definitely clunky, and the way tooltips are presented can cover up important information in handheld mode. And you still can't rename your pets on Switch. But I also do my gaming primarily handheld these days so it's good enough, I suppose.

In dev notes from the forums they mentioned they're looking into how gamepad controls could be improved, but I'd keep my expectations low. I love having Invisible, Inc. from Klei on Switch, but they never patched a controls related bug where you can't activate the Lightning skill with Wisp, and it seems like they never will. So unless Griftlands sells really well on Switch it similarly probably won't be worth a huge further investment on their part.

I've been playing since launch and I only just realized you can read a tooltip for bold words with the "L" trigger.

It doesn't work for backscroll, it has to be the speech bubble that's currently focused. So if you've skipped dialogue using "Y" or pressed "X" too many times, there's no way to go back and read those tooltips.

If there's more than one you cycle through them with each press.

It's clunky, but it does add a lot of flavor to the story without having to look it up outside the game.

I beat the game with Rook, the second character, on the first go and never looked in danger.

Just started the third character and I like the change in tone from the other two.

Finally started a run last night. Beginning on introduction level. I love every single aspect of the game other than it's a roguelike. Really wish they had come up with a more creative route to make it replayable. They even make it so you can have multiple runs of different characters going simultaneously.

I'm still a little lost when it comes to parsing the different effects in negotiations, however. Combat is quite straight forward.

My eldest said you can replay a day if you die but I can't recall ever seeing that option.

With Smith I cannot win in combat after three runs. I'm not smashing my head against the wall again.

yregprincess wrote:

My eldest said you can replay a day if you die but I can't recall ever seeing that option.

With Smith I cannot win in combat after three runs. I'm not smashing my head against the wall again.

It’s only an option for the introductory difficulty level.

gewy wrote:
yregprincess wrote:

My eldest said you can replay a day if you die but I can't recall ever seeing that option.

With Smith I cannot win in combat after three runs. I'm not smashing my head against the wall again.

It’s only an option for the introductory difficulty level.

I'm still on my first run in introductory, is there a reason to go up on higher difficulties other than for challenge?

yregprincess wrote:

My eldest said you can replay a day if you die but I can't recall ever seeing that option.

With Smith I cannot win in combat after three runs. I'm not smashing my head against the wall again.

I’m also finding smith to be the most difficult to pilot in combat. I’m only on my second run with him, but i wiped on the boss encounter at the end of the first night on my first run with him. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the overall combat mechanics after I successfully completed a run with Rook on my first attempt, but Smith is very different.

That being said he’s also very different narratively, so I’m looking forward to playing more with him at this point.

Vector wrote:
gewy wrote:
yregprincess wrote:

My eldest said you can replay a day if you die but I can't recall ever seeing that option.

With Smith I cannot win in combat after three runs. I'm not smashing my head against the wall again.

It’s only an option for the introductory difficulty level.

I'm still on my first run in introductory, is there a reason to go up on higher difficulties other than for challenge?

Nah, not really.

Technically you get a small exp bump (10%) each level of Prestige you go up, but that's it. Other than for the challenge, I mean.

I've been trying to unlock perks and achievements, and some of them are easier on story mode for example. Which is so easy you really have to try not to accidentally kill people when they want to surrender (because you applied too much bleed or something.)

Messing with "mutations", however, does disable achievements.

Having gotten to the end of each character's story at least once, I think I'm ready to put this down. Definitely a solid game, but in the end I don't think there's enough meat mechanically to keep me hooked. I also think the pace of unlocking new cards for each character is way too slow--perhaps I'm doing the game a disservice by putting it down before unlocking everything, but I'm over 20 hours in at this point.

WellAdjusted wrote:

Having gotten to the end of each character's story at least once, I think I'm ready to put this down. Definitely a solid game, but in the end I don't think there's enough meat mechanically to keep me hooked. I also think the pace of unlocking new cards for each character is way too slow--perhaps I'm doing the game a disservice by putting it down before unlocking everything, but I'm over 20 hours in at this point.

You did better than me. I started Smith’s story and the roguelike aspects just killed it for me.

Vector wrote:
WellAdjusted wrote:

Having gotten to the end of each character's story at least once, I think I'm ready to put this down. Definitely a solid game, but in the end I don't think there's enough meat mechanically to keep me hooked. I also think the pace of unlocking new cards for each character is way too slow--perhaps I'm doing the game a disservice by putting it down before unlocking everything, but I'm over 20 hours in at this point.

You did better than me. I started Smith’s story and the roguelike aspects just killed it for me.

I get that--I didn't really start making progress with Smith until I'd failed a few runs and unlocked a few more of his cards to really work with his mechanics. Which is too bad cause I think narratively he's actually the most interesting of the three (and certainly the most important in terms of capital L Lore, unless I'm missing something from the story branches of the other two characters).

I listened to the first 20 minutes of the recent Three Moves Ahead podcast on Griftlands and then went and downloaded the demo from Steam last night. I played a couple of hours and then bought it, it is fun so far and I am interested to see how it unlocks. Very Slay-the-Spire influenced with dialogue / story wrappers. It is a bit annoying that my demo progress didn't carry over to the full game but ultimately not a big deal.

I am playing on PC, I think it would be much too small and too fiddly to play on the Switch for me.