A Long Way Down Early Access Preview

“A Long Way Down”. is a deck-building rogue-like RPG card game in the same vein as “Slay the Spire”. Now having given “Slay the Spire” my Game of the Year last year I have been eagerly moving into 2020 to find other games to scratch that proverbial Roguelike deck-building itch. “A Long Way Down” recently released on Steam and soon coming to Switch is a game that on the surface looks fairly similar that has quite a few differences for better or for worse and sadly it's normally for worse.

Unlike “Slay the Spire” you begin the game with a pre-built deck that you build before your run changing if you happened to come across an armoury. rather than advancing through branching paths instead you build a map in front of you a mechanic not too dissimilar to Guild of Dungeoneering a decent game that we reviewed a few years ago.

as you progress through the map you encounter enemies and this is where the combat is a lot similar to “Slay the Spire”. Unfortunately where has “Slay the Spire” is a game with complex mechanics where the main gameplay loop sees you trying to match powerful synergies with the cards generally fights in "A Long Way" down at least in the early access version I have been playing are largely devoid of tactics and most of the cards are fairly simplistic in their nature causing either an attack, again or drop in percentage of attack or defence or a mixture of the two.

Herein lies the problem that due to the lack of strategy whenever you die it feels like the fight was impossible and simply requires you to go back to the start and upgrade your cards for the next attempt.

The art style is pretty reasonable with some decent sound design but the cards are a little uninspired and definitely could do with a little more personality.

as an early access title, “A Long Way Down” has made a promising start but it must just fine-tune it's deck building and the cards available to you in order to improve as currently, the map mechanic is more interesting than the core fights. not necessarily going to set the world on fire and definitely not pulling me away from “Slay the Spire" but potentially one to keep an eye on as it continues to develop.