Across the Obelisk Review

I recently picked up Across the Obelisk (ATO) during a Steam fall sale and have been enjoying it a lot more than I expected.

ATO is a rogue-like card-based adventure game that is heavily inspired by slay the spire. You play as a group of four adventurers that must fight monsters across randomly generated worlds. Each adventurer has a different class, cards, and equipment at start. As you progress, you can pick up better cards, perks, and equipment which is necessary to survive in later rounds.

One way of describing ATO is that it is Slay the Spire but more. More characters, more cards, more battles, more status effects, more items, more events types - you get the point.

Some changes help. Having multiple party members adds depth. Permanent perks give adventure mode a sense of progression. The ability to engage in obelisk corruption fights, an optional mode that shows up in some battles where your party is given a handicap in exchange for better prices, adds a nice risk vs reward dynamic.

That said, the sheer number of options in terms of cards, elements, status effects, buffs, and card types can induce decision fatigue. Buffs are great, but do we really need more than two dozen of them? Does there need to be a separate stat for blunt physical attack vs a slashing physical attack? Does every attack by every character really need multiple status modifiers?

Playing ATO makes me appreciate the design of slay the spire - enough variation that you will not run out of options but not too much that it starts feeling like a civ game.

All in all, ATO is a fun game that tries to do a little too much all at once.


Created 2023-12-03T04:14:57.706000, updated 2023-12-03T04:15:37.967000 · History · Edit