Roguelike deckbuilders are everywhere, nowadays, which is just how I like it. Roguelike deckbuilders that carve out a path far afield of Slay The Spire are a little rarer, though, so I also like that Luck Be A Landlord just left Steam Early Access.
It’s about adding symbols to a slot machine, rather than removing monsters from a dungeon. You emerge from each run with sentences less like ‘damn, if only I’d picked more block cards’ and more like ‘damn, if only I hadn’t invested so much in coal and instead focused on feeding milk to my cats’.
It’s structured around using the slot machine in your new apartment to pay for your ever-escalating rent, wringing enough money out of a limited number of spins to avoid eviction. Most symbols pair nicely with others, like Bees that extract double points out of adjacent Flowers, or Toddlers that destroy Candy for big payouts. On my last run a Thief kept stealing from me, until another symbol I lost track of destroyed him and extracted several months’ worth of rent in one spin.
I haven’t played much, and I’m at a point where I don’t understand what most of my slot machines are doing. New symbols come at you thick and fast, a new one after every spin, and so far I’ve found success comes from leaning into a hodge podge of disconnected synergies strung together by vague memories that at one point I decided to commit to Crabs. There is something eldritch to it, kaching-ing against the basal appeal of big numbers and bloops.
It shares a certain energy with Super Auto Pets, a daft auto battler that also generates excellent sentences.
The launch version only adds some balance changes and bug fixes, but there have been plenty of other updates since Alice O celebrated a patch that stripped souls from Billionaires.
If you bought the whopping Indie bundle For Palestinian Aid on Itch last year, then you should already own Luck Be A Landlord. Everyone else can pick it up for £8.50/$10/€10 on Steam or Itch.