The Last Spell is a fantasy tactical role-playing game rogue-lite by French studio Ishtar Games where you are the commander, and with its 1.0 release coming out earlier this year, it has 91% positive Steam reviews out of its 8, 752 to date. It is the very definition of a hidden gem, and you should be playing it.
The leader of humanity’s last hope, you’ll fight hordes of the undead, as you protect your mages trying to banish magic from this world and cast The Last Spell. It is kind of the mage’s fault though, with them being the ones casting the magic nukes that ended up corrupting the world. But at least they ended the war.
Its gameplay loop is very addicting, load in with 3 heroes each with their own stats, strengths and weaknesses, some walls, and a couple of houses. Then you get chucked into the deep end and the horde comes, no building extra defences just panic. Hold the line, and then you get to prepare your defenses, level up your heroes, heal up and repeat for several waves.
Each kill gives you a currency you can use for the meta progression while accomplishing certain “feats” such as surviving day four of a map (there are five game maps in total plus a tutorial map) gives you further unlocks meaning each failure is a chance to become stronger. Each of the five maps has its setting and its boss. The map with a lake has a giant lake monster to defeat; the one in the middle of a forest: 12 corrupted dryads. Each boss fight also has an infinite number of zombies drawn to the mages attempting to channel their magic into the seal. Defeat the boss, unlock a new map, or try the same map again on a harder difficulty.
Multiple weapons, each with their skillset and bonus stats, and no two waves being the same add to the replayability of The Last Spell in a way that it drags you in and before you know it hours have passed, and you really should go get some food. For me, it has that same “just one more turn” as something like Sid Meier’s Civilization. Oh, and it has a killer soundtrack by Remi Gallego, seriously, it’s on Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music you name it, go listen to it, a synth metal masterpiece.
I have been singing this game’s praises for so long, it has so many thing aspects that appeal to many different types of people, fantasy medieval setting, turn-based strategy, base building, and it’s easy to learn, but hard to master. But it’s very rewarding when you finally figure out how to defeat the map.
It’s a real shame that not many people have even heard of this wonderful game, so I’m glad I can help get the word out. If I have convinced at least one person to get this hidden gem then I can sleep happy tonight.
The Last Spell is available now on Steam, Switch, PS4 and PS5