Monster Train is familiar until you find out where its battles are held. It takes the card shuffling, dungeon dashing challenge of games like Slay the Spire and Griftlands, and throws it all aboard a fast-moving train. Choo choo!
Why a train? It's the best way to keep the last fire in Hell away from the angels trying to put it out. The train has three tiers arranged by height with the burning pyre by itself at the top. You have to defend the two tiers below it as the angelic army enters the train from the bottom.
Fighting back is done by placing cards from your deck, which is built from a choice of over 200 cards comprising minions and spells from across five demonic clans. From there you get to choose your hellspawn's attacks and can upgrade them if you have the card to do so.
Successfully defend the train from the heavenly attack and you move onto the next part of the game. As you're on a moving train, you have to choose a route to travel, with different benefits on offer across the available areas. Passive bonuses, demon upgrades, and even duplicating your favourite card is yours to gain before you take on the final boss.
Aside from custom games and daily challenges, Monster Train will also have a Hell Rush multiplayer mode for up to eight players battling each other and a countdown timer. Each player starts with the same resources and the winner will be the one who makes the most of them with their decisions. Sounds frantic.
Monster Train doesn't have a release date yet, but you can wishlist it on Steam. Chug on over to the Monster Train website and you can sign up for the beta too. If you're interested in roguelike deckbuilders than let X-COM maker Julian Gollop be your guide to this emerging genre.