The Last Spell Review (8 / 10): Engaging for Tens of Hours

The Last Spell

The Last Spell is a rogue-lite, tactical role-playing game developed by Ishtar Games and published by The Arcade Crew. The game was released into early access on Steam in June 2021, and the final version was released on March 9, 2023, for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. The game is available in 11 languages: English, Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukrainian. In this The Last Spell review, we will cover all key aspects of the games, its mechanics, graphics, music, sound, system requirements and many other things.

In The Last Spell, players defend the last bastion of humanity with a squad of heroes, using magic and brute force to exterminate fiendish monsters by night and rebuilding battered city defenses by day. With turn-based 2D tactical gameplay and rogue-lite mechanics, the game offers a challenging and immersive experience for fans of action, indie, RPG, and strategy games.

The game is powered by Unity engine and supports mods. It has received positive reviews from players on Steam, with over 7,000 reviews and a “very positive” rating. The Last Spell is a must-try for fans of tactical RPGs, tower defense and rogue-lite games, offering a unique and thrilling adventure in a post-apocalyptic world.

Developers and publishers

Ishtar Games is an indie studio based in Lille and Bordeaux, France. The studio was founded in 2005 under the name CCCP and has developed games such as Dead in Bermuda, Dead in Vinland, and The Last Spell. Ishtar Games’ team is composed of gamers who are passionate about creating games that reflect their values and interests. They strive to make complex games that mix different genres, especially those with an RPG component. Their games are often challenging and require dedication and investment to master. Ishtar Games’ philosophy is inspired by Ishtar, the Mesopotamian Goddess of War, who symbolizes a strong and free woman. The studio aims to express their feminist convictions in their game creation and values diversity, kindness, teamwork, and handcrafted games.

Ishtar Games

Ishtar Games’ previous titles, Dead in Bermuda and Dead in Vinland, were both well-received by gamers and critics alike. These games are complex strategy games that mix simulation and RPG elements, requiring players to manage a group of survivors on an island or in the wilderness. The Last Spell, their most recent release, is a challenging turn-based strategy game with RPG and rogue-like elements. The game combines pixel-art graphics with an intense soundtrack, making for an immersive experience. Ishtar Games has a reputation for making games that are challenging, thought-provoking, and beautiful.

The Arcade Crew is an independent game publisher based in Paris, France, founded in 2018. The company’s mission is to discover and publish innovative and unique games that stand out in the crowded indie game market. The Arcade Crew has published a variety of games across different genres, including the action-adventure game KUNAI, the beat ’em up game Streets of Fury EX, and the retro-inspired platformer Dark Devotion. The company is known for its commitment to supporting indie game developers and helping them bring their visions to life.

All this data was gathered from the official developer’s and publisher’s websites, as well as their pages on Steam.

The Last Spell gameplay review

The Last Spell is a tactical RPG with roguelite elements that takes place in a world plagued by war and destruction. Mages provoked The Cataclysm, causing massive balls of pure magic to obliterate almost everything, and a purple mist with hordes of bloodthirsty mutants emerged. The only hope now is to cast The Last Spell, which requires several days of uninterrupted incantation while a few strained heroes try to protect the mages.

The Last Spell

The game is a turn-based tactical RPG that offers a flurry of stats, skills, perks, traits, and tons of items. Armors, weapons, trinkets, and potions come with their stats, skills, and optional random modifiers. Players can build their own classes by upgrading their heroes with stat bonuses and perks, and equipping whatever gear they wish. Healing and mana are scarce, so players need to manage their squad of heroes efficiently as they are strong but have access to limited resources.

Players have to protect their Haven from hordes of undead enemies. They need to rebuild the city to help them in-between fights, get healed, forge new magical weapons, and get new heroes. They can spend their resources wisely and build up their defenses using walls, traps, towers, catapults, and any other bit of help available. The magic circle is the most critical element to protect. The game features 5 Havens to protect, each with their unique setup and challenges, which requires the players to tailor their strategy to beat the Great Evil.

The Last Spell

The game is hard, and players fails a lot, but each failure makes them harder, better, faster, and stronger. Procedurally generated enemy waves, characters, weapons, and a ton of unlockables keep the players entertained. Players can tailor each run using Omens, a limited number of bonuses that can be picked for the upcoming run. The game features six levels of Apocalypse to entertain even the craziest hardcore players.

Players initially complete a tutorial in which they defend the town of Swampfurt. After that, players use a world map to select which town they want to defend. Each town has a unique map consisting of a two-dimensional, isometric battlefield with a magic circle at the center. The player must protect the magic circle from the attacking horde of undead, or they lose.

The Last Spell

When selecting a town map, the player can choose a limited number of Omens to modify their play experience on that map. Omens are positive buffs, such as giving all heroes one additional movement point or increasing each hero’s damage, and last the full length of that map. Each town map features a set number of days and nights, and players must prepare their Heroes during the daytime, carefully choose how to rebuild their Haven, and position their defenses.

The Last Spell

Over the night, players must exterminate all the monsters coming at their walls with a large range of weapons and skills, heal, level up, and repeat until the Magic Seal is broken.

Key features of the game

  • Tactical role-playing game with roguelite elements.
  • The player controls a small group of randomly generated heroes defending a town against hordes of undead.
  • Asymmetric tactical imbalance where the player starts with three heroes and must fight against hundreds of undead enemies.
  • Each town has a unique map consisting of a two-dimensional, isometric battlefield with a magic circle at the center.
  • Players use a world map to select which town they want to defend and can choose a limited number of Omens to modify their play experience on that map.
  • Each town map features a set number of day and night phases. During the day phase, the player can spend gold and materials to construct or repair buildings, purchase heroes, build defenses, and acquire items.
  • During the night phase, the player enters into a turn-based battle alternating between the player’s turn and the undead horde’s turn.
  • Heroes move on a battlefield composed of square tiles and can use physical, range, or magical attacks; cast spells; use defensive actions; or use equipped items such as potions.
  • Each consecutive night phase challenges the player with more undead enemies than the last and features a randomized combination of enemy types.
  • At the end of a town map’s set number of day and night phases is a climactic boss battle.
  • The Last Spell features a progressive metagame where the player earns metagame currency based on the number of undead defeated and nights survived, which can be used to unlock new Omens, weapons, armor, buildings, and more.
  • The game has a storyline about banishing all magic from the world by casting The Last Spell.
  • The game has tons of items, armors, weapons, trinkets, and potions, with their own stats and skills, as well as optional random modifiers.
  • The game allows players to build their own classes by upgrading heroes with stat bonuses and perks and equipping whatever gear they wish.

The Last Spell screenshots

How hard is the game

The Last Spell is a challenging game that offers a deep and complex gameplay experience, with a variety of mechanics including base-building, character customization, turn-based combat, and resource management. It may take some time to learn, but the game provides a lot of depth and variety in its gameplay, and offers several difficulty options to suit the player’s skill level.

Graphics (5 / 10)

The Last Spell features a 2D pixel art style that perfectly captures the game’s dark and brooding atmosphere. The character and environment designs are well-crafted and detailed, with a focus on delivering a cohesive and immersive experience. However, while the graphics are certainly serviceable, they don’t stand out as particularly innovative or eye-catching.

That being said, the game’s graphics don’t have a significant impact on the overall gameplay experience. The Last Spell is a game that prioritizes strategy and tactical decision-making over flashy visuals, and players will likely find themselves fully absorbed in the gameplay mechanics rather than the graphics. In this sense, the game’s graphics serve their purpose well without being a major selling point.

Music and sounds (9 / 10)

The Last Spell has over 25 tracks of thunderous synth-driven progressive metal written by Rémi – The Algorithm – Gallégo. The music fits the game perfectly and adds to the joyous slaughterfest that the game is in general. The sound in the game is well implemented, and the music makes it even better.

Rémi Gallego is a French musician who is behind The Algorithm. He combines electronic dance music with progressive metal, which is what makes his music unique. He chose the name The Algorithm to highlight the complex and electronic nature of his music. In my subjective opinion, the music in The Last Spell is just amazing.

Pros and cons

The advantages and disadvantages of the game listed below were gathered from the latest reviews of the players on Steam.


  • The game is captivating and immersive, with an epic soundtrack and stunning visuals.
  • It offers a unique blend of strategy and RPG elements, with semi-random skill trees and random item affixes that create a lot of variety in runs.
  • The gameplay is challenging and fresh, with each hero having their own unique abilities and playstyle, and a variety of different enemy types with their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Early access reviewers who loved the game have continued to recommend it after the 1.0 patch and changes.


  • Some players criticize how heavily you are punished for unlocking all the weapons and items, as it creates a massive pool of largely useless items and rewards you for not unlocking certain items.
  • One reviewer felt that the game was not for them, as they only enjoyed the music and not the strategy gameplay.
  • Another reviewer felt that the game was not worth the time investment, as it took nearly 8 hours to complete a run.

System requirements (9 / 10)

The game’s system requirements are moderate and can be run on most PCs. The minimum operating system required is Windows 7, and it requires an Intel Core i5-3470 or AMD FX-8370 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a graphics card such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650, 2 GB or AMD Radeon HD 7770, 2 GB. The game requires DirectX 9.0 and 2 GB of available storage space.

For optimal performance, the recommended operating system is Windows 10, an Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a graphics card such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, 2 GB or AMD Radeon HD 7870, 2 GB. The game requires DirectX 9.0 and 2 GB of available storage space.

These system requirements are not very high, making the game suitable for most PCs, including low-end and mid-range machines.

Personal impression (7 / 10)

As for me, despite the fact that I really enjoyed this game, by the third chapter of the campaign, I realized that there was nothing new waiting for me ahead. I would still have to fight with randomness to find my favorite weapon, and any boss would eventually be killed with dozens of sniper shots from a rifle across half the map. What I disliked the most was that the game does not allow you to pass the chapter of the campaign on the first try; it’s almost impossible for a novice. Thus, you have to go through the same level again and again, spending hours building a defense that will be broken in 2 minutes by another water dragon.

The Last Spell

On the one hand, it’s great that the game gives you challenges and encourages you to learn complex mechanics. But on the other hand, I got tired of it pretty quickly. Perhaps it’s because I’ve played too many games in my life, and because of that, I quickly get tired of monotony. In any case, the randomness in the form of procedural waves and random heroes did not impress me at all. I am satisfied with the game, and will definitely finish it to please the readers of the site with lots of great guides. But I would be lying if I said that I would continue to play it with the same pleasure as I started with… In other words, I am already bored.

Is the game worth buying and playing? (YES)

At the time of writing this review for The Last Spell, the game costs around 22 USD on Steam. I would note that, by the standards of living in Ukraine, this is quite a lot for a 2D isometric game. However, I’m sure that people in the United States would not be surprised by such prices. Nonetheless, I believe that the game is still worth its price, as it provides a unique experience in some sense. In any case, it will certainly mercilessly swallow up several wonderful hours of your life, and I doubt that you will regret it.

I hope these websites will be helpful to you. But don’t forget to visit my website as well to check out The Last Spell guides 😉.

A few games similar to The Last Spell

I also took the liberty of suggesting a few games that are similar to The Last Spell in terms of setting and key mechanics. In these games, you will also be building something, commanding someone, and, of course, defending against repeatedly incoming waves of enemies.

  • They Are Billions – a post-apocalyptic strategy game where the player must build and defend their base against waves of infected zombies.
  • Dungeon of the Endless – a rogue-like dungeon crawler where the player must defend their crashed spaceship by setting up turrets and other defenses while exploring the dungeon and finding a way out.
  • Orcs Must Die! series – tower defense games where the player must defend their fortress against hordes of orcs using traps, weapons, and magic.
  • Kingdom Rush – a classic tower defense game where the player must defend their kingdom from waves of monsters using towers and heroes with unique abilities.
  • Sanctum 2 – a first-person shooter/tower defense hybrid where the player must build and defend their base against waves of aliens using towers and their own weapons.
  • Iron Marines – a sci-fi real-time strategy game where the player must deploy and command a variety of troops, mechs, and heroes to defend their base against alien invaders.

If you’re a fan of tower defense games, check out the huge collection of over 40 of the best tower defense games for PC.

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