Slay the Spy
How tight can your fight be? Fights in Tight Spaces is all about fights in some of the tiniest grids I have ever seen. These fights are tight. Tight as in they're awesome, but also in the small sense. What I'm saying is... okay, look, the game is called Fights in Tight Spaces and that should tell you all that you need to know. I tried the demo out, because yeah, that appeals to me.
The game has you going through a small tree of levels to get from point A to B. Each level is a fight taking place in a small grid, which usually doesn't get any larger than 6x6. Your goal is almost always to defeat all the enemies in a level, sometimes having to fight a boss or survive a certain amount of turns along the way.
Each turn starts with the enemies moving around and declaring an attack. However, between their movements and attacks, you get your entire turn. You have a deck of abilities, and you'll draw a hand of five cards that you can play. Most cards cost momentum to use, though a good chunk either cost no momentum or give you back the momentum for specific actions. For example, one card allows you to either move two spaces or move around an enemy and get the momentum back for using the card.
So much of Fights in Tight Spaces is about manipulating the grid you fight on, and the positions of both you and your enemies. Since you actually go between the enemy movement and attack phase, one of the best strategies is to move enemies into the line of fire. Every time I got surrounded by enemies there was nothing but joy if I got around one, then shoved him into the dogpile. Watching three different guys punch their own buddy to death is always amusing and hilarious. Pushing someone into the line of fire of a gun? Even better.
Sometimes a third party joins the fun. Some levels will task you with protecting the British ambassador or making sure you don't knock out your informant. The ambassador will just stand around and take it, so you have to use your abilities to move him out of the way so he isn't killed. This does make for the toughest levels, as juggling my time between protecting the ambassador and dealing damage was pretty difficult. Informants work like regular enemies, just you have to avoid killing them despite their attacks on you. A much easier task, since normal enemies ignore them. They're both perfectly good twists on the established gameplay though.
However, there's also that twinge that I've seen this before. There are no two ways around it: Fights in Tight Spaces is basically just Slay the Spire but with a grid. That's not a bad thing, mind you, Slay the Spire is a lot of fun, and there's enough new elements with the grid and redirecting attacks that it's still unique. However, it's always in the back of my mind that I'm just playing Slay the Spire. Even elements like the UI and card upgrades are nearly identical.
What isn't identical is the general graphical style. Fights in Tight Spaces makes great use of color, with a nice black, white, and red aesthetic that looks great. Enemies come in different shades to help easily differentiate the classes, and each stage and fight is quite eye-catching. I always enjoyed watching the fights play out, though I do wish we saw more of the dramatic zooms featured in the trailers.
Fights in Tight Spaces Preview | Final Thoughts
Fights in Tight Spaces is a ton of fun, and anyone who can't get enough of deckbuilding card games should find plenty to enjoy here. While it could use a bit more to differentiate itself from the many other entries to the genre, it already has a pretty solid start in that direction as well. I'll be keeping an eye on the game as it continues development, and I'm more than excited to get my hands on the finished product.
TechRaptor played a preview of Fights in Tight Spaces on PC during the Steam Game Festival. The game is set to release some time in 2020 on PC.