Not a answer but more personal experience and random thoughts.
I can confirm 6lives_statusbar.asm works with the multi sprite kernel. Having "icons" that can be changed around more easily than score digits is great.
Speaking of score you can edit the score character to be anything. It's just a matter of figuring out the word game (EDIT: which I clearly failed ~_^):
0123456789 USEPNCSTA_ USE___ OPEN__ CAST__ ESCAPE
My gut feeling is that when SpiceC rolls around it will have a text mode kernel of some sort. That should help greatly with strategy games.