I don’t travel all that often, but when I do, it seems to be for a good length of time. Whether that be an 8-hour car ride to see family or a week-long business trip, it can be cumbersome to play on a laptop in a car or on a plane. So that’s why I take my Steam Deck everywhere with me.
If you are a Steam Deck Addicted, Try these 10 Turn-Based RPGs, Strategies, and Roguelite Games
The Steam Deck is an incredibly portable device that allows me to play pretty much any PC game I want while on the go, with full controller customization and touchpads for those games that just need a mouse. I can play any game, from big AAA games like The Witcher 3 to the smallest of indie games like Swim Out. Here is a list of 10 turn-based games that I always like to have on my Steam Deck when I am on the go.
Red Ronin is a tactical turn-based dash-and-slash game. Wish means it turns the normal slow pace of turn-based games on its head. You play as a bloodthirsty ronin who is bent on getting revenge after being betrayed by her former team. She won’t stop until everyone that left her behind is dead.
The great pixel art means no demanding graphics on the Steam Deck. This translates to longer battery life if you are sitting somewhere you can’t plug in. The controllers are very fluid. The game has all of the controller buttons implemented. So, there is no need to mess with the settings or key mapping. You can install the game and get to playing.
I enjoy the fast-paced feel of Red Ronin even though it is still a turn-based game. You can slow down and think about each individual movement if you want, but the game looks and plays its best when you quickly make all your attacks and moves.
Gordian Quest is a game that I got fairly recently. Once I started playing it, I just couldn’t put it down. Thanks to the Steam Deck, I don’t have to.
Gordian Quest is an epic deck-building RPG with roguelite elements and turn-based combat. With clear inspiration from games like Ultima and D&D. Lead a party of heroes to unravel the curses laid upon the lands. You will forge bonds and discover new skills along the way.
Here’s an impressive game that provides complete controller support, which makes it user-friendly. Gordian Quest has also been verified by Valve for smooth functioning on the Steam Deck platform. It is a great game to install and play without any hassle.
Space Hulk: Tactics
Now here is a visually stunning game that I love to play on the Steam Deck. It can be a bit of a battery sucker, though. If I am able to plug in while waiting for my flight at the airport, then I am likely to pull this game up and see how many Genestealers my Space Marines can squash before my flight boards.
Space Hulk: Tactics is actually listed as unsupported. This just means that it doesn’t meet the Values requirements to be on their supported list. That doesn’t mean the game won’t play, though. The splash screens when the game first starts do not fit properly. Once you are at the main menu, however, everything appears to run smoothly in my experience. And man, does it look great.
Space Hulk: Tactics is a video game adaptation of the board game Space Hulk. You are able to engage in deadly battles as either a squad of Terminator Space Marines or an onslaught of deadly Genestealers. The game can be played from two views. The tactical view is a top-down perspective that shows you the entire map so you can plan ahead. The alternative is a first-person perspective.
This allows you to walk the halls of the Space Hulk in person and stare your enemy in the face while you take them out. Or they take you out. All the Steam Deck buttons are implemented into the game intuitively, and the first-person perspective on screen is so enjoyable.
Urban Cards is a deck-building roguelike where earning money is the game’s name. You must build businesses and hire employees or loan sharks to stay ahead of the competition. Create the perfect deck to stomp out the competition or go into debt trying. In this game, everything is expensive, and the competition is fierce.
Urban Cards is a tough but very enjoyable deck-builder. Each battle has a set dollar goal and is all about managing your money. Your opponent never takes it easy on you and will take any opportunity to put you into debt or steal your hard-earned cash to get to their goal. Every turn begins with the satisfying sound of coins piling up as the money rolls in. Then you have to decide to keep that money or spend it to try to make more the following round.
This is another Steam Deck-verified game. The controls are simple, and the game runs perfectly. Everything fits nicely on the screen, which makes for an enjoyable experience while riding in the car or crowded in a small seat on an airplane.
Here is a game that shows simplicity is bliss. In Morphblade you move around to different hexes to transform into the icon on that hex. The icons range from an arrow to launch yourself, a hammer to smash enemies or even a teleport to jump to other sides of the grid. After each wave, you will be able to add one more hex to your grid. The goal is to last as many waves as possible.
I find the simplicity of Morphblade to be very relaxing. It is an excellent game on my Steam Deck when I want something to do in between events at a busy conference or when I want to relax in my hotel room after a long day.
Morphblade requires a mouse to play. This means you only need to use the touchpad on the Steam Deck and you are good to go. It runs smoothly and doesn’t require a lot of battery life to play. Definitely a must-have for me.
Oaken is a fairly recent release. It is a turn-based tactical roguelike set in the spirit-inhabited world of the Great Oak. You will gather allies and trinkets along your journey to save the Oak. This is a grid-based game where positioning can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Oaken feels almost like it was made for the Steam Deck. All of the controls are fully implemented into the game. All of the battles are on a dioramic-like grid that fits perfectly on the screen. And everything looks visually stunning without working the system too hard.
I thoroughly enjoy playing Oaken. It’s highly strategic turn-based tactics mixed with deck-building that feels more like creature collecting is just so well done. It looks and plays very well. All the spirits that you find are such a joy to admire and play with.
Ring of Pain
Enter the Ring of Pain. This is a mysterious roguelike card-based dungeon crawler. You work your way around the ring of cards at each layer in the dungeon. Sometimes fighting monsters and sometimes avoiding them while gathering treasure. There are many different doors to take through the dungeon. Will you take the right path?
Ring of Pain is another Steam Deck-verified game that has full controller support and runs very smoothly with minimal power drain. You don’t have to mess with any of the settings. You can install and play right away.
The dark theme and art direction of Ring of Pain are what really caught my attention the most. A lot of the time, I don’t fully understand what is going on, but the mysteriousness of it all is what keeps me coming back for more. I want to see what strange trinkets I can find or what dark and crazy creatures I might stumble upon when finding new paths through the dungeon.
Alina of the Arena
This is a game that I bought specifically to play on my Steam Deck because it looked like it would be a great fit. I am glad I did. Alina of the Arena is another game that could have easily been made for the Steam Deck. The layout of the arenas and the cards around the screen are just a perfect fit for the size of the Steam Deck.
Alina of the Arena is a roguelike deck-builder that combines elements from Slay the Spire and Into the Breach. What more could we ask for? You play as a gladiator who is working their way through the ranks and putting on a show for the crowd.
I enjoyed Alina of the Arena’s mix of deck-building with hex-based combat. The combinations of the different cards can be very satisfying. And if you get enough combos in a row to please the crowd, then they might even throw a tool into the arena that could really help you out. The fast pace of the battles makes this a great game during long layovers in the airport or when you want to get a couple of rounds in on a shorter flight.
Ash of Gods: The Way
The developer describes The Way as a turn-based deck-building puzzle game, and I would certainly have to agree. The puzzle aspect of the game is very evident. Each battle in The Way is very different from the last with very specific win conditions that can even change in the middle of battle. This is something that makes this game stand out from the other games in the genre.
You play as a young man named Finn who has to master the card game known as The Way to stop a neighboring nation from attacking his home. They use this game to teach the aristocrats the art of warfare. It is up to Finn to infiltrate their tournaments and try to get close to their commanders at each match. The choice is yours once you get there, though.
Bring your favorite pair of headphones if you plan on playing this game while you travel. The Way not only has a great soundtrack but every character in the game is fully voiced with some really well done voice acting. And with such a great story, you won’t want to miss any of it.
John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex is a fast-paced, action-oriented strategy game where you can play as John Wick himself. You play through each level in a series of turns or actions broken out into time segments. Breaking the game out this way helps the player reenact the film’s signature gun fu style.
The controls for John Wick Hex are relatively simple. Just the mouse controls the whole game. Right-click to move and left-click to select an action. Using the touchpad to move the mouse and even using it to left-click feels very natural and intuitive. Occasionally you do have to scroll with the left stick to move the map enough to see some distant enemies. But even that feels natural and doesn’t take away from the game’s flow.
I love the art style. If you are a fan of the John Wick movies at all, then I would recommend checking this one out. The action feels pretty accurate to the films, and the best part is when you get to see your actions in real-time after you reach the end of the level.
That wraps up my list of 10 games I like to have on my Steam Deck while traveling. These are the games that I make sure to always have installed when I go on a trip. There are many more games out there that play great on the Steam Deck that didn’t make the list.
That’s the great thing about this handheld, though: you can take all your favorite games on the go with you no matter where you are traveling. What are some games you always have on your Steam Deck?