Hello, gamers! February is flying fast, and as such many of our picks in this edition of KAEOI include a lot of quick-playing options. If you need to find some games that let you get your fix in an hour or less but keep coming back for more, this is your issue! From speedy on-the-go multiplayer in Dominus to quick, puzzly city-building in Citizens and bite-sized roguelike action in Crown Uncrowned, these upcoming games can fit into any schedule.
Of course, there are plenty of long-playing games to look forward to as well. Symphony of War, Spiritlink Tactics, and ZHP all promise campaigns you can sink your teeth into. If you see a game you like, don’t forget to follow it and as always Keep An Eye On It.
The Rebelstar series were fast-paced tactical games released in the 1980s, created by Julian Gollop. Archrebel: Tactics is a spiritual successor to these classics, also developed by a single developer; Fernando Pereira. The game is still in a very early stage of development but fans of the Rebelstar series, and retro gamers in general, should take note.
While the limitations of the day made Rebelstar games comparatively small in scope, often limited to a single mission, Archrebel: Tactics sports a full campaign with optional permadeath. Which missions the player chooses to undertake and when has a direct impact on the outcome of the campaign. Pereira has a lot planned for the game, both at launch and beyond, making him a developer to watch.
This Legion Kills
Trip West Games is developing a rapid-fire, back-and-forth struggle for battlefield dominance in the form of This Legion Kills. Based on the tabletop game Ars Victor, This Legion Kills rewards players who can quickly and effectively neutralize enemy troops and capture objectives. Doing so permanently reduces the opponent’s Glory; when it reaches zero, they are defeated.
Each player’s turn requires them to select and play a Command Card from their hand, allowing them to activate one or more of their units. This “I go, you go” structure means the battlefield is always changing. The result is a head-to-head game with competitive multiplayer potential. No release date is currently set, but it looks like there are plans for an early access phase.
Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga
There’s a reason so many games try to emulate the Fire Emblem series. With tough but fair gameplay and a focus on characters, the classic series has more than earned its place in the pantheon of strategy games. Dancing Dragon Games’ newest project, Symphony of War, looks to add further depth to tried-and-true TRPG gameplay.
Symphony of War seeks to set itself apart in its approach to battles. In addition to being a powerful combatant on their own, each character will lead a squad of soldiers – the composition and formation of each squad are up to the player, leading to endless possibilities far beyond the occasional class change. A defeated hero’s squad can still fight, albeit at reduced capacity due to the sudden lack of leadership. It’s a cool system that definitely merits exploring. Symphony of War is currently listed as coming soon.
Path To Gaea
While there isn’t currently a large amount of information available on Astrild Games’ Path To Gaea, what we do have indicates a lot of promise. Puzzle-adventure games don’t usually have turn-based gameplay, so the game could blend genres in an exciting way. Players will guide a fox through enemies and obstacles through progressively more challenging levels. We’ll get to see how it all comes together sometime in 2022.
Dominus – Multiplayer Sim Turn Based Strategy
Dominus is a promising grid-based tactical game designed for lightning-fast matches. Players will expand their influence across colorful floating islands and battle their opponents for control of the map. With matches lasting only about half an hour at most, Dominus is a great game for when you don’t have a lot of time.
The game uses simultaneous turns, with players planning then executing their actions all at once. Each turn plays out with cinematic action which looks great on the eye-catching maps. Get ready to bluff and bluster your way to victory this summer!
Crown Uncrown: 1D Tactics
This pixelated roguelike from Iterative Interactive ensures that your enemies are a challenge by giving them access to all the same options that you have. With each run, the pool of available equipment grows for both the player and the enemies they encounter. Looting the best stuff from defeated foes is the way to secure victory, but could make your next run all the harder; the final boss fight in Crown Uncrown is the last party you won with, complete with all their victorious arms.
Every action in Crown Uncrown is item-based, so inventory is king. It’s more forgiving than many roguelikes, offering unlimited undo’s as you battle your way across the linear map. Each run is also short, making it a great game for a quick break. No release date has yet been set.
Spiritlink Tactics is an isometric RPG heavily inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics. The environments and idle animations are all throwbacks to that classic title, but Spiritlink has plenty to set it apart. Powerful spells are available to your party, but they have to use a shared mana pool – choosing your spells carefully will be the key to victory.
Spiritlink Tactics also has a multiclass system, allowing you to mix and match classes to your heart’s content. Each character can have two classes at a time, with access to the skill trees for both. A demo is available if you’d like to try it out and play with class combos, but the release date has not yet been announced.
Redkar Limited’s scenario-based city builder treats your settlement like a puzzle. By exploiting resources and carefully planning your expansion, you’ll be challenged to achieve specific objectives. There’s also a free-play mode if you just want to build the best possible city.
Each construction takes one turn, causing time to progress – resources are gathered, citizens pay taxes (or don’t), and life goes on in your city. You have to complete your objectives within a set number of turns, and every decision can have far-reaching consequences. There is currently a free demo that will continually be updated alongside the main game, which releases this April.
ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman
Disgaea creator Nippon Ichi Software has another over-the-top tactical fever dream coming this spring. Rather than underworld hijinx, this time they’re tackling the storied henshin genre – think Kamen Rider or Super Sentai (known as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the West). ZHP (short for Zettai Hero Project) boasts deep customization for your Unlosing Ranger, and when NIS says they’ve put together a deep system they mean it. We’re expecting to see a near-infinite range of possible builds resulting in positively absurd combos in battle.
JRPG fans with a taste for the weird are likely familiar with NIS’s previous works already. If not, their newest venture could serve as a great jumping-off point. Check it out when it launches on 10 May.
Inspired by the classic board game Mage Knight, Fire Biscuit Games’ Paladin’s Oath offers lots of “crunch” for players who want deep, complex mechanics. Cards, global effects, units, and mana all need to be managed effectively to succeed. This is the kind of game where you might take several minutes considering your turn and all the possibilities it contains.
Paladin’s Oath is meant for players who like a strategic challenge as a way to relax. Its slow pace and unlimited undo actions encourage you to puzzle out the best course of action. Best of all, you have plenty of options at the beginning of a run – players start powerful and end nigh-godlike. There’s not much longer to wait for this intriguing hex-based adventure, as its release date is listed as Q1 of 2022.
This episode ends here, let me know what you think about these 10 intriguing Turn-Based RPGs & Strategy Games in the comments below. See you next week with a new episode of Keep an Eye on It. Ciao