RPGs and Strategies are certainly making a strong comeback. New projects come out every day, like mushrooms after the rain. Sometimes, even we struggle to keep up with myriad new games. We can try, however – which is why the KEEP AN EYE ON IT column was created. Its goal is to constantly monitor the most interesting titles, both indie and triple-A. To collect them in these articles – 10 at a time.
There are many cool turn-based projects featured in this episode! Here you’ll find interesting free-to-play titles. Games, inspired by Heroes of Might and Magic and Fire Emblem. There’s also one project, approaching in its design that certain glorious Square game, with Mechas in it… In short – a nice and varied list, that I can’t wait to share with you and to find out what you think about it!
Also, keep in mind that we are still looking for fans of this genre to help us with content creation. So if you like Turn-Based RPGs and have quite good writing skills – jump in, and join the TBL team. It’s a paid opportunity! Anyway, let’s start.
10 Promising Indie RPGs and Strategy Games
There are plenty of Hearthstone-like digital card games in the market these days. As such, to really stand out in that genre, a game needs to offer something beyond the regular features. Destiny’s Divide, the upcoming title from Fobia, might just have what it takes. While its fantasy creatures and magical artifacts are nothing new, Destiny’s Divide offers several intriguing game mechanics that should pique the interest of any TCG fan.
While the game will have 11 playable heroes at launch, there are no restrictions regarding which cards a hero can have in their deck. Instead, players will need to look for synergies to best leverage their hero’s strengths. There are two unique mechanics, which further contribute to the game’s complexity. First – the two participants choose one being (this game’s equivalent of a creature, minion, or unit) to stand as their Heroic Being, placing it faceup in its own zone from where it can be played at any time. The other feature, Sharedboard, has the two contestants commit three cards to create a pool of six, from which they both may ban one. The four remaining cards may be played by either player at any time.
These are just a few of the exciting mechanics being introduced in Destiny’s Divide. The game is free to play and will be released in August 2022.
Arakion: Book One
Arakion: Book One is an impressive solo project that has been in early access since 2018. Inspired by first-person RPGs like Grimrock or Might and Magic, it has a vibrant world to explore and lots of customization available. Your party of three adventurers is built from the ground up at the beginning of the campaign, allowing you to choose not only a race and class for your heroes but also their birthplace, unique traits, and skills. From there, they grow and progress solely based on the choices you make rather than by experience points.
Arakion is chock-full of crafting, puzzles, and fun distractions. There’s even an entire town-building mini-game in it! The title is set to release in chapters, so curious players who become fans will have plenty to look forward to as Arakion continues to grow. The developer has stated that they intend to take their time and create the best game possible rather than rush to ship. This, however, is definitely a case where good things are worth waiting for.
Walk with the Living
If you preferred the combat of old-school Fire Emblem but enjoy the romances and character relationships of the newer titles in the series, Walk With The Living is a perfect balance between the two. Following a quest to bring a famous knight back from the dead, Walk With The Living merges unforgiving permadeath with deep characters and meaningful relationships. Romance isn’t the only outcome of character interactions either, which can be a welcome change if you would rather see games tone down the thirst.
Walk With The Living takes an approach to permadeath that should honestly be standard; rather than just vanishing from the game or inexplicably sticking around despite a mortal injury, dead characters are remembered by their comrades. Dialogue options will change depending on who lives and who dies, as will potential relationships between characters and even who is and is not recruitable. The result is a massively branching story path that should keep SRPG fans engaged for a long time. There is not yet an official release date, so follow the game on Steam if you’re interested and want updates.
This beautifully-illustrated sci-fi RPG could be the complete package when it comes to storytelling. Set on a decrepit space station, Citizen Sleeper casts the player in the role of a human consciousness uploaded into a robot body. While the station descends into chaos and anarchy in the wake of its parent corporation’s collapse, someone in the heartless capitalist galaxy still considers the robot – and the person inside it – to be their property.
With several classes and skills and a wide array of characters to meet, just the preview images of Citizen Sleeper feel like flipping through an exciting new tabletop RPG rulebook. The game promises a range of choices that make it feel like playing a TTRPG, so with that analogy in mind, we can’t wait to grab our dice and explore the new universe that developer Jump Over The Age has created. The game has a planned release date sometime in 2022, so the wait is nearly over.
The sequel to 2015s indie game called Ultimate Space Commando, USC: Counterforce continues the story as the player leads their soldiers to eliminate an alien threat. The original’s gameplay is left largely intact. Most of the improvements concern the graphics and the UI. There are also new combat mechanics being added. The campaign boasts multiple endings and semi-randomized encounters, allowing for new challenges and surprises with each playthrough.
Even if you didn’t play the original game, Counterforce is certainly worth a look. Customizing both your troops and your base of operations determines how you will perform in battle, and fully destructible environments are always fun. USC: Counterforce is expected to enter early access in Q2 of 2022.
Here at Turn Based Lovers, we recently shared a list of games like the immortal Final Fantasy Tactics. As you might expect, those games have swords and magic in abundance. What if a game brought that isometric turn-based gameplay to modern battlefields? Rejoice, military nerds, for Rifle Storm has the answer.
While Rifle Storm is technically a roguelike rather than an SRPG, the combat is straight out of Final Fantasy Tactics. In each run, the player leads their squad through a randomly-generated region of the Middle East interacting with locals, fighting insurgents, and ultimately capturing an enemy bunker. Swords and axes are replaced with automatic weapons and fire spells are replaced with grenade launchers. If this sounds like it could be up your alley, you won’t have to wait long; Rifle Storm is set to release in February 2022.
Forever and Ever
The newest title from Tasty Stewdios feels like the heroes of Wildermyth found themselves at Burning Man and came back with some truly wild stories. In Forever and Ever, each playable hero is procedurally-generated to be almost completely unique – the indie game claims there are over five billion possible characters. These heroes have their own backstories, preferences, hopes, and dreams. How they interact with one another and the relationships they form are critical to gameplay.
This isn’t a traditional fantasy romp; from rockstar gunslingers to party zombies to gardening robots, Forever and Ever has characters that you aren’t going to find anywhere else. If you wish your SRPGs came with a healthy dose of weirdness, buckle up – Forever and Ever is coming in 2022.
Alina of the Arena
Alina of the Arena bills itself as Slay the Spire meets Into the Breach. That’s a bold but fitting claim to make, and developer PINIX is well on its way to pulling it off. Entering early access on 19 January and scheduled for a full release sometime around Q2 of 2022, Alina of the Arena challenges players to manage their position on the battlefield as well as their hand. Dodges and knockbacks are crucial, especially since the player controls only the titular Alina. If she dies, it’s game over.
A constantly-changing situation and the ability to swap Alina’s equipment on the fly promises dynamic gameplay and fast-paced decision-making. As you might expect from a game based around arena combat, there are showers of blood and gold aplenty as well. Of the many games that claim inspiration from Slay the Spire, this is definitely one to watch.
Kriegsfront Tactics brings an alternate-history sci-fi spin to one of the most costly and consequential conflicts of the twentieth century. Players will recruit pilots and customize their war machines as mechas stomp across the battlefields of… Vietnam?
While not the setting you’d expect from a game called Kriegsfront Tactics, it’s neat to see mecha reimaginings of wars other than the First and Second World Wars for once. While Serious History People might want to sit this one out, everyone else can enjoy stomping through the jungles of Southeast Asia in hardware worthy of Battletech. There is no planned release date as yet so be sure to follow Kriegsfront Tactics on Steam.
Knights of the Chalice 2
Knights of the Chalice was originally released in 2009 using the Open Game License for D&D 3.5. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the sequel is coming soon. If you long for the days of Level Adjustments and Metamagic combos, don’t fret – KotC2 will continue to use the 3.5 rule set as its base. There are plenty of improvements to the original, however – namely, the enemy AI will be much smarter with foes able to coordinate and fight effectively in groups.
Knights of the Chalice 2 is an Indie Game that also has a slew of challenging, unique battles from underwater skirmishes to desperate fights for survival in the throes of a Death Snare. Put it all together and Heroic Fantasy Games has an epic in the making.
This episode ends here. Let me know what you think about these 10 turn-based RPGs & Strategy Indie games. I’m very curious to know if they’ve managed to scratch an itch or two. And don’t forget the video version of this article on our YouTube channel! I’ll see you in the next part of KAEOI – take care!