Forty is the new twenty, or so we’ve heard. It’s hard to believe we’re already at our fortieth edition of Keep An Eye On It. As proud as we are of the column’s success (thanks to all of you, our readers), it’s also a testament to the sheer number of turn-based games being developed by hard-working, big-dreaming developers all over the world.
This time around, we’ve got story-rich RPGs like Legend of Ixtona and Rising Mist alongside intriguing multiplayer projects like Dice of Olympus and The 7th Seal. If dungeon crawling is your thing, be sure to check out Shattered Pixel Dungeon and Quasimorphosis: Exordium. Each title on this list has a lot to offer, so remember to support the devs by wishlisting and following the games you like on Steam.
Dice Of Olympus
This upcoming dice battler is designed with head-to-head online matches in mind, though it does have a PvE adventure mode as well. In constructing your “deck” you assign icons to the faces of six-sided dice; each icon has a different effect when rolled, from directly damaging an opponent to generating mana for spells to negating opponents’ dice. When it’s time to find a match, you’ll bring a deck of five dice then select three once you’re in front of your opponent. You can always see what dice your opponent has, so you can make the best possible decision based on that information.
While the game is dice-based, it removes a little bit of the randomness that would be found with physical dice in the name of strategy and fun. For example, a die can never land on the same face as its last roll. This prevents you from having a streak of overly good or bad rolls but also informs your strategy. Overall, the game is a cool concept sure to attract tabletop fans. The release date is yet to be announced.
Origin Studios’ debut title is like a sci-fi Darkest Dungeon. Exile Origin puts players on a brutal, violent prison planet. With your team of rebels, you’ll lead an uprising and discover the horrifying truth behind Planet C42 and the religious cult that rules the galaxy. This gives it a bit more story than its fantasy counterpart, but there are plenty of random events and build options to give the game replay value.
Exile Origin is not for the squeamish – the game includes depictions of prisoners having their tongues cut out in a ritual that is apparently common in the Origin Cult. If that doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for some challenging roguelike gameplay, you can give it a try when it launches on 1 June.
The 7th Seal
After the death of the king without an heir, a royal seal was given to each of the six noble houses in the realm. The seventh was given to the Royal Steward, only to be awarded – along with the throne – to the noble who could gather the other six. In this hex-based medieval strategy game, you’ll lead one of the competing noble houses in your bid to earn (or take) the seals from your rivals.
Defeated players are not removed from the game but instead become vassals of their conquerors. This not only means that you’ll need to watch your back against the AI after subjugating them but adds a brilliant social dynamic to multiplayer as well. WIth its low-poly graphics and board game feel, we’re excited to try The 7th Seal when it launches in Q2 of 2022.
Colossal Citadels brings the supply-chain gameplay of Factorio into an epic fantasy setting. As you explore an uncharted continent, you’ll discover new and exotic resources. Building your settlements around these resources will allow you to empower your workers, raising them from simple farmers and woodcutters to master craftspeople and mighty heroes. As you encounter the dangers of the land (as well as other players) your heroes will be put to the test in deterministic auto-battles.
Players who like finding efficient ways to automate and streamline their production will have a lot to enjoy in Colossal Citadels. Better still, it offers both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. The game is set to enter early access later this year.
Far Away From Home
In Far Away From Home, a group of friends is pulled through a rift created by a hadron collider. Apparently the only humans in the new world where they find themselves, they have to find out what happened and get home if they can.
With graphics and gameplay heavily inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics, Far Away From Home has appeal for classic TRPG fans. There’s character customization and item crafting that allows you to build the team that’s right for your playstyle, and one of your party members is a dog (yes, you can pet the dog). The game is expected to release sometime in 2022.
Glory of the Colosseum
Game Mechanix’s first game has the potential to be the best Roman gladiator sim to date. Players will travel the empire and beyond in search of promising recruits for their ludus. Each fighter’s culture and background will affect their fighting style, as will the history and personality of the player’s chosen character. The game boasts a combat system that minimizes randomness, so your choices in training and on the sand will determine whether your gladiators live or die.
Glory of the Colosseum is designed to be challenging, and its roguelike nature makes it good for multiple playthroughs. As you might expect from a game about history’s best-known blood sport, the combat can get pretty violent so be prepared for decapitations and dismemberment. The game is coming soon, and remember – if a gladiator turns out not to be worth the investment, the crowd will still pay to see him eaten by lions.
Rising Mist is a story-driven RPG with multiple endings and difficulty levels. As the land of Occoterra falls under the sway of a dark power, you’ll travel between the game’s 26 cities in search of allies for your rebellion. You’ll need to master crafting, courage, and combat in order to save the world from tyranny.
With hand-drawn visuals and a deep world to explore, this indie charmer is a great choice for players who want to get lost in a game’s setting. Best of all, you don’t have to wait – Rising Mist releases 24 February.
Shattered Pixel Dungeon
What started as a mod for Pixel Dungeon has, after eight years of development, become its own game. Shattered Pixel Dungeon has an incredible amount of variety, with five dungeon biomes, dozens of enemies and hundreds of equipment, items, and skills to obtain. The game is designed with strategy in mind, so don’t let its simple appearance fool you.
Shattered Pixel Dungeon is designed to run on any device, meaning it plays just as well on mobile as it does on PC. This makes it a great option for players who want a fuller experience from the games they play on their phone. The wait finally comes to an end when the game releases this March.
Legend of Ixtona
This isometric tactical RPG puts players in the shoes of the Prince of Ixtona. As a conspiracy threatens the hard-won peace in the kingdom, only your band of heroes can stop the plot that’s been set in motion. The gameplay will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s played the genre before, and there is plenty of story and character development to be had in Legend of Ixtona as well.
The game also has a village management system, allowing you to earn global bonuses by investing in new facilities. Players with an appreciation of the classics will want to check this one out; it’s available on mobile already, though its Steam release date has not yet been announced.
Space is one of the best settings for horror – it’s a place where humans absolutely aren’t supposed to be, and plays perfectly on our natural fear of the unknown. In this tactical dungeon crawler set aboard the space station Frantseva-7, you’ll be tasked with fighting off the demons that have invaded reality. It’s Doom meets Aliens in a pixelated roguelike – what’s not to love?
Players will not only need to find weapons and equipment to fight the interdimensional menace, but they’ll also need to study the creatures and the principles that allow them to exist in our universe. One mistake, and it could be game over, man – game over. Quasimorphosis: Exordium launches on 28 February.
RPGs, Strategy Games, Roguelikes, what’s your favorite genre and sub-genre? And what about these 10 turn-based RPGs & Strategy Games of 2022? Let us know in the comments below.