It’s hard to believe that this is the fiftieth installment of Keep An Eye On It. As excited as we are to reach this milestone, it’s also a testament to the number of developers (mostly indie devs) working hard to create exciting new turn-based games for all of us to play.
Keep an Eye On It is a column that puts under the spotlight indie games and even AAA projects in the making, RPGs, Strategies, Roguelites, Roguelikes, Puzzle games, and every single videogame that uses a turn-based mechanic.
This time around, we’ve got a little something for everybody. RPG fans will want to check out Dimday Red, Mato Anomalies, and Dungeons Of Aether, while deckbuilding aficionados should have a look at Crystal Compulsion and Jupiter Moons: Mecha. If you’re looking for something a little different, try Slopper Johnson: Graviton Agent.
Slopper Johnson: Graviton Agent
A game with a name like this could honestly be anything, and as it turns out Slopper Johnson: Graviton Agent could be one of the most unique twists on roguelike deckbuilding that we’ve yet seen. Your “deck” is assembled like a circuit board, and by connecting components you can power and activate different effects. That alone would make a neat concept for a game, but Slopper Johnson‘s Graviton system also lets you jump around on the initiative track, traveling through time to invert cause and effect!
Gamers looking for something out of the ordinary should definitely have Slopper Johnson: Graviton Agent on their wishlist. The release date has not yet been announced, but we’ll be marking our calendars when it is.
Homicidal All-Stars drops players in the middle of a dystopian cyberpunk blood sport. The Omega Corporation hosts a hyperviolent reality show full of guts and glory, and bounty hunter Scarlett Martillo has become a contestant in hopes of carrying out a personal vendetta.
As Scarlett, players will need to survive the deadly challenges of the game, while also killing opponents in sufficiently spectacular fashion to drive up ratings. Omega can change the rules mid-match, so you’ll always need to be on your toes. Players looking for loud, bloody action will be in for a treat when Homicidal All-Stars launches, though exactly when that is hasn’t yet been determined.
Crystal Compulsion is being made by solo developer Ian LaBrie, and features Slay The Spire-style combat with anthropomorphic heroes and villains. You can slay your opponents, just like most games in the genre, but Crystal Compulsion also lets you convert them to your side or even devour them to gain new abilities.
The variety of play styles combined with the game’s deckbuilding mechanics should allow for lots of builds to try. No release date has been set, so keep your fingers crossed for a demo in the meantime.
Green Wounds is a side-scrolling base-builder with turn-based battles. The game’s setting and story feel like they came straight from the legends of Robin Hood; as an exiled thief, you and your followers build an encampment in the woods and gather resources to strike back at the corrupt throne.
Green Wounds looks like it will have laid-back gameplay and exploration, along with plenty of secrets to discover throughout the forest. Players can try it for themselves fairly soon; the game is scheduled to release on 25 August.
With equal parts action and mystery, Mato Anomalies is a promising RPG. Stylistically, the game looks like what would happen if Shin Megami Tensei went full cyberpunk. While the game uses more of a traditional adventuring party instead of catching demons like in SMT, there are still plenty of twists in Mato Anomalies’ combat to entice even the most jaded JRPG fan.
The entire team shares an HP pool, so normal strategies may not be as effective as they would be in other games. Mato Anomalies will undoubtedly be worth checking out when it arrives, though no release date is currently listed.
Jupiter Moons: Mecha
Jupiter Moons is a mecha deckbuilder. Your mech’s components provide cards for your deck as well as persistent effects, but each card is linked to a specific body part. If your mech loses a limb, the cards associated with it are unusable for the rest of the battle!
From what we’ve seen so far, the game is presented with both style and fun. The mech combat animations are crisp and well-done, and tiny details like a pine tree air freshener in the cockpit make it clear that Jupiter Moons doesn’t take itself too seriously. A demo is available to play now, with the full version expected “before the next Jovian year.” A year on Jupiter is just under twelve Earth years, so hopefully the devs are just being playful.
A Quest That Became Legend
Neon Light Studios’ A Quest That Became Legend merges old-school gameplay with modern graphics. This first-person party-based RPG will make veterans of the Might And Magic series feel right at home. The monsters and environments are a sight to behold, and details like skeletons’ glowing eyes or the sheer size of giants and ogres bring classic fantasy to life.
A Quest That Became Legend is expected to launch in early 2023. In the meantime, maybe you could try one of our favorite open-world tactical RPGs!
Full Metal Sergeant
There are countless games about soldiers in the field. Full Metal Sergeant could technically be a prequel to all of them, putting players in charge of a boot camp. You have twelve weeks to train your recruits however you see fit and get them ready for combat.
Soldiers who excel in training will go on to become specialists in the army, increasing the prestige of your camp. Of course, it’s also possible to push your recruits too far, with unexpected results. Full Metal Sergeant is expected to launch in late 2022.
Dimday Red is an interactive fiction title that uses the engine from the Apocalypse Worlds tabletop RPG. Developing your character’s personality from a deck of traits, your success or failure will depend on your choices and the luck of the dice.
The game takes place on an Earth that is getting closer to the sun with each passing day, setting the world on an inevitable course for destruction. What your character does with the last days of human civilization is up to you. There’s no release date yet, but players who like games where choices matter will want to wishlist Dimday Red.
Dungeons of Aether
The RPG companion to indie fighting game Rivals Of Aether, Dungeons Of Aether lets players enjoy the setting in a whole new way. With a party of four unique adventurers, players will delve dungeons in search of treasure. The combat system lets players draft dice each round, constantly changing the flow of battle and the options available.
The combat animations in Dungeons Of Aether are just as slick as those in Rivals, making the game’s battles really stand out. Whether you’re a fan of the original game or just like dungeon crawlers, Dungeons Of Aether will be one to try when it releases on 25 October.