When I think of turn-based games, I think of many things: grand adventures, action, strategy… Rarely do I think of comedy. Sure, many had some great one-liners that made me chuckle. Still, of the ones I’ve played, the number of those centered around comedy is less than I can count on one hand. That’s not to say comedy games don’t exist. In fact, they are becoming increasingly frequent in the world of indie. This being the case, I thought it was high time for a list of comedic turn-based games – for when Turn-Based Lovers are in the mood for a laugh.
South Park: Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole
South Park: Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole is based on the popular series of the same name. Both adventures are self-contained stories in the same way the TV show is. So, fans of the show don’t need to watch any prior episodes before embarking on this grand adventure. Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole are both 2D turn-based games, in Paper Mario style. Players create their unique characters, give them names, and then join the boys of South Park for adventure. Fans considered both games to be classics. However, from what I’ve read, if you are to play just one – it has to be Stick of Truth, being a better game all round.
Is it funny? That really depends. If you enjoy the TV series, that’s pretty much the same humor you’d get from the show. If you aren’t a fan, then this game won’t change your mind.
Pit People follows the adventures of Horatio and his friends on a quest to save his son, who’s been kidnapped by a giant bear in the sky. The story is silly and over the top – but what would you expect from the masterminds behind Castle Crashers and Battleblock Theatre? Unlike their previous games, this time The Behemoth changes things up, creating their first turn-based tactical comedy. Taking aspects from Battleblock Theatre and, to a degree, Castle Crashers, they’ve crafted a great adventure, offering hours of fun to the players.
Is it funny? If you’re like me and enjoy The Behemoth‘s style of comedy – you might find this adventure just as entertaining. Unlike South Park, whose humor is more for adults, Pit People‘s humor will appeal to both adults and children.
Doom and Destiny
Doom and Destiny follows four Dungeons and Dragons nerds who – through divine intervention – end up in the world they created. What follows is four friends making jokes while trying to save the world from Doom and Destiny. Inspired by the classics from the 8 and 16-bit era, Doom and Destiny plays exactly the same. So, expect traditional turn-based battles, side quests and such. The game was so popular that it got an advanced version, riffing on the same inspirations – but with better graphics; what more could you ask for?
Is it funny? If you like satirical adventures making fun of the games’ conventions – you’ll be in for a good time. It also – incidentally – includes some bad translations that work in its favor, creating some of its best moments.
Watch me Stream my Mental Breakdown
Watch me Stream my Mental Breakdown is a deckbuilding roguelike about a wannabe streamer playing games all day and trying to make a living. In this satirical adventure, players will need to prove to their father that they can support themselves streaming games – while trying to avoid having a mental breakdown. To do so, they must build the perfect deck from 100 cards to keep their health in order. And like real life, players will need to manage their mental health from stream to stream, as it won’t replenish in-between.
Is it funny? I haven’t myself played the game, but from what I’ve heard it is funny, with its comedic look at the difficulties of streaming. If you like your comedy raw and real, you’ll love this – even if you are a streamer.
Citizens of Earth
Citizens of Earth is a turn-based RPG inspired by one of the first comedy games – Mother/Earthbound. In Citizens of Earth, you are the Vice President of Earth, and you have one job: to recruit as many people as you can for your campaign. What follows is the political adventure of a lifetime where you’ll need to battle all types of foes, including hippies, bees and toasters. What more could you want in a game?
Is it funny? While Citizens of Earth won’t appeal to everyone, those who enjoyed Mother/Earthbound and Saturday morning cartoons with zany characters will love this adventure about politics. If you like all that and are ready to see possibly the worst political candidate since – well, you know – you may find yourself laughing all the way to the end.
Chroma Squad is a tactical turn-based RPG about five stunt actors who quit their day jobs and decide to make their own Power Rangers-inspired TV show. What follows is a half management sim, half RPG and an all-comedy adventure – where players will build a TV set, manage actors and film episodes to create the best show they can. Almost like real TV making, but funnier and with fewer injuries.
Is it funny? Do you like Power Rangers, bad stunts and everything that makes fun of it? If you answered yes, you’d love this adventure.
Cthulhu Saves the World
Cthulhu Saves the World is a turn-based RPG inspired by the 90s classics, that both mocks and praises them simultaneously. In this RPG, players get the opportunity to play as the one and only Cthulhu on his quest to become a hero – only so that he can destroy the world. If that’s not enough, Cthulhu will also find romance, redemption, and insanity in this parody of the classics.
Is it funny? It’s a parody about the main character wanting to destroy the world, but to do that he needs to save it first. That alone tells you what kind of comedic adventure you can expect. Add to that, the sequel is about him saving Christmas. Must I say more?
While that’s only seven works in the world of comedy games, I hope it’s enough for any turn-based lover to get started on all their laughing needs. Of course, there are more, some maybe funnier, but these are among the highest-rated and also available on modern systems/Steam. And while I’ve omitted some classic comedic games like Mother/Earthbound, there is a reason for that. For example, Mother/Earthbound is only available through a subscription and can’t be purchased on Switch.
That said, what are some of your favorite turn-based comedy games? Did they make the list; are there some we missed? Let us know in the comments.