If you love tactics games, today is your lucky day as I want to introduce you to 10 turn-based tactics RPGs currently in development but which have a playable demo. I have almost tried them all, and I can say that they are all really interesting. Let’s go
People argue about which is the spiritual successor of X-COM, and usually, the suitors are Phoenix Point or Firaxis XCOM. I tell you that there is a third suitor who will make his way between the two giants mentioned above. Xenonauts 2 by Goldhawk Interactive is the second chapter of the series that proposes the winning formula seen in 90s X-Com and tries to get away from them as little as possible.
Even if UI is a bit raw in some situations, the gameplay is at the highest level and I can swear that it will make you feel Giulian Gollop’s Ufo Enemy Unknown vibes. Research, build, advanced weapon manufacturing, and tactical combats are there and are fun. On Steam
Slaves of Magic
I tried the Slaves of Magic by Amethyst Dreamers Tacticon demo and liked it a lot. Strategy fans defined it as a fantasy X-COM , and that alone should intrigue. In fact, the player will have to develop and manage bases throughout the continent invaded by dark forces, the development will make it possible to improve our soldiers capabilities during tactical missions.
The demo available allows us to try out the combat system, and I found it fluid and fun. Different classes to use, each with different dedicated skills. Moving cautiously will make a difference since, as happens in X-COM, the player will not have visibility of the whole map, risking ending up in an ambush that can prove hazardous, losing units, or leaving them seriously injured. Unit positioning is another key element as flanking and side attacks are a thing in the game. Slaves of Magic is expected in 2023. Go try out the demo.
Railroads & Catacombs
Railroads & Catacombs by Felipe Aulló is a roguelite RPG with a Darkest Dungeon feel, which offers slightly different gameplay. Players will find themselves exploring wastelands filled with death and creatures of all kinds. The player will cross the map driving a train that will have to be improved by adding new wagons that will give tactical advantages while exploring the various places and points of interest.
The fights take place on small square grid battlefields, where players must exploit the cards in their possession and improve their synergy for devastating combos. It’s not child’s play. In fact, during my gameplay, I died badly several times, because the enemies hit hard. On Steam
Infested Fortress is a tactical strategy where the player will arrive in an abandoned fortress and will have to start digging for resources to be able to sustain their homes and build new structures and new objects. It works like a classic RTS where players must decide which block to dig based on the resources they need and then build things related to the wealth of the inhabitants. Units will gain skills and improve their proficiencies by doing things like digging, harvesting, and more.
Combat features square grid map battles, where players must defend themself from raiders, creatures, and bosses four times the size of guided units. Attacks of opportunity, flanking, and back attacks are all present in Infested Fortress. The Steam page says that the release is scheduled for Fall 2022. In the meantime, try the demo.
Zoria: Age of Shattering
Zoria: Age of Shattering by Tiny Trinket Games is an isometric turn-based tactics RPG that has been in development for a while and currently has an ongoing Kickstarter campaign. The player will guide an up-to-four party around the map looking for quests to complete and resources to gather. The demo available allows you to guide some advanced characters with many skills.
The fights are tactical without a grid, and certainly, there are a lot of implementations to do, but the basic idea holds up and looks really fun. In addition, the game also has a strategic management component in which the player will have to collect resources and send party components on autonomous missions.
Another title I’ve been following for a while. Project Haven by Code Three Fifty One. Set in a dystopian future, players will take command of the Steel Dragon, a group of mercenaries who fight to bring the loaf home. Within the futuristic maps, players will be able to approach enemies using stealth techniques and obtain advantageous positions or launch head-on in combat.
The gameplay features a cover system, destructible environments, and gridless maps. Each unit will gradually grow and develop the skills that will allow it to improve in combat and during the adventure. Single-player campaign with a co-op possibility.
Mars Tactics by Takibi Games is a strategy game that puts players in the middle of a battle on a colonized Mars. This time there are no aliens, but humans vs humans in detail labor and capital. Players can decide who to drive indifferently, and after trying the demo during Tacticon 2022 I was positively impressed.
Mars Tactics contains many management elements ranging from research to the production of weapons, to the recruitment of new units. Every unit can be placed on various tasks and as well on the battlefield. Starting from the base, players will be able to launch expeditions to points of interest, guide the team personally, or complete missions by sending units autonomously.
Battles are tactical, with a cover system, hitting chance, different types of weapons, and notable and fluid animations. Certainly one of the most interesting titles tried recently.
Cyber Knights: Flashpoint
Here is one of the RPGs I’ve been following for some time, developed by Trese Brother that many of you will know for little gems like Templar Battleforce and Star Traders. The new effort is called Cyber Knights: Flashpoint, and it is a tactical RPG set in a dystopian cyberpunk future where players control a group of mercenaries working in the shadows.
There are many features in the game, and speaking of the battle system, it is a gridless tactical, where players move their cyber knights within fairly complex maps, deciding whether to opt for stealth or John Rambo approaches. Disabling alarms and surveillance cameras, staying away from enemy patrols, and taking advantage of covers, are just some of the possibilities offered by Cyber Knights: Flashpoint. Beyond the combat system, players must manage a base, develop characters, take diplomacy with the various factions, and much more. At the top right, you can find my gameplay of Cyber Knights: Flashpoint
Super sol Standard
I love pixel art and this is well known since I repeat it every time there is a game that takes advantage of these graphics. And Super Sol Standard by Talberon makes great use of it. A tactical strategy designed to be fun both in the various single-player scenarios and during the skirmisher maps with friends.
Within the delightful scenarios, players will drive their units, equipping them with skills based on the class, and taking advantage of the various tiles present, such as, for example, stopping on a certain tile, the player will have a bonus for damage done, rather than bonus movement points. When launching an attack, a roll of the dice will decide if that attack can do extra damage if the enemy will be able to defend itself, and so on. Definitely, a game to try
Finally, another game that shows off fantastic pixel art. Dream Tactics by Spectra Entertainment Inc. is precisely a tactical RPG that invites players into the world of dreams to fight against pillows … yes, very bad and ugly pillows using decks and various characters.
The character sheets are very detailed, with the possibility of equipping items and exchanging cards between the heroes. The combat system takes place on square grid maps where players must think about making good use of the surroundings to get a competitive advantage and get the most from the skills and cards of the various units. After trying Dream Tactics you will look suspiciously at your pillow.