Now, before we get to our list of the best RPG and strategy games that will be released this May, I’d like to talk about one very specific game.
ABOUT KNIGHTS OF THE CHALICE 2 AND THE MOST VALUABLE CURRENCY
“Name a price for all that’s living”
– Kings of Leon
Do you know what is the most valuable currency in the world? “Dollars”? “Pounds”? Maybe “Gold”? Not at all!
The most valuable currency in the world is Time. We all get a certain amount of it – an unknown amount, luckily. Then, whatever we do throughout life has an exact price in this currency. Do you want to graduate in law? If so, you must “spend” 5 years of your life. Do you want to finish Zelda Breath of The Wild? Then you must invest almost 300 hours (!) in it. You can be rich or poor, it doesn’t matter: Time is a democratic currency. You cannot gain it – you can only spend it in the wisest way.
Why am I saying that, you may be wondering? Well, it’s because today I want to talk about the price of video games. I know it might sound crazy, but give me a chance to explain!
It all began last month when finally, after years of development, one of the most anticipated games (at least for me) finally came out. I’m talking about Knight of The Chalice 2 – potentially one of the best turn-based releases of this year. I was determined to buy it, BUT when I saw its price I was a bit – how should I say it? – disappointed. Even if KotC 2 is an indie project by a solo developer, the price was still rather high. If you want the game, you must pay €39.99 for the standard version and even €52.23 for the Archmage Edition. Not the cheapest product, right?
My first reaction was, basically, “WTF?!?”. After a while, though, I began feeling a bit guilty – and started to question what actually is “the right price” for a video game?
Now, I don’t want to bore you with stuff like “pricing positioning”. I just want to share a few thoughts with you, concerning criteria used to set a price for a video game.
First, I think a great game, whether indie or AAA, should have a reasonably “high price”. Everyone, as a consumer, usually – sometimes unconsciously – thinks a cheap game can’t be that good (though there are, of course, some amazing exception). So, if a game is excellent, why would you then set a low price?
The second reason why KotC 2 price can be justified has something to do with what I said at the beginning: the time spent developing the game. You might know that Knight of the Chalice was released over thirteen years ago, and that the development of the new chapter started at least ten years ago. Took a while, don’t you agree? Now, if we consider the effort put into this project and the time-currency spent on it by the developer – can the price tag of €39.99 still be considered “high”?
I don’t think so.
The developer invested so much time-money, a good slice of his life, into this game – and now we complain about the price? Doesn’t seem that fair to me, especially considering that nowadays, with €39.99, you can barely afford a t-shirt, of poor quality…
DUNGEON REELS TACTICS – 2nd May
Well, if you are looking for something out of the box, you may have already found it!
Dungeon Reels Tactics is a party-based roguelike, mixed with slot machines and puppet shows (yes, you read that right!!!). Make the best decisions to succeed in battles, lose party members, recruit new ones, and try to reach “The Great Evil”. Traverse a map full of enemy encounters, fate cards to resolve, treacherous bosses, and more!
- 24 Characters to recruit/unlock.
- 30 Enemies.
- 6 Bosses.
- 100 Fate Cards.
- 40 Relics.
- 26 Unique Arenas.
- A procedurally generated puppet show narrative.
MAGNA GRAECIA – 2nd May
Magna Graecia is a colorful building-strategy and puzzle game set in Ancient Greece, where you construct a sprawling village full of olives and grapes by strategically placing buildings, leveling those up, receiving adjacency bonuses, and expanding your territory – while enjoying the entire process.
SEA HORIZON (E.A.) – 2nd May
The first thing I thought after watching the trailer for Sea Horizon was: Wow, a new expansion of For The King (one of my favorites games of the last years)!
Obviously I was wrong, but it’s quite clear that these games have more than something in common. Mind you, this really isn’t a downside – For The King was a game with so many positive aspects that it’s almost impossible not to consider it a model for inspiration.
Anyway, what we know so far about Sea Horizon is that it will divide into “chapters” – each with multiple characters and stories, and that throughout the game you’ll be able to unlock more chapters and skills. It’ll also feature some dungeons with plenty of random events to challenge the players.
Soon on Steam!
OAKEN (E.A.) – 3rd May
Oaken is a deck-building roguelike set in a mythical place that isn’t easy to define. Inhabitants of this mysterious area all can hear the same voice, called the Oak Song. When that voice begins to fade, events that could heal or destroy the Great Oak are set into motion.
- Roguelike, hero-oriented campaign with deck management.
- A mystical world inhabited by spirits with tribal Celtic vibes.
- A randomly generated map with a ton of levels, bosses and events to discover.
- Unique, highly tactical battles on a hex grid, where positioning is everything.
- Upgrade your spells and spirits the way you want.
- Easy to learn, hard to master – chill and challenge modes suitable for any player.
If you are curious, you can simply try the demo!
DARK QUEST: BOARD GAME (E.A.) – 4th May
Strange that we’ve never covered this game. Back in 2018 I bought the second chapter of the series, called, unsurprisingly, Dark Quest II and I really liked it. It was “classic” in every aspect – but this was exactly what it was going for!
Dark Quest: Board Game appears to be more of a spin-off than a real sequel, but it’s still fascinating. It is described as an RPG that simulates the board game experience. As such, it’s got everything you’d expect: cards, dice and miniatures.
- 8-14 heroes and over 60 monsters.
- Procedurally generated adventures and combat.
- Roguelike experience, where you create a party of heroes and play until you win or die.
- 8 areas, with over 150 adventure cards.
- Survive the skull of fate and the sorcerer’s magic.
- Collect treasures and cosmetic rewards.
- Tactical turn-based combat with controlled random numbers.
- 80+ combat cards with spells, weapons, potions and equipment.
- Unique art style that makes everything look, feel and play like a real board game.
What else can I say, other than that I’m really looking forward to it? Well, to be honest, there is a downside: the game is going to be released just in early access…
YAENGARD – 5th May
Yaengard is an interesting turn-based party RPG, where your choices are as important as your combat abilities.
You begin as a simple peasant, but (as usual!) your destiny is much greater and way more noble. Someone wants you dead, so you begin a long journey that is, at the same time, a wonderful adventure! Combine personality traits, rare weapons, and 20+ classes into endless team variations.
- The Trait System – Your decisions change who you are, unlocking new powers. Who will you become before the end of your journey?
- Replayability – Try over and over, as each attempt is different from the last! Massive variety with hundreds and hundreds of armors, weapons, classes, perks, locations, and encounters.
- Storytelling – Follow the story of the fall of the Aatanic empire and the unlikely rise of adventurers – with a rich world to discover, colorful characters to meet, and difficult choices to make.
- Impactful Choices – Select your own way to Yaengard; will you take fatal risks, or will you walk the safe but slow way around? Your decisions will mean everything.
- Classic Tabletop RPG-style Gameplay – Travel, encounter, and dialogue choices with real rewards and consequences.
And if you want to know more, don’t miss my upcoming interview!
At the beginning of the month on Steam!
CITIZEN SLEEPER – 5th May
Citizen Sleeper is a game that tries to bring a breath of fresh air to the genre. It’s a beautifully illustrated sci-fi RPG – and it 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 seeing the preview images for Citizen Sleeper is like flipping through an exciting new tabletop RPG rule book. 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 developer Jump Over The Age has created.
WARHAMMER 40,000: CHAOS GATE – DAEMONHUNTERS – 5th May
Darkness spreads across the grim, war-ravaged universe. Horrors from beyond the galaxy bring rot and corruption to the realms of humanity. A plague descends upon the cosmos. Chaos follows it, seeking to devour the slumbering worlds. Yet, there is one weapon that can end its malevolent reign. The Grey Knights, shielding the universe from oblivion.
In this fast-paced tactical RPG, you shall command these mysterious warriors, as they battle against the daemonic energies that threaten to engulf all. Now comes the time for the fate of worlds to be decided. Lead well your soldiers, or soon there’ll be nothing left to save – only a wasteland of Chaos.
Will you be able to stop the tide of Chaos, before it’s too late? On Steam.
RPG IN A BOX – 10th May
Well, we talked about RPG in a Box not that long ago – when I had the chance, and the honor, to interview the developer, Justin Arnold. So if you want to know more about this fascinating project, you can read my interview here.
What is important to know now, is that this tool that lets you create an RPG game from scratch, is finally leaving early access, with the long-awaited version 1.0 just around the corner. Obviously this doesn’t mean the project will end its development on the 10th of May – because, as declared by Justin, he is firmly intent on adding, in the upcoming months, a lot of new content and functions.
So, stop complaining about others’ RPGs – it’s YOUR TURN now!
ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman – 10th May
I’ve never heard of this game before so forgive me if, for once, I just quote the description written by the developer: “In ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman, your character is custom-made to kick as—many enemies to the curb as you want! Use the deep customization system to outfit your ranger from head to toe, establish your own base, and fight your way through an array of randomly-generated maps to forge your own heroic story“.
SONG OF CONQUEST (E.A.) – 10th May
Song of Conquest has been on my favorites’ list from quite some time. Even if I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, it’s clear that this game has a lot of potential. If you like pixel art and turn-based mechanics, you simply cannot miss it!
SoC, developed by Lavapotion, is a turn-based strategy inspired by classics like Heroes of Might and Magic. In it, players must build an empire by sending heroes to explore the map, conquering strategic places, building the town and fighting on hex-grid battlefields.
On Steam E.A. quite soon.
BRIGANDINE: THE LEGEND OF RUNERSIA – 11th May
A couple of years ago I had the honor to interview Mr. Kazuhiro Igarashi about his upcoming game, namely Brigandine, at that time a PS4/Nintendo Switch exclusive.
I was surprised to find out that finally this game will be released on PC – in just a few weeks. Obviously, if you want to know more, I invite you to go and read my “poetic” and beautiful interview!
Soon on Steam!
CANTATA (E.A.) – 12th May
Cantata is a turn-based strategy developed by Afterschool Studio and published by Modern Wolf. It offers a sandbox singleplayer campaign with a lovely pixel art style and rich sci-fi lore. Explore, expand, and endure across campaigns set on a mysterious planet steeped in strange history.
And for more fun, you can try its local and online multiplayer component!
Soon on Steam!
FLEET COMMANDER: PACIFIC – 19th May
Fleet Commander: Pacific is a grand strategic simulation of the naval war in the Pacific from 1941 to 1945. All major surface combat ships of the Japanese and Allied navies are present in this streamlined reproduction of the biggest maritime war in history.
The game contains:
- Turn-based gameplay, with US having the slight advantage to play second as they broke the enemy’s code, allowing for interesting counter-moves.
- All main battleships, carriers and heavy cruisers as individual units – and minor ships, marines or air units in groups and flotillas.
- A simple (but not simplistic) game mechanics, focusing on taking control of key sea zones.
- Straightforward battle mechanics, handling the various aspects of naval warfare: gunnery exchanges, submarines and airborne attacks.
- Day and night battles, island bases’ invasions, air raids against ports, reinforcements from other theaters of war.
- A challenging set of decisions each turn – choosing which areas to defend, and which ones to seize from the enemy or harass.
- An AI that will attempt to foil your grand strategic plans, or your local actions.
- A very accurate database with faithful ships’ sketches, 3D models, and actual historic photos.
- A streamlined UI with easy controls, and a wealth of in-game information.
- Many scenarios of variable length and difficulty.
OLD WORLD – 19th May
We covered this game on many occasions and were very impressed. So, if you just want to get a basic idea of what it’s all about – our overview is right here. If you want a deeper look at the features, you can also read our review, where we defined it simply as a “fantastic game“.
Old World is a historical epic strategy from Soren Johnson, Lead Designer of Civilization IV and Offworld Trading Company. You must be wise about how you build your legacy: each turn is one entire year, and your leaders are not immortal…
Personally, it’s not my favorite genre, but it definitely sounds intriguing. Obviously, though, if you are a fan of Civilization, this game is a must for your collection.
FLOPPY KNIGHTS – 24th May
Floppy Knights is definitely an interesting mix, with unique card-based gameplay and strong tactical elements. It also features a cheery, cartoon-like art style – perfect if you want something happy and light-hearted, but with enough strategy to keep you thinking on how best to solve the game’s various challenges.
With multiple specialized decks and a fantastic world of hand-drawn frozen caverns, green fields and wild forests, the game is sure to capture many players’ imagination. Also, the drawings are made by Marlowe Dobbe – the artist behind Dicey Dungeons.
On Steam and XBOX/PC Game Pass!
OUT THERE: OCEANS OF TIME – 26th May
I like games with very simple goals – like this one. So, what is it you have to do in OTOoT (this is an acronym, not a war cry), you might wonder? Well, that’s quite simple: your latest task is to travel through space and explore its vast reaches!
The game is the successor to the award-winning Out There; it tries to blend roguelike and resource management while telling a dynamic and engaging story. Along the way, make sure to recruit new members from the alien races you cross paths with – to build a truly formidable team. So – am I the only one who gets Star Trek vibes?
TWILIGHT WARS: DECLASSIFIED – 31st May
In a dark cyberpunk future, the greedy, sinister corporations have divided the world amongst themselves. Their brutal, lawless rule knows no opposition – they tolerate no interference in their endless struggle for more power. Still, there is one group that is determined to put a limit on their dominion. Rising from the ashes, the Anonymous Arbitration Agency is once again ready to defend the society from corporate wars, unfolding in the shadows.
A dungeon crawler RPG, in the grim style of Darkest Dungeon, the game follows the struggles of a group of agents, as they fight in tactical turn-based battles across gloomy cyberpunk dungeons.
On Steam, this month!
FABLED LANDS – May
This game brings the classic fantasy gamebooks to the new format. Their vast magical realms – with towns and temples, seas and wildlands – come to life on the computer screen. Choose your own destiny – whether a merchant, selling wares across busy markets of many cities; a warrior, seeking adventure on the battlefield; a thief, looking to profit by their shadowy craft; or one of many other professions in the game’s fantastic world.
This month, you will finally be able to explore the mysterious kingdom of Fabled Lands, with all the perils and wonders it has to offer to a true adventurer, from the ominous Court of Hidden Faces to the grim plains of howling darkness.
So – are you ready to go on a journey across its immeasurable universe? On Steam.
And – even for this month – that’s all folks!