I decided to call this article and column, what to play next. I’m going to show you some of the indie turn-based games i tried along the way, 10 per round. This time arrived on the scene, some of the most interesting Indie Tactical games, which offer lots of hours of “strategic fun”.
It’s not hard to find turn-based games inside the vast indie library, nowadays devs are more and more oriented towards this type of approach in gameplay, and that’s cool, but finding some of the best, can sometimes be difficult and that’s what this article is for.
10 Indie games with turn-based tactical mechanics to play now
Giant mechs and monsters are always a winning combination. Mech Armada delivers both in spades with roguelike gameplay and endless combinations for your mechanized fighters. Terrain, team composition, and resource management are all necessary if you hope to drive of the kaiju Swarm.
The game is like a less-puzzly Into The Breach in that anticipating enemy moves is the key to victory and that there’s never a perfect strategy. There are also some enormous bosses that will take your entire squad at its best to bring down!
This early-access title from D20 Studios blends the deck-building gameplay of Slay The Spire with tactical grid-based battles. The addition of things like flanking and line of sight bring a twist to the comparatively static battles of most deck builders.
There are more than just battles in Summoners Fate as well! Exploring the environment is a major part of the game, with dice rolls to determine the outcome of events that happen along the way. The whole thing gives the game a tabletop feel, which is never a bad thing in our book!
The long-awaited horde mode expansion has finally come to chess! Unlike the main campaign, the standalone Shotgun King pits the Black King against an growing enemy army. His only defense is a shotgun, which can damage and destroy multiple pieces at once thanks to its spread.
All the other rules of the base game remain intact, so you still need to keep your lone piece from being caught in checkmate. Longtime fans of the original, first released sometime around 1200, as well as newcomers can enjoy Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate regardless of their chess skill.
Walk with the Living
What’s better than a Fire Emblem-style TRPG with impactful decision points and deep character relationships? One that’s available for free, of course! Walk With The Living boasts branching story paths based on the choices you make and the outcomes of your battles, and it doesn’t cost a cent.
While the game has permadeath (which can be turned off), some story sequences are only available after the demise of specific characters. Players who like hunting for multiple endings will have plenty of reason to follow this tale of revenge to its conclusion over and over again.
Void Marauders is an early-access turn-based indie title with huge potential for emergent storytelling. As the leader of a gang of space pirates, you’ll explore the galaxy in search of stations to steal from and planets to plunder. The game has several distinct biomes for its tactical battles, as well as humanoid, robotic, and alien enemies to face.
While players are largely free to do as they wish, they’ll need to make sure they have enough loot to keep their ships flying and their crew paid. After all, what self-respecting galactic miscreant would let the captain keep everything for themselves?
Imagine Battle Brothers with better character art and you’ve got a good idea of what to expect from Ruadh: Warbands. This early-access game shows lots of promise and lots of challenge. Leading your band of Vikings through a world inspired by Norse mythology, you’ll have to survive as long as you can against the increasing threats that appear across the map.
Unlike Battle Brothers, Ruadh takes a somewhat more generous approach to death. You’ll still die – over and over and over again – but each death unlocks new options for next time, similarly to a roguelike. Between the gameplay, visuals, and music, Ruadh: Warbands could be your next game to play until the sun comes up.
It’s not the knights themselves that are floppy; instead, they’re summoned through the use of floppy disks! The game blends classic fantasy with retro tech that is sure to particularly delight gamers of a certain age. Floppy Knights lets players choose from several decks, each with a distinct playstyle, so you can tailor your experience to fit the way you like to play.
The game’s cartoon visuals come courtesy of Dicey Dungeons‘ Marlowe Dobbe, and the soundtrack has an upbeat NES flair that meshes perfectly with the aesthetic. Floppy Knights was recently updated, too, so now is a great time to give it a try!
Immortal Tactics: War of the Eternals
Immortal Tactics is a pixelated turn-based indie strategy roguelike that shakes up the usual move-and-attack formula. With its hex-based combat divided into several phases each round, planning and timing become even more important than normal.
Area attacks, environmental hazards, and unexpected interactions all have the potential to make fighters on either side fall in droves. Immortal Tactics may be in early access, but its current state is a good sign for what’s to come.
With combat and party management heavily inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics, Tyrant’s Blessing charges players with leading a rebellion against an all-powerful ruler. The few living souls remaining in Tyberia have to face off against the Tyrant’s undead armies, numbering in the thousands. It sounds like a hopeless task, but that’s where all the best stories come from, isn’t it?
Every day the Tyrant solidifies their hold over the land, and players need to decide how to use what little time they have. Fighting the undead, of course, will help them reach their ultimate goal, but there will be times when you need to rest and recover or send rescue parties to recruit anyone else who’s still breathing. Tyrant’s Blessing even has a free demo available for players to try!
Cascade Tactics is an early-access game with all the makings of an indie hit. The gameplay will be familiar to fans of Tactics Ogre, and with three game modes – story, roguelite, and survival – you can get exactly the level of challenge you want in each campaign.
Most actions have a charge time, letting you (or your enemies!) react to what’s happening on the battlefield. One especially neat element the game introduces is that status effects have to be removed by damaging the unit that placed the effect. Between these unique takes on SRPG gameplay and the game’s extensive class system, Cascade Tactics is definitely one to watch.