Immortal Tactics: War of the Eternals is a tactical turn-based roguelite, where you lead a custom team of three heroes and a god in their struggle against minions of a cosmic horror known as the Celestial Void. Over its course, you will fight through ten battles, with the final one being a boss battle.
The game is fairly fast-paced, with a typical run doable in less than two hours. Each battle occurs on a 9×9 hex grid, with semi-random terrain which depends on the map’s environment. Enemies too are defined by the environment; their quantity and their power, however, consistently increase as you go through the campaign. Map goals are also semi-random – and the generation algorithm adjusts to the particular map’s goal.
Each battle turn is divided into specific phases: enemy movement ⇾ forecast of environmental effects ⇾ player’s movement ⇾ player’s attack ⇾ enemy attack ⇾ environmental effects trigger. This lets you know almost exactly what’s going to happen next – and adds a dynamic, puzzle-like feel to the game. Especially since specific situations and considerations vary a lot from map to map.
Although you can’t customize individual characters, you can choose the three party members and their god. As the heroes advance in levels, they gain access to new powers. Every hero possesses three active and one passive ability, and a single upgrade to each. There are four different gods – and every god also has three different powers you can choose from. Both the god and the powers you select at the start of a run. However, to use the latter, you must first complete mission objectives. The powers have various impacts on the game state and the battlefield – from dealing and healing damage, to various buffs and debuffs.
The final mission of an adventure is a battle against a boss. Unlike other confrontations, these fights are fairly fixed and seem to be limited to a single boss per environment. They are, however, fairly different, with various challenges and interesting tactical situations. Plus, they don’t constitute such a large part of the run that their predictability should be overwhelming.
If you want a short, punchy game with a strong focus on battles, you’ll love Immortal Tactics! The tactical puzzles are fun and, at least on my skill level, I felt reasonably challenged throughout the campaign. And, while there’s a good variety to the enemies, their general class (melee vs. ranged) matters way more in how you engage them.
The lack of character customization and gear make for a fast-paced experience. It’s clear that this design decision was well-thought-out, and elegantly implemented. Many turn-based tactics games do similar things – but in a way that results in boring or irrelevant customization. Immortal Tactics only focuses on the decisions that do matter, resulting in a truly dynamic gameplay.
I’ve enjoyed my time with Immortal Tactics. Yet, I also find that it doesn’t worm into my brain like those games that do offer meaty gear and character build choices. This might ultimately mean that I will not spend as much time with Immortal Tactics as with bigger games. Its tighter, more compact game experience would’ve been perfect for a mobile game on Switch – or Steam Deck.
Immortal Tactics: War of the Eternals is a fast-paced, punchy experience, perfect for those who want a dense game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. If you are looking for something with character customization or a longer game horizon, then you are better off looking elsewhere. But for those who like short games, Immortal Tactics has a lot to offer.