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XCOM Too – A New Turn-Based Strategy Project to Scratch any XCOM Itch

February 28, 2018

As a games designer I do (and need to) play a wide range of games. However, of the many genres of games out there, the one I most often find myself returning to is turn-based strategy.

There were many years when there was not a huge amount going on with the genre… those were lean years! But this is no longer the case, since the rebooted XCOM games – starting with 2012’s Enemy Unknown – has both re-ignited the mass interest in the turn-based strategy genre but also set a standard of what such a game can be. So as we head further into 2018, here’s what’s on my ‘XCOM Too’ radar…

Into the Breach – This is the new game by the people who made the excellent FTL. FTL was realtime, so it was interesting to me that they’ve got turn-based with their new title. Into the Breach just launched on Steam and, word is, it’s great. Personally I love the simple yet textured art style, and how they’ve made a TBS / puzzle game mash up.

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Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics – This is on my radar because… well, I’m working on it, so it rightly needs a mention here! The game has a simple premise: fight the Nazis AND the spawn of Cthulhu in this exciting action / strategy / RPG game set in the award-winning Achtung! Cthulhu universe. We’ve prototyped this up using pen, dice, and paper and so we know the gameplay is excellent. I’m very much looking forward to it evolving and being released and from the support we’ve had on Kickstarterso are a lot of people.

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Wargroove – I first started seeing this pop-up on my Twitter feed in the form of gorgeous little pixely unit animations. The game looks very much like a spiritual successor to Advance Wars and this is a very good thing, as I loved the series and played all of them for many, many *repeats word ‘many’ several more times* hours. However, despite seeming to reference that series, Wargroove definitely seems to have its own thing going on.

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Phoenix Point – The godfather of turn-based strategy games – Julian Gollop – is back! If you aren’t aware, Julian is the influential designer behind a host of classic games, from Laser Squad to (of course) XCOM itself – though it was originally titled UFO: Enemy Unknown, of course! So the news that he’s funded and working on a new title is welcome to say the least! So far Phoenix Point seems to have many of the classic elements we demand of an XCOM game, but as it’s Julian making it, I’m super excited to see what he adds, changes, and evolves within the framework…

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AVARIAvs (ultrafast Competitive Turn-Based Battles) – I backed this on Kickstarter and happy to see that it was fully-funded. This is a little different to a lot of TBS, in that its main focus is PvP, whereas most TBS games focus on campaign – I know games like XCOM have PvP, but PvP is not what you think of when you think “TBS”. As a studio, we’ve also been experimenting in this area, so it’s a space I’m interested in and, overall, I like how it’s expanding the genre.

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Hope you enjoyed my quick runthough of upcoming TBS titles – did I miss any? Let me know!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 29, 2018 8:10 pm

    I like your post, and I think TBS games are here to stay for a long time. I think that all this social farming and empire forging mania those types of games are closer to the wider public that earlier stayed away from them thinking that they are so hard to play. I wrote a post about why people like to play Turn Based Strategy Games in general. Especially Empire building ones. http://turnbasedstrategygame.blogspot.com/2018/06/turn-based-strategy-empire-building-games.html

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