Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tactical Insights 2013 Awards

Hi all, welcome to this years awards aka tactics games I thought were pretty good this year.

PC Non-indie

XCOM: Enemy Within takes the original game and adds new maps, resources, weapons, missions, enemies, and allies. I played a few hours on classic normal and it's basically Xcom:EU on steroids. I couldn't spot any glaring balance issues. Overall it's a good improvement that adds variety and depth that I thought was missing from the original, including the 2nd wave options that were patched in after launch.

Winner: XCOM: Enemy Within

Runner up: Battle Academy expansions, Panzer Corps: Allied Corps, Unity of Command: Black Turn

PC Indie

Battle Worlds: Kronos was the best overall indie tactics game this year for me, with some very strong contenders. It's based on the Battle Isle series of games, playing similar to Advance Wars and other WW2 style games.

Skulls of the Shogun is fun and fast paced, Just Tactics is a complex and involving PvP game, and Card Hunter is a cool D&D themed browser game.

The best tactics games this year are pretty much all on PC (with iOS/Android ports), and that isn't likely to change anytime soon. 2014 looks like a great year as well. Of course there are tons of indie tactics games on PC, too many to play and keep track of. Let me know if I missed anything good or great.

Winner: Battle Worlds: Kronos

Runner up: Skulls of the Shogun, Just Tactics, Card Hunter, Shadowrun Returns


There's way too many iOS and Android tactics games out there to keep track of and play. The three big ones this year are Panzer Corps, XCOM, and Frozen Synapse. If I missed some amazing iOS/Android game please let me know.

I'm giving the iOS/Android award to Panzer Corps for iPad this year. Xcom:EU is a strong contender but it's not the newest Enemy Within version. Frozen Synapse is apparently a flawless port and it's a great game if you like fast paced tactics PvP.

Winner: Panzer Corps for iPad

Runner Up: Xcom:EU for iOS, Frozen Synapse iOS, Frozen Synapse Android, Hero Academy Android, Great Big War Game Android


 Tactics games on PS3/360 have always been slim pickings, but this year we got both Skulls of the Shogun and the XCOM: Enemy Within expansion. I'm giving the PS3/360 award to Skulls of the Shogun. It's a fun and fast paced arcade style tactics game with a multiplayer focus, and plays well on a controller. Xcom is okay on consoles, but I recommend playing it on PC with a mouse and keyboard instead.

Winner: Skulls of the Shogun

Runner up: SRW Dark Prison, XCOM: Enemy Within, History: Legends of War


3DS was quite disappointing this year. Fire Emblem: Awakening and Project X Zone are both bad in terms of combat, balance, and level design, and loaded with fanservice to boot. I mean Fire Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow had such a great campaign, what happened?

The 3DS remake of Devil Survivor 2 with new content (subtitled Break Record) was delayed into 2014, which likely would've been my pick this year.

PSP/Vita's 2013 lineup is almost entirely imports, and it's similarly disappointing with mostly mediocre or forgettable games. Hopefully 2014 is better!

Winner: None

That's it this year, thanks for reading. Let me know if I didn't mention something you enjoyed.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dec 2013 News

Happy holidays all. I'm working on an end of year awards article, to be posted in the next day or two. Owing to the huge growth in browser, indie, and iOS/Android tactics games, I'm expanding those categories while shrinking the console categories.

Most news taken from Rui Castro's Facebook page. Makes it very easy for me since I don't need to dig around for news myself. As always if I missed something or you want to comment on the news feel free to post a comment.

What have I been playing lately? Check out this playlist for SRW Dark Prison.

Valkyria Chronicles 3 for PSP has an alpha translation patch available. You'll need a VC3 Extra Edition UMD or PSN digital download to use the patch.

Panzer Corps for iPad is now available.

Super Robot Wars Z3-1 was announced for PS3 and Vita.

Battle Worlds: Kronos demo now available.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback is still getting developer updates on kickstarter.

The Banner Saga single player campaign hands on.

Retaliation: Path of War wargame alpha.

Sting is developing a Neptunia licensed SRPG.

Epic Arena for Android.

Danger Alliance: Battles for iOS.

Latest Telepath Tactics update.

More Natural Doctrine details. It's been delayed to March 19, 2014.

Natural Doctrine 2nd trailer and screenshots.

SRW 2 for NES now has a translation patch.

Heroes Rush: Tactics trailer.

Lionheart Tactics preview.

Daisenryaku Perfect has a new release date of Feb 6, 2014.

Hunted Cow's Russian Front announced.

Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire

Crasleen: Drums of War

Interesting article about a SFC tactics game I've never heard of called Genjuu Ryodan.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oct/Nov 2013 News

Hi all, sorry for the late post. I've mostly been playing Hearthstone, Resogun, and Knack. Not exactly tactics games, but it's good to have some variety sometimes. Believe it or not there's still tons of tactics game news every month, especially on smart phones. Hard to keep up sometimes.

Most links taken from Rui Castro's facebook page.

Slitherine Games holiday sale until Jan 14th.

Battle Worlds: Kronos has officially launched. Congrats guys. New interview here.
XCOM: Enemy Within has launched. Haven't got around to playing it yet.

Details on Natural Doctrine for PS3/PS4/Vita. Link 2. This looks like PS4's first SRPG.

Riftforge on Indiegogo.

Skulls of the Shogun is now on iOS.

A look at Warhammer 40k Space Wolf.

New Incognita (alpha) trailer.

Siltherine has launched a new Battle Academy expansion based on fortress Metz.

Highborn Chapter 3 now on Steam.

Space Hulk seems to have cleaned up most of its bugs and issues and added two new DLC campaigns. Space Hulk for iPad on Dec 5 2013.

Unity of Command has a new campaign coming to Steam on Dec 10 called Black Turn.
Door Kickers preview.

Disgaea 5 in development.

Frozen Front 1941 Android trailer.

Latest Telepath Tactics update.

Julian Gollop's Chaos Reborn will soon be on kickstarter.

Release date for The Banner Saga's single player campaign (not the multiplayer that's already available).

Tactical RPG coverage on indierpgs.com

Rainbow Moon coming to Vita Dec 2013.

SRW Dark Prison for PS3 trailer.

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has launched in Japan via Nintendo's rewards store. DoR never actually launched in Japan until now. I wouldn't exactly take this as a sign the series is returning, though.

Mighty Tactical Shooter trailer, an interesting realtime w/ pause shoot em up hybrid.

Strategy games on Linux game database.

Browser tactics game on Facebook called Ninja Zet.

Combat Monsters for iOS.

Aerena Clash of Champions.

Complicated operational level game Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm

Sardonyx Tactics, an SRPG for iOS/Android by a Korean dev.

Tank Operations: European Campaign

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel

Gary Grigsby's War in the West new expansion. "Each turn lasts one week." I'm taking that statement literally.

Favela Wars, a cover based tactics shooter.

EMPIRE: The Deck Building Strategy Game

New Warhammer Quest content.

Video of a Valkyria Chronicles-like test game engine.

Dajika Tactics.

Battle Isle: Threshold Run. Not sure if this game is cancelled or not.

Ground Breakers.

March of War trailer.

Dark Quest iOS review.

Mutant Gangland indie tactics game trailer.

Arena of Heroes is still going with new patches.

Ultimate Space Commando

Partia: The Broken Lineage is released (or re-released) on iOS. It's pretty close to a Fire Emblem clone.

Civil War II: 1862 review.

Devil Survivor 2: Break Code for 3DS delayed to 2014.

Mech Mice gameplay trailer. This is a very simple tactics game for kids.

Frozen Synapse Red expansion.

Best smartphone turn based strategy games according to appcrawlr.com

Flash based tactical games on Kongregate.com

"The most hardcore android strategy games" according to Hardcoredroid

Frozen Endzone beta launch trailer.