Rowan Kaiser


23 games reviewed
74.8 average score
76 median score
45.5% of games recommended
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Mar 9, 2022

Triangle Strategy is shockingly successful at telling a grounded human story in a fantasy world, even if its main cast is extremely dull. That plot is backed up by simple but well-designed and appropriately challenging combat.

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Nov 2, 2021

In early access, Darkest Dungeon 2 has enough new and interesting ideas that it feels like more than a retread of the original, but they're there's a lot of work to be done to refine it into something that holds a torch to the original.

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Sep 29, 2021

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is an enormous isometric RPG that builds on its predecessor with a lot of depth and a strong turn-based combat option.

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59 / 100 - HighFleet
Jul 29, 2021

HighFleet has appealing vision, but breaks down due to opaque systems and lack of difficulty options.

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9 / 10.0 - Wildermyth
Jul 16, 2021

Indie RPG Wildermyth aims to combine the best of storytelling with the best of procedural generation and succeeds, thanks to great writing, solid tactics, and some very clever design decisions.

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May 23, 2019

Beyond best-in-setting and best-in-franchise, Total War: Three Kingdoms is a game that instantly contends for best of the year, or best in its genre. The setting and franchise here give it high expectations, and Three Kingdoms surpasses those expectations at almost every level.

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May 25, 2017

Steel Division: Normandy '44 succeeds both at being an entertaining real-time tactics game and a compelling simulation of historical combat, which is a remarkable combination. Not to get ahead of things, but playing this excellent World War II game makes it hard not to get excited about the potential of Steel Division: Stalingrad '42 or Rome '43. Future games or expansions might even smooth out Normandy ‘44's small drawbacks, specifically its occasionally overwhelming amount of detail and lack of context to its huge number of options, but its successes wildly outweigh its failures.

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If one of your favorite things in RPGs is finding a new location, and reveling in the rush of new quests and characters and dialogues and battles, then Torment: Tides of Numenara does that better than just about anything. It's disappointing, although not surprising, that Torment can't maintain that energy for a full game, especially with a rushed ending. But that's a small price to pay for a wildly creative and clever role-playing game.

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6.3 / 10.0 - Stellaris
May 9, 2016

Stellaris is filled with good ideas, and it's not difficult to see the outline of a great space strategy game where those ideas could come together. But beyond the early game, it's only compelling in bits and pieces – it turns into a largely uneventful slog after that. Paradox has developed a reputation of major upgrades to their games for years after launch, and Stellaris is going to need all that love and more to reach its potential.

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Apr 21, 2016

There are a lot of good ideas in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, and it certainly looks like a great tactical space combat game. But it struggles to build that into a coherent whole, making it tough to recommend unless you’re willing to utterly dedicate yourself to fully comprehending the inaccessible systems of its combat.

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5.6 / 10.0 - Armello
Sep 9, 2015

Armello makes a great first impression, but it has a bad habit of making you feel like you're playing alone.

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Jul 9, 2015

Legends of Eisenwald is a tactical RPG that gets fast turn-based tactical combat right, though it fumbles the story.

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5.2 / 10.0 - Dungeons 2
Apr 21, 2015

Dungeons 2 tries to revitalize dungeon management games...and falls on its face in the process.

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8.3 / 10.0 - Endless Legend
Sep 23, 2014

Almost everything about Endless Legend's grand strategy works in lush, beautiful harmony…except the endgame.

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Jul 25, 2014

Gods Will Be Watching takes adventure games to new, dark, and strategic places

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Unscored - Tropico 5
May 22, 2014

Wait. Patches or expansions may tweak its motivational balance in the right direction.

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7 / 10.0 - Bound by Flame
May 12, 2014

While parts of Bound By Flame are messy, its combat is strong enough to keep the fire stoked.

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6.9 / 10.0 - The Last Federation
Apr 28, 2014

The Last Federation is a new kind of space game, but its strategy can't keep up with its strong tactics.

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7.1 / 10.0 - Age of Wonders III
Apr 2, 2014

Age of Wonders 3 does the little things right, but struggles on a larger scale.

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8.3 / 10.0 - Banished
Feb 20, 2014

New city-builder Banished is the most fun you'll have simulating famine all year.

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