I am not incredibly enthused to fight more baddies in Outward. I’m not that excited to speak to more of its cardboardy NPCs. I’m not looking forward to getting up from my chair to do some light cardio while I wait for my character to warm up by a campfire in the middle of a snowstorm, so I don’t get diseased and have to trek to the nearest village for a herbal tea and sleep for a day before I’m healthy again. But that travel, maaaaan. It absolutely nails it.
Is this particular endless space war worth enlisting in? If you’re looking for an incredibly deep 4x – no. If you’re up for some big, beautiful, dramatic RTS campaigns with weighty, satisfying combat, and don’t mind waiting for a patch to iron out a few creases – then yes.
A powerful, rich, and exceptionally well written narrative experience, with exploration mechanics that heighten the power of its stories, Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is let down by its own central premise. Fascinating, but flawed.
A refined, masterfully executed and hugely atmospheric turn based tactics game. The framework of Into The Breach is a little light on content, but the variety of missions approaches and challenging scenarios that emerge from its elegant systems provide hours of compulsive, bug crushing strategy goodness.
An affecting an imaginative narrative game with inventive, if not particularly challenging, turn based combat. Legendary Gary’s characters occasionally feel flat, but it makes up for it with a unique, well-realised world. You probably already know whether it's going to be for you, and if you’re at all intrigued, I can’t see you being disappointed.
A visually unique, inventive tactical roguelike with a satisfying combat loop. All Walls Must Fall attempts to offer variety in mission approaches, but fails to make alternative approaches anywhere near as enjoyable as combat. At the same time, combat fails to remain tactically interesting throughout. It's not a flawed masterpiece. It's a failed masterpiece. But fragments of absolute brilliance still remain.
A genuinely funny, engaging turned based strategy with a great theme. Attack of The Earthlings has a strong core concept, but feel constricted by length. Player options are plentiful, but never required for success. Still, it's unique, well-written, and lovingly crafted. Fans of the genre should find something to love, even if it's 'game over, man' far too quickly.
Nantucket is wonderfully cohesive, a real beauty of a ship built from unremarkable materials. It's too shallow to really drown yourself in, but just deep enough to be compulsive, constantly throwing up interesting decisions. If you're all about the destination, this might not be the ship for you. If you're down to enjoy the voyage, you could do a lot worse.
With no campaign mode, and currently without the expansions that many Tokaido players consider essential to the experience, the digital Tokaido‘s main fault is a lack of variety or compelling reasons for long play sessions. I can see myself dipping back in occasionally and thoroughly enjoying myself for twenty or forty minutes, but I don’t think I could spend an evening traversing Tokaido‘s mysterious mountain, as beautiful as it is.