There’s genius and sincerity at work here. Get deep enough into Tactics Ogre and the entreaty of its subtitle, Let Us Cling Together, starts to sound a lot less goofy and a lot more urgent and sad. How deep you will get into the game depends on your appetite for micromanagement and your patience with gameplay systems that, 27 years later, are starting to creak, despite all the judicious tinkering that’s been done to them. Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a welcome, polished, and thoughtful update to a game that defined a genre — a genre that has now left it behind.
This is all welcome, and it makes Dorfromantik a more complete and rewarding experience. But really, this is one of those games for which early-access status was a bit of a misnomer, not because it had no room to improve or features to add, but because its premise was so fully, perfectly realized from the start. Add too much to it, or do anything that might disturb its delicate balance between friction and flow, between logic and naturalism, and it would have been ruined. But the Toukana team knows better than that. They are at peace, strolling through the countryside of the mind.