Red Ronin might not be the turn-based tactical game that its main menu implies, but it is a great puzzle game with a popping soundtrack, nice visual effects, and stellar level design. The real-time elements are really interesting and unique, even if it introduces them with all gentleness of a rampaging rhino. If the technical issues can be fixed, Red Ronin could certainly take a seat atop its throne of blood.
Pawnbarian is single-minded with a specific experience that it wants to offer. That experience is a challenging brain teaser using a classic and timeless game in new ways. Limitation is often king to innovation, and with that Pawnbarian calls checkmate.
Embr manages to be a hectic, yet methodical co-op game about firefighters that can also be enjoyed solo. Its replayable nature through a variety of enjoyable modes keeps the game burning bright when many other party games would have long fizzled out on dead wood.
Sheltered 2 offers an apocalyptic survival experience that will put your planning and management skills to the test alongside nifty turn-based combat. Yet, the tedium of such excessive micromanagement might have you wishing for the world to end again.
In the end. Gears Tactics has the heart, body, and soul of a true Gears of War game that makes it shine in combat with blood-pumping action despite being turn-based. The repetition and linear focus make it a few cogs short of being a Marcus Fenix instead of a Carmine. Fun and lovable, but destined to die quickly.
The fast-paced nature makes Jupiter Hell stand out from the crowd alongside a retro-style interface that’s nostalgic while incorporating all the modern conveniences we have come to expect. The shallowness and repetition hit faster than I would like, but there’s no denying that Jupiter Hell’s combination of rip and tear with chess-like flair is a mixture Doomed to succeed.
The simulation and management elements are almost non-existent. The few that are present tend to be obtuse and poorly explained. Yet, the game within a game is brilliant and will really test your ability to think about strategy in a different way. The fact that champions get nerfed and buffed based on how tournaments play out is clever beyond description. I just wish the rest of the game received the same loving attention.