Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
Strategy Thursday, 27 April 2017
Developed by Relic Entertainment, the third installment of the real-time strategy set in a dark science fiction world. The action of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III once again takes us to the popular universe created by Games Workshop. During gameplay you can lead one of the three available races: Space Marines, Eldars, and Orks. Each of them has unique heroes, units, buildings, and abilities. Mechanically, the title combines the best solutions from the previous parts of the franchise and concentrates on spectacular battles waged on vast maps with hundreds of units. The game features RPG elements, such as customization of units and heroes that can be provided with special equipment and abilities obtained with the increase of experience. The title utilizes a modern graphics engine which offers attractive, 3D visuals and large-scale environment destruction.
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator is a title developed by Brilliant Game Studios. It enables the user to simulate medieval/ancient battles in which dozens of thousands of units can participate. The game presents the topic in a humorous way. Not only Romanian centurions, medieval knights, Spartans and Persians can fight against each other, but orcs, trolls, Santa Clauses, penguins and chickens as well. The strengths of these armies (even the chickens) are more or less equal, but each unit type has unique attack. The battles take place in varied environments – there are winter landscapes, mountain tops, deserts and green fields. The action can be observed from any perspective, enabling the player to have a better view of the fight. Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator is based on modified Unity technology. This enables it to depict great number of units while keeping a decent level of graphics.
Steel Division: Normandy 44
Strategy 23 May 2017
Another military strategy game in the publishing catalogue of Paradox Interactive, this one developed by the French studio Eugen Systems. Steel Division: Normandy 44 draws much inspiration from the Wargame series created earlier by the same developer, letting players take part in fights over Normandy in 1944. The game features playable armies of such nations as Nazi Germany, the United States, France, Canada, England, Scotland, and Poland. Steel Division: Normandy 44 puts much emphasis on realism, therefore real-time battles are split into three phases, which correspond to actual WWII skirmishes. While moving from one stage of battle to another you get access to new types of units, of which there are now 400 in the game, all based on historical data. Infantry, tanks and support vehicles are also aided by airplanes. Devising a proper tactic serves a key role in the game – the most important things you must consider are the landscape and morale of your soldiers. Too much stress reduces the combat effectiveness of your men and can even make them flee in panic. Steel Division: Normandy 44 lets you play either solo (throughout the campaign) or in multiplayer – up to twenty players can play together in online battles.
An adventure/strategy game with survival elements by Polish studio 11bit Studios. Frostpunk is set in a fictional icy-cold world, whose climate deeply affected the development of its society. To survive, people rely mostly on steam engines. However, it is not enough, and the society is falling apart, which means it needs to change. The gameplay focuses on the survival aspect, which, unlike in other such productions, means more than gathering and managing resources. Strategic elements are also of great importance, and you also need to make difficult and morally ambiguous decisions. The game features distinct visuals, in which the cold colors of nature are contrasted with the warmer hues, which symbolize the remains of civilization.
Endless Space 2
Strategy 19 May 2017
A continuation of a 2012's highly-rated, turn-based 4X space strategy game by Amplitude studio. The action of Endless Space 2 takes us once again into the distant future where we can take part in a galactic conflict between the great races fighting struggling for control over a fragment of the universe. Both our empire management and battles take place in a turn-based system, and the player's task is to explore the universe, take control of individual planets, create a functioning economy, develop new technologies, and establish trade and diplomatic relations. The military aspect plays a key role in the game, featuring an advanced ship construction module, allowing us to personally choose the individual components of our ship. The game's virtual universe is randomly generated, providing unique adventures and challenges with each new game.
The third installment in a fantasy game series launched in 2003, which combines elements of RTS and RPG. The title was produced by Grimlore Games, a studio founded by the series’ publisher, which employs some of creators of the first two SpellForce games. Story-wise, SpellForce 3 is a prequel to the previous titles. It is set in times, when this fantasy world was still a vast, unified continent. This obviously affected the structure of locations, which are no longer solitary islands connected by portals. In terms of gameplay mechanics, the developers used the well-proven solutions making up a strategy game, in which you build a base, recruit army, and fight battles. At the same time, the strategic gameplay is enriched with the addition of such elements as heroes of different classes and skills, a character progression system, and story-driven missions with subquests – like in a classic RPG. The game features also multiplayer gameplay available through the Spellforce.net online platform.
A real-time strategy taking place in a fantasy universe inspired by Nordic mythology and the Viking way of life. Northgard allows the players to lead a group of Vikings, who after years of tedious exploration have found a mysterious, resource-rich land. To attain their goal of fame and fortune, they will have to face numerous dangers scattered across the new land. Northgard’s gameplay is based on classic real-time strategy games such as Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, or The Settlers. Aside from resource gathering, building settlements, and battles with dozens of units, the game introduces survival elements - the player receives the duty of keeping his clan safe through long, frosty winters. The clan will be facing bloodthirsty wolves, undead warriors, and various mythical creatures, including giants, with whom we can create an alliance. Northgard employs 3D graphics with a light, cartoonish design, while the game itself is seen from an isometric perspective.
Strategy 26 May 2017
Remake of a bestselling economic strategy game released in 1997, prepared by creators of the original – British studio System 3 Software. In the game we take on the role of an owner of a construction company, and our goal is to develop a thriving business and eliminate competition, always breathing down our neck. During the game we have to take care of raw materials supply, such as concrete or wood, and construct customer-fit houses which, when sold or rented, will give us a reasonable profit. A characteristic feature of the title is the possibility to take advantage of various not always lawful methods of undermining the competition. We can bribe protesting hippies, psychopaths, thieves, or saboteurs, and in the later stages of the game also cooperate with mafia. The main feature of the refreshed version of Constructor are its HD resolution graphics. Creators decided not to interfere with the classic gameplay mechanics, keeping also the large dose of humor that traditionally accompanies our struggle.
Life is Feudal: Forest Village
A city builder strategy game created by Mindillusion. The player is placed in charge of an early-medieval settlement. One's prime goal here is to maintain an appropriate balance between expanding the village and being able to survive in a hostile environment. Thus, apart from utilizing more and more space, constructing new buildings and upgrading the existing ones, the player has to give proper winter clothing to their subordinates and deliver them with balanced meals. The last can be achieved through growing different kinds of plants, breeding animals and storing food; making light of these aspects can result in dangerous epidemics. Apart from that, the player's village can fall victim to attacks of predators and various natural disasters, such as tornadoes or storms, which can cause a fire. All such events affect the spirit of the villagers, which is reflected by a special meter - unhappy workers become less productive. Life is Feudal: Forest Village offers a three-dimensional environment. Interestingly, the player can switch between an isometric view and first-person perspectives (as one of his subjects).
Sudden Strike 4
Strategy 31 May 2017
The fourth installment in the series of real-time war strategies started in 2000 by Fireglow studio. After the franchise was taken over by Kalypso Media, the task of creating a new installment was given to the young team from Kite Games. Similarly as previous installments of the saga, Sudden Strike 4 takes place during World War II. In the game the player controls the armed forces of Germany, USA, Great Britain and Soviet Union, participating in battles during three large story campaigns and multiplayer skirmishes. The players can choose from more than one hundred varied units and from large variety of tactical options such as ambushes, using buildings as strong points, calling for air support or taking advantage of tanks' weak points. The greatest novelty introduced in this installment are much larger maps and the addition of nine generals based on historical figures. Their unique abilities can turn the tide of battle.
A strategy game set in a science-fiction world in which we supervise an extraterrestrial colony. It has been developed by debuting independent studio Ludeon, established by a former employee of Irrational Games, who previously worked on the Bioshock series. The story of RimWorld takes place in a future in which humanity colonized many alien star systems, but they are located so far from each other that their inhabitants cannot count on anyone, but themselves. We take command over a small group of survivors of a colony space ship, with our task being to maintain the development and provide safety to our base. Aside from building structures and gathering food and resources we must assign each colonist with a task adequate to his or her skills. RimWorld features a unique complex tactical combat system and three independent AI systems that – depending on the situation – will generate random story arcs, making sure to maintain a proper level of drama throughout the gameplay.
The Guild 3
A third part in the Medieval-themed economic strategy game series with RPG elements, whose first installment was created in 2002 by JoWooD Entertainment. This time, developed by Nordic Games, The Guild 3 combines the key features of its predecessors with modern visuals as well as numerous novelties and improvements in the game mechanics. Once again we visit a medieval world, filled with wars, conflicts, and political schemes to slowly rise to the top. The iconic feature of the gameplay is the freedom in choosing our path to success. Depending on player’s preferences, we can pursue our goal as an aristocrat, a merchant, a criminal or virtually anyone else.
The third installment in a war-themed RTS game series, whose previous editions were released in the years 2003-2007. The game was developed by Russian studio Nival Interactive, also known for Rage of Mages, Silent Storm, and the fifth installment in the cult Heroes of Might & Magic series. In contrast to its predecessors, Blitzkrieg 3 focuses mainly on multiplayer gameplay and is available as a free-to-play game with microtransactions. However, the developers did not forget completely about enthusiasts of solo playing – they can buy a single player campaign as a paid DLC. Gameplay mechanics follows well-proven solutions, whereas changes brought by this new installment mostly boil down to audio-visual improvements. Fully 3D graphics is much more detailed, there are new effects of explosions, as well as better-looking and fully destructible environment.
A strategy game set in a unique sci-fi universe, developed by American studio Snapshot Games. Inspired by horror movies and the works of H. P. Lovecraft, the story of Phoenix Point takes place in 2046, when an ancient virus is relentlessly attacking all life forms, transforming them into mutated monsters. Mechanics-wise, the game is based on the X-COM series. You take control of the last bastion of humanity, caring about its development and safety. You spend most of the gameplay fighting turn-based battles with your foes, taking place on procedurally generated maps, but you also use the world map to gather the necessary resources, as well as to search for other settlements and do the missions received there. You can also contact other factions and use their unique technology and weapons.
Strategy August 2017
A refreshed version of the bestselling RTS game, which came out in 1998. Both the versions were developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Compared to the original release, the game (enriched with the Brood War expansion) introduces significantly improved audiovisuals above all. Although the visuals remain two-dimensional, all the graphical elements have become richer in detail. Furthermore, the game supports high resolution settings (also, 4K), as well as refreshed audio, which also applies to dialogues between characters. Changes were introduced to the game's online component as well, thus StarCraft: Remastered offers an advanced system of matchmaking, an ability to store one's save files in the cloud, quick button re-mapping, and easy access to fan-made maps and replays. The mechanics remain unchanged - it is still a traditional RTS game, which features three playable races (the Terrans representing humanity, the Protoss, and the Zerg). The experience is based on gathering resources, building one's base, conducting research, producing units, and fighting enemies - in combat, taking advantage of both the enemy's weak spots and the strong spots of the player's forces, constitutes the key to success. Apart from six story campaigns (two for each of the races), the game offers an extensive multiplayer component comprised of different game modes.
Kingdoms and Castles
An economic strategy game developed by Lion Shield, a team set up by former members of Maxis – the studio behind the SimCity series. In contrast to the aforementioned franchise, Kingdom and Castles is set in a fantasy world. You take the role of the manager of a small village which you are to develop and transform into a thriving city with a castle able to withstand enemy attacks. During gameplay, you need to gather resources necessary for putting up buildings. Also, you need to skilfully manage farms so as to feed all your peasants. However, if you forget that seasons in this title change, you might face famine. You have to strike a balance between the satisfaction of the inhabitants and the tax rates you impose on them. The objective is to defend your city from Viking raids and dragons attacks. To survive, you need to build castles with defensive walls and watchtowers.
A free-to-play real-time strategy game by Wildfire Games, a studio founded by developers and gamers who work for free in their spare time. Initially, the title was supposed to be a mod for Age of Empires II but eventually it was ported to a new engine and made available as a standalone production. The main goal of its creators was to present the most important civilizations that existed on Earth between the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD. In 0 A.D., we take part in a completely fictional conflict, although the game stays faithful to history in terms of weapons, buildings, and so on. The gameplay involves controlling a nation of our choosing and developing it throughout centuries. The player has to erect buildings, produce food, and acquire resources necessary for expansion. Apart from these, we also have to prepare for potential wars by recruiting soldiers that will repel enemy invasions or conquer nearby settlements or cities.
Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
Strategy 18 May 2017
Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit is the fourth expansion to Cities: Skylines developed by the Finnish studio Colossal Order. Mass Transit requires the base game to be playable. This add-on expands the aspects of public transport, introducing new means of transportation for our citizens to use. Now, people who live in our virtual cities can travel by ferries, cable cars, monorails, or even by zeppelins. Communication centers, special buildings where quick transfers between buses or means of transportation happen, play a crucial role in this expansion. The list of novelties introduced by Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit is closed by new types of roads, bridges, buildings, and political plans. The expansion also introduces bonus scenarios where players will have to face challenges connected with traffic management and solving communication problems.
Total War: Warhammer II
Another installment in a popular series of strategy games created by Creative Assembly. Unlike the first part of the subseries, which was set in the Old World, this time the players travel to the west, where they wage a war across four continents: Ulthuan, Naggaroth, Southern Realms, and Lustria. Four races take part in the conflict, i.e. the High Elves, the Dark Elves, the Lizardmen, and the Skaven. Each of these factions fights for control over the Great Vortex, which they can heal or disperse using various rituals. Once more, gameplay in Total War: Warhammer II is based on two pillars. In a strategy map view you move your armies, manage economy and expand cities (all this in turns), while battles are waged in real time on 3D battlefields. Each race has its unique mechanics, units and heroes. Besides, owners of the first and second game can download a huge map that combines both game worlds. This way you can play a campaign of truly epic scale while controlling any of the factions available in Total War: Warhammer and its sequel.
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
A grotesque strategy game from the developers responsible for such curious projects as Square Brawl and Clustertruck. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator allows the players to control an army of colored humanoids. We spend our money on infantry, archers, pikemen, or siege machines, such as ballistae and catapults. Each battle begins with a planning phase where we can set the formation and tactics employed by our forces, and then watch the results of these decisions in a three-dimensional environment. The physics engine implemented in the game is one of its highlights – the troops’ animations and ragdoll effects, as well as projectile trajectories and impacts are calculated on the fly, creating spectacular, or more often, funny situations. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is characterized by its sterile visuals – angular character models and objects are coated with uniform, very simple textures, which emphasizes the absurdity of the game.
Strategy August 2017
Controversial city builder game, showing the absurd and cruelty of communism in Russia. The game was developed by Polish studio Chicken in the Corn, the developers of a dark adventure game 1heart. In Soviet City, we assume the role of a Soviet mayor, whose task is to develop the town, and sustain the strong-arm regime. This task requires not only the construction of buildings and necessary infrastructure. The important aspect is a skillful use of various methods to influence the citizens – including terror – in order to fulfill the system's objectives, but avoid stirring a rebellion. Therefore, in order for the city to properly function, one has to not only manage efficiently, but also exercise constant control over the citizens, even resorting to ruthless intimidation. Soviet City is single player-only game, designed with short sessions in mind, each of them offering randomly generated town with different starting conditions and various goals to achieve. The grim flavor of the gameplay is emphasized by dark and tawny colors, and a climatic soundtrack.
An independent economic strategy game in which we develop and manage a network of factories on a hazardous planet. The title was created by two Czech programmers who drew inspiration from such classics as SimCity, Civilization and Transport Tycoon. Our responsibilities include taking care of resource supply, vital to erecting more buildings, constant development of our property, and introducing new technologies we invent in special research facilities. We also have to ensure our plants’ security for they are being constantly targeted by the planet’s natives. All of the aforementioned elements are joined together by a quite complex system of dependencies — because factories are more than buildings, they require equipment, armaments and adequate transportation network. The game’s 2D graphics are minimalistic and keep the player occupied with gameplay.
An original strategy game with RPG elements, taking place in a unique dieselpunk universe of 1920+, created by a Polish concept artist Jakub Ró¿añski. The game portrays an alternative history of Europe at the turn of the 19th century, in which humanity used their knowledge and means to build powerful walking machines, used not only in battle but also e.g. in agriculture. Thus the gameplay features not only the cavalry, airplanes and prototype tanks, but also rather primitive and awkward mechs, seemingly not of this age. At the same time, the game is firmly grounded in Polish history and references important events such as the Battle of Warsaw.
An online science fiction strategy game by Sparkypants Studios, combining elements of a classical RTS with elements of modern MOBA productions. The action of Dropzone is set in times when humanity’s future is dependent on the mysterious energy source called the Core, and the only place where it can be found is Europa, one of the Jupiter’s moons. The problem is that the place is also a target for the alien race of Kavash. While playing, we control powerful battle mechs and our goal is to defeat the aliens as well as gather the necessary energy. The gameplay is similar to that of classic RTS productions but the developers completely dropped the base building element, focusing solely on tactical battles between two three-member teams. Skirmishes take place on small maps and usually last about 15 minutes. Both teams have to defeat their opponents and take control of the Core located in the middle of the map.