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.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
A refreshed version of Age of Empires, a real-time strategy game that debuted in 1997. Microsoft, the company responsible for the new version, focused not only on improving the graphics so that they now support 4K resolution, but on recording a new version of the symphonic soundtrack as well. The title contains the content of the basic version of the original game and of the Rise of Rome expansion pack. The singleplayer scenarios were expanded with new narrative features. In Age of Empires: Definitive Edition the player is leading civilizations from various areas of the world to war. The gameplay is focused on expanding the base, obtaining resources, recruiting army and participating in dynamical battles. A modernized interface makes controlling the battlefield easier. In addition to singleplayer modes, the title offers multiplayer mode based on Xbox Live.
Strategy December 2017
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.
Total War: Warhammer II
Strategy September 2017
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.
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).
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.
Sudden Strike 4
Strategy 11 August 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.
BattleTech, developed by Harebrained Schemes studio, known for Shadowrun, is a tactical battle game, which is a refreshed edition of a game released for PC in the 80s, as one of the first games by Westwood (Command & Conquer). The work was overseen by Jordan Weisman himself – the developer of the acclaimed series, MechWarrior, as well as the original BattleTech tabletop from 1984. The game is set in the year 3025, in a universe in which influential noble houses compete for dominance over individual zones of the Galaxy. In terms of mechanics, the game is a turn-based strategy with RPG elements, in which powerful mechs take the center stage. The centerpiece of the gameplay is a complex and partly non-linear story campaign, but the developers also provide a possibility to play with others in a multiplayer.
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 25 July 2017
A city builder strategy game developed by the independent studio Mothership Entertainment. The player arrives at the planet Aven Prime, assuming the role of the founder of one of one of the first extraterrestrial colonies. His tasks include expansion and settlement of new areas, taking care of the settlement’s technological infrastructure and the morale of its inhabitants, as well as fighting dangerous fauna and results of extreme weather conditions. The action takes place in varied environments: starting from swamps, through deserts, to icy polar regions, which influences the conditions in subsequent missions. The core of Aven Colony is the single player story campaign. The game also features a sandbox mode where we have no additional tasks apart from commanding a space base. The production’s graphics are high-quality not only because of the well-designed environments but also thanks to interesting designs of futuristic buildings.
Strategy August 2017
An upgraded version of the bestselling 1998 RTS game. Both versions were developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Compared to the original release, the game (including the Brood War expansion) features mainly significantly improved audiovisuals. Although the visuals remain two-dimensional, all the graphic elements have become more detailed. Furthermore, the game supports high resolutions (up to 4K), as well as refreshed audio, which also applies to dialogues between characters. Changes were introduced to the game's online component as well - StarCraft: Remastered offers an advanced system of matchmaking, the option 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 - the game is a classic RTS, featuring three playable races (the Terrans, the Protoss, and the Zerg). The gameplay 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 with various game modes.
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.
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.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Heroes of Skyrim
Strategy Thursday, 29 June 2017
Kingdoms and Castles
Strategy December 2017
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.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
Strategy August 2017
An expansion to XCOM 2 developed by Firaxis Games studio. Its story focuses on titular Chosen – a new type of agents at ADVENT’s hire, who try to capture the leader of XCOM group. To achieve this, those merciless specialists kidnap his followers and torture them to gather valuable information. They are so effective that they can break to strategic plane and destroy our global operations. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen introduces three rebel factions (Reapers, Skirmishers and Templars), with which we must keep good relationships if we hope for their assistance. Aliens also received reinforcements, with three more deadly species in their ranks. Additionally, ruins of long gone metropolis are inhabited by Lost, consisting of mutated humans who hate both us and ADVENT. Thanks to this expansion, the campaign has been expanded with new locations and objectives. There are also additional abilities for soldier and newly introduced SITREP system, which randomizes some parts of missions to bring more variety to the game. The list of novelties is closed with special challenge mode, in which players engage in tasks given by creators themselves.
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.
Call to Arms
A military real-time strategy with action game features, developed by Digitalmindsoft, the studio that created the popular Men of War series together with Best Way. Unlike the aforementioned series, Call to Arms takes place in modern times, giving us access to weaponry used by present armies (e.g. M1 Abrams tank or the Humvee). Players can choose from two factions, a dozen of vehicles, artillery units and more than 60 types of handheld weapons, which can also be modified as the game progress by adding scopes, rifle butts, barrels etc. A certain novelty is the so-called direct control mode, which allows us to play as any unit and take part in the battle from third-person perspective. As far as the technical side is considered, the game uses a modified version of engine that was used in last parts of the Men of War series.
Wargroove is a turn-based strategy inspired by Advance Wars and Fire Emblem game series. It was developed by Chucklefish. The game is made of twelve story campaigns where can play as a dozen or so heroes, each of them leading their own military units. As we play, we move around the game's map (we observe the action from a bird's eye perspective), gather resources, manage our army, and fight with our opponents. Exploration, both on land and sea, plays a crucial role in the game. Wargroove also offers a competitive multiplayer (local or online). The game comes with a special editor that allows us to create our own campaigns. Thanks to its simple and intuitive interface our maps and missions are created in no time.
A sandbox economic strategy game developed by Radiant Entertainment, a debuting studio employing a team of two. The game is set in a medieval realm featuring fantasy elements, and the task of the players is to build a village and transform it into a vibrant city. In order to do this, it is necessary to collect raw materials and food as well as take care of the residents' safety. Thus we can focus our development on army, trade, or religion, or combine elements of different strategies. The key element is the growth of the population: each settler has his own profession, gathering experience and advancing to higher levels of specialization. During the game we must also face competing nations and monsters by participating in real-time battles. There is also a peaceful mode, in which we focus solely on developing the city. The fun is further enhanced by a set of user-friendly modding tools.