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 contents of the basic version of the original game and of the Rise of Rome expansion pack. The single player scenarios were expanded with new narrative features. In Age of Empires: Definitive Edition the player is leading civilizations from various regions of the world to war. The gameplay is focused on expanding the base, obtaining resources, recruiting army and participating in dynamic battles. A modernized interface makes controlling the battlefield easier. In addition to single player modes, the title offers multiplayer mode based on Xbox Live.
An open-world economic tycoon game that focuses on managing a railroad company. The credit for developing this title goes to a Czech gamemaker - Jan Zeleny, who worked on the game for many years. Inspired by such classics as Transport Tycoon or Railroad Tycoon II, Mashinky gives us an opportunity to lay tracks, build and upgrade stations, work on new models of engines, and even to view the game world through the eyes of a train driver in charge of keeping the machine on the route set by the player. Apart from an FPP view and an aerial view, which is typical for strategies, Mashinky brings a special, schematic-isometric perspective that displays the map in the form of a legible engineering grid. This view mode is used to create new intersections of tracks and to mark spots for new structures. The game's economic system is definitely its distinctive feature, as it is not based on virtual money, but rather, on tokens inspired by board games. Those can be obtained through completing various assignments, and can be spent, for instance, on upgrading one's rolling stock - the electric tokens obtained through delivering fuel to a power plant allow the player to make progress towards electric trains. Because the game world is generated procedurally, each playthrough is a unique adventure.
Jurassic World: Evolution
Created by the seasoned developers from Frontier Developments – a studio known for creating the RollerCoaster Tycoon series) – Jurassic World: Evolution is an economy strategy game set in the universe created for the movie series of Jurassic Park/Jurassic World. The action of the game takes players to a near future, in which human scientists managed to develop a technology allowing them to recreate the DNA of prehistoric reptiles. During the game, a player assumes the role of a manager of an amusement park, in which visitors can see with their own eyes the dinosaurs brought back to life. As befits a tycoon game, the player is tasked with creating and exhibiting new species of the reptiles as well as taking care of the entire park’s infrastructure, visitors’ security, and a number of additional attractions. The main aspect of Jurassic World: Evolution is economy – all actions a player takes have to be aimed at the constant development of the park and increasing the venture’s profitability.
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.
Age of Empires IV
The fourth full-fledged installment of the famous series of real time strategy games. The saga is considered as one of the most important in the history of the genre. Contrary to previous games in the series that were developed by the now defunct Ensemble Studios, Age of Empires IV was developed by Relic Entertainment, a studio that created series like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. The mechanics of Age of Empires IV are faithful to its predecessors. The player takes control of one of a few civilizations (among them there are European, Asian and Arabian ones) and he leads it through phases of evolution. During the game the player is gathering resources, constructing new buildings and creating powerful and varied armies. In addition to singleplayer mode, the title features an advanced multiplayer mode that enables the player to face other commanders from across the whole world.
Strategy March 2018
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.
Strategy 07 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.
Another installment in the popular economy strategy series published by Ubisoft and since 2011, developed by Blue Byte Software - Ubisoft's subsidiary studio known for working on The Settlers series. Like the previous installments in the Anno series set across centuries, in Anno 1800, a player assumes the role of a steward tasked with establishing a prosperous metropolis. One begins with a minor settlement inhabited by a handful of subjects, who have to gather resources, erect new buildings, and create complex trade relations allowing for the fast development of the city infrastructure. During the game, a player also has to tend to the needs of the settlers and properly balance the budget, which at times of crisis can be patched up with trading the goods and increasing taxes. Diplomacy is also an important aspect of the game, as it allows a player to establish various relations, enter alliances, and wage wars with the neighboring states.
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.
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.
Ancestors Legacy is a complex real-time strategy game developed by the Polish independent studio Destructive Creations. The game takes place in Medieval times and its single player campaign is based on the actual historical events. We can play as one of the four available factions: Slavs, Germanic peoples, Vikings, and Anglo-Saxons. In terms of gameplay, Ancestors Legacy focuses on large-scale battles. Figuring out good tactics that includes the layout of the land and skillfully flanking our enemy are the key elements that will lead us to victory. In addition to open-field battles, we can also besiege our enemies' cities and villages. We will also have to pay some attention to the economic side of our conquest (i.e. gathering materials and resources, upgrading and improving our headquarters). What makes Ancestors Legacy stand out among the similar games is the low entry threshold – both newcomers and experienced players will feel like home when playing the game.
A real-time strategy game enriched with elements of RPGs, city builders, and survival games. Ancient Cities was developed by the independent Uncasual Games. The player assumes the role of a tribal leader living in the Neolithic era. The tasks of the player are to provide shelter and protection against predators for the members of the tribe, as well as to obtain sufficient amounts of food. Gathering resources (the whole in-game economy is based on them) resembles a survival game, as flora and fauna are simulated within a dynamic ecosystem. Consequently, wild plants and animals are soon not enough to sustain a tribe which grows constantly. In harsh periods, the player has to distribute supplies wisely - for instance, foods get naturally degraded over time. Things can also get complicated as a result of sudden climatic changes and natural disasters - one oftentimes has to decide whether to stay in one's settlement and try to survive a difficult period, or to abandon the base in search for a safer zone. Alongside progression, the player unlocks new upgrades in the extensive technology tree, which allows to improve one's methods of crafting tools and cultivation, making the tribe's existence easier in so doing. Members of the tribe are described by individual sets of statistics, talents and skills. These mechanisms are complemented by having more or less friendly relations with other tribes.
Total War: Arena
A strategy game that combines elements of RTS and MOBA productions, and a spin-off to the bestselling Total War series, distributed as a free-to-play game with optional microtransactions. Total War: Arena lets you take part in massive battles for up to 20 players grouped into two rivaling teams. Each contestant has three units to command, consisting of no more than 500 men each. The crew of Creative Assembly have decided to lift up the historical boundaries, so that now armies from completely different periods and civilizations can fight in one battle. Gameplay is focused on cooperation between players and skillful use of unique abilities of individual commanders.
Strategy Thursday, 19 October 2017
Bomber Crew is a hybrid of a strategy game and a simulator, with some additional RPG elements. Developed by Runner Duck, the game allows a player to assume the role of a WWII captain commanding a bomber crew. During the game, one has to complete numerous missions, which involve eliminating strategically important military targets and making reconnaissance behind the enemy lines. The gameplay is divided into two parts – the preparation stage involves selecting recruits as a bomber crew has to comprise a pilot, a mechanic, gunners, a radio operator, a navigator, and a gun loader. A player should pay close attention to the recruits he selects, as their death on the battlefield is permanent. When airborne, one has to monitor the condition of both his crew and his plane, as consecutive subsystems might break down – a spot-on shot on the plane’s tail might result in losing the maneuverability, similarly to a burning engine. Thus, during each mission, a player has to repair his plane. After completing a mission (when over a target, a player gets to operate the on-board systems in order to photograph the target or bomb it), one has to return home safely – provided he has enough fuel. Bomber Crew is bound to attract players’ attention with its colorful visuals and dynamic vessel damage system.
An economic tycoon game that enables the player to assume the role of an airport director. The title was developed by Swedish studio Apoapsis Studios and it challenges the player with designing and expanding a well-working complex consisting of many coexisting installations: starting lines, control towers, bus stops, sidewalks, roads etc. The most important part of the airport is the terminal – a building in which the passengers are checking in, waiting for the plane, visiting bars, shops and toilets. The freedom in designing the look of the terminal enables the player to decide about the placement of each seat and plant. However, the placement of the key objects is most important: information points, security gates, toilets. Player must also hire personnel and cleaners. At some point it is possible to sign contracts with airlines and create connections with other cities. Arriving planes will bring and take many passengers – each with unique traits and needs.
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.
Farm Manager 2018
Farm Manager 2018 is an economy strategy game developed by the Polish Cleversan Software. In the game, a player gets to assume the role of a modern arable farm manager and is tasked with planting over twenty types of crops, taking care of the plants, and harvesting what he sows. There is also the option to breed animals. With time, a player gains access to the ready products, which he can use to improve his production processes. Moreover, one can hire additional workers and a wide range of agricultural machinery. To properly manage one's farm, he also has to erect buildings and pay attention to changing weather conditions. Everything has to be balanced in order to properly manage incomes and costs. The game offers a single player campaign comprising separate scenarios with particular tasks to accomplish as well as the free mode in which one can develop his farm without any limitations or predefined assignments.
Total War: Warhammer - Mortal Empires
A free expansion for the strategy game Total War: Warhammer II. The add-on was developed by the creators of the original, i.e. Creative Assemble. The Mortal Empires DLC is offered exclusively to the owners of the first two games in the series, as it introduces the third game mode, which is a joint campaign. The add-on joins the grand campaigns from both the first Total War: Warhammer and its sequel, but it does not do it by simply combining the two maps – the campaign is set in the Old World with some of the most essential territories added, namely, Ulthuan, Naggaroth, Southlands and Lustria. The area consists of the total of 295 settlements controlled by 117 playable and non-playable factions. It is also worth noting that Total War: Warhammer - Mortal Empires does not bring any important changes to gameplay mechanics. Gameplay still consists of two phases – in the first one you manage your nation on a strategic world map, but whenever there is a clash between two armies you get to take part in a huge battle of thousands of units fought in real time. Nevertheless, the expansion includes all the innovations and improvements brought forth by Total War: Warhammer II. Besides, every other DLC and “free-LC” is also available in the Mortal Empires mode, thus further expanding the joint campaign map.
Party Hard 2
Strategy December 2017
Party Hard 2 is a sequel to the brutal action stealth game developed by PinoklGames. Party Hard 2 takes place ten years after the events of the first game and we control a new hero: a frustrated corporation employee who hopes to get a Christmas bonus from his employer. When it turns out that he will not receive it, he decides to take matters in his own hands and plans a bloody retaliation on his boss and co-workers. He chooses one the company's social events. Gameplay uses the same mechanics we saw in the first game. Our protagonist's goal is to eliminate the event's participants in such a way that nobody catches us. To achieve that, we have to act tactically and make use of many weapons, traps, and gadgets. Unlike its predecessor, Party Hard 2 has 3D visuals. Thanks to that, our hero can employ many new possibilities.
Strategy March 2018
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.
Assassin's Creed Rebellion
Strategy December 2017
Strategy game with RPG elements, in which you manage a fortress of the eponymous Assassin Brotherhood and lead a self-composed team of assassins. The title was developed by Canadian team Behavior Interactive Studio. Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is set in the 15th-century Spain, where you confront the Inquisition. The Brotherhood is made up of over forty characters, featuring both famous characters from Assassin’s Creed video games and the movie as well as twenty completely new individuals. The fortress in your command is the main base of operation for your men, from where they set out for missions in teams of up to three members. As you advance to new progression levels, you are able to expand the fortress with new rooms and purchase equipment. On the other hand, while performing specific tasks (which require heroes with specific abilities), you gain DNA fragments (unlocking more Assassins), raw materials (for improving existing units), and crafting materials (needed to create better equipment). Against a background of other Assassin's Creed games, Rebellion is distinguished by its graphics design, based on Chibi stylistics.
One of the installments in the economy strategy game series started in 2001 - Tropico. The game has been developed by Limbic Entertainment - the creators of Might & Magic X: Legacy and Might & Magic: Heroes VII. In Tropico 6, a player assumes the role of El Presidente - the leader of a banana republic. The objective is to manage the country by developing the cities, providing the citizens with jobs, fixing the damage caused by various natural disasters, as well as issuing decrees that shape both domestic and foreign policies. One of the novelties delivered by Tropico 6 is the fact that the action of the game no longer takes place on a single island - instead, the country is spread between multiple islands, all of which have to be managed by a player at the same time. These islands can be connected by bridges and tunnels. The game also features the agents, who can be dispatched to different corners of the world to - not entirely legally - obtain blueprints of certain structures, such as the Statue of Liberty and The Eiffel Tower. Moreover, the developers decided to allow players to modify the main palace and appear before the society. During a speech, a player can e.g. make populistic promises.
Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
Strategy December 2017
Another expansion to Cities: Skylines - a popular city builder strategy game developed by Colossal Order. As the title might suggest, this add-on allows a player to create environment-friendly cities. Apart from over two hundred new buildings (e.g. shops selling healthy food), Green Cities introduces new specializations for particular districts (which can be developed as one progresses through the game), four new types of regulations, and a number of cosmetic novelties - a player can erect a special monument to honor his services to the environment. Even though in Cities: Skylines - Green Cities, one can erect entirely new and eco-friendly cities, which do not pollute the environment at all, there is nothing standing on his way to utilize the new solutions for the infrastructures he has already built, e.g. to balance the previous construction plans.
Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
Strategy December 2017
Another one of the numerous expansions to the popular turn-based strategy game Europa Universalis IV developed by Paradox Development Studio. Cradle of Civilization focuses on expanding features related to the Middle East and Muslim empires. It introduces many new solutions like new types of governments, the possibility to create Muslim schools that enable the player to increase diplomatic power and the possibility to create trading policies by assigning missions to the merchants – the missions aren’t necessarily focused on earning money. The list of key novelties is supplemented by: greater influence over the army (for example, it is possible to create military discipline) and the option to abuse specific provinces (easy money is balanced by slower development in long term). All of it is based on same technology as the one used in the base game and it doesn’t introduce any novelties to graphics or sounds of the game.