For this part of awards, these are my favorite games that either fall into the strategy or tactical genres.
It Could Have Been a Contender: Dwarf Fortress
I unfortunately didn’t get a press key to try out the newly released Dwarf Fortress, but it is on my list at some point to play and see how well does one of the most famous sim-style games is doing.
The I Have No Idea What I’m Doing Award: Terra Invicta
The creators of the long way mod for XCOM and XCOM2 have decided their first original game is a 4X macro-styled take on running one of the mysterious organizations of a XCOM situation when aliens first appear in our system. The game is incredibly deep, complicated, and I have no idea what to do in it. This is the game for people who find Paradox Interactive games too simple to play.
#3 Hero’s Hour
An indie take on the Heroes of Might and Magic formula, Hero’s Hour is a big game in a small package. This isn’t the first indie game to combine turn-based city-building and strategy with building armies for smaller-scale battles, but it’s easy to get into. With the announcement of a new Age of Wonders games, this style of strategy/RPG gameplay seems to be making a huge return.
#2 Marvel Midnight Suns
While we may not be getting an XCOM 3 from Firaxis anytime soon, the company has still delivered on one of the best strategy games of 2022 with Midnight Suns. Combining RPG, deck building, and tactical play, into one of the most enjoyable combat systems I’ve seen in some time. The entire Marvel aspect of it doesn’t quite interest me, but I love the different deck styles tied to the various characters, and this is a great example of simplifying UI design.
I would play this a lot more if it wasn’t for me waiting for all the DLC to come out so I can do one massive play, along with bug fixes and patches done. If you’re a Marvel fan, a strategy fan, and/or a deck building fan, this is the game to play.
#1: Warriors of the Nile 2
The first Warriors of the Nile was a great mix of tactical combat with roguelike design. With the sequel, the developers have greatly expanded on the first game’s premise and concept to create an all-around bigger and better sequel. There are more classes to use, more persistence, challenges, and more. Like the first game, you’ll be leading your chosen team of three into turn-based combat against arenas of enemies. Positioning and proper use of each character’s unique abilities is key to survival. The upgrades once again can radically change your run and turn characters into game-breaking monsters.