Video Game Genres – Strategy

Strategy games are where you sit around and think about playing instead of actually doing it. They’re contemplative, measured, sometimes very boring. XCOM, Stellaris, and Kingdom – the gang’s all here.

The Shrouded Isle: Cult vs Democracy

Alright, let me pitch you a game. You run a cult, and you have to keep all your villagers in line, and you do that by cultivating in them certain virtues – or vices, rather – ignorance, fervour, discipline, penitence, and obedience. Every season you can investigate different villagers, root out people who might be […]

Bad North: On Beauty and Strategy

I’ve recently been playing Bad North, a real-time strategy game where you move dudes around on an island to fend off Viking sea raiders. It’s really elegant. At any given moment, the distribution of your troops across the island seems ornate, deliberate, like dancers spread across a stage. It’s not just me putting them in […]

Northgard: On Space

Here’s a fun little one. I’ve been playing a bunch of Northgard recently – in line with my established practice of buying one game thinking it’s another, I bought Northgard after reading about Wartile and Bad North and thinking Northgard was somehow both of them. Honestly not sure how this keeps happening. Anyway, it’s not a total write-off – it did have some […]

Stellaris: The Commercial Space Race

Note: I wrote this post in late October, not knowing that the Megacorp DLC was coming out. I haven’t gone back to Stellaris since, but it’d be interesting to revisit it now and see how everything’s changed. Apologies for the slightly dated argument. As with last week, I want to focus on one small little element of […]

Inconsistency in Stellaris and Endless Legend

So if you haven’t played Stellaris, it’s a space 4X strategy game from the team that made Crusader Kings and all that other real high-maintenance crap. Stellaris is easily the most approachable of their games, and today I wanted to talk about how it does combat, especially compared with Endless Legend. Now Endless Legend is another 4X – it’s turn-based, rather than the […]

XCOM 2: Sequels & Failure

I’ve put something like 40-ish hours into XCOM 2 so far, and I still haven’t finished my first campaign. Partially this may be because I suck – so I play half a battle, get destroyed, have to reload the battle and start again. Still, I think there’s a message there about the game. Usually when […]

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