Warriors prepare to fight in one of Symphony of War's tactical battles.

screenshot: Dancing Dragon Game

The raft is done Interesting strategy RPGs this yearBut one of my favorites so far A symphony of war. It’s been climbing the charts on Steam in recent months, and for good reason. From a distance it looks like another fire sign A knockoff closer it does enough interesting things to stand on its own, and I really recommend you give it a shot.

Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga Quietly came out on Steam in June and is racking up Positive reviews Ever since. Developed by an indie team called Dancing Dragon Games with a history of RPG Maker projects, this is a trope-filled military drama about civil war and monstrous threats. But you can ignore all that. Beneath the predictable plot and airbrushed character portraits is a deep strategy game that’s hard to put down. Personally, I think it’s even better in the strategy department than Triangular strategy.

Make no mistake: A symphony of war It’s old school. While new entries in fire sign The series goes deep Visual novel elements and relationship mechanics, it focuses almost exclusively on revamping the nuts and bolts of classic grid-based battles. That’s what works so well A symphony of war Basics also adds plenty of new wrinkles for fans to dig into (especially those who dig Last year Dark God).

Gif: Dancing Dragon Game / Kotaku

The biggest is that each individual unit represents an entire squad made up of several types of combatants. Maybe a few knights with pikemen up front while wizards and archers rain down death from behind. A mini-turn-based skirmish begins when two units move past each other and throw down. The witches in the back cast fireballs and healing spells while the knights in the front dish do melee damage. Battles unfold in two rounds, with the attackers taking the first turn and the defenders taking the second. Some fighters can only attack on the first or second turn, while others may occasionally get a bonus turn. The action is easy to follow and still opens up a lot of room for customization.

Adding more subtle levels of complexity are unique fighter bonuses and an extensive research tree. The cavalry attack first without retaliating. Infantry provide a defensive bonus to nearby units. And archers can naturally attack from a distance without facing counter-attacks. These and other statistics can then be enhanced and enhanced by researching new technologies. Instead of leveling up specific units, you’re increasing the overall capabilities of your army.

The map shows where grid-based combat takes place in Symphony of War.

screenshot: Dancing Dragon Game

In this way A symphony of war Makes you think like one sometimes 4X Strategist While playing like a traditional JRPG enthusiast. Instead of customizing a party and fighting your way through a dungeon, you’re creating a small army of them and taking over the entire battlefield. Completing missions faster and capturing enemy units and buildings will earn you extra money and points that can then be poured back into building your various crews. With just a few novel changes, the decades-old tactical JRPG formula feels fresh and modern again in 2022.

Recently some other games have also taken a hybrid approach to tactical RPGs. iron oath And Songs of victory Both come to mind. The former is a roguelike with battles taking place on a hexagonal grid. The latter also sports a hexagonal battlefield in service of map exploration and city-building closer to the 4X game. They’re really promising games in their own right (and still in Early Access), though they’re not focused on plumbing the room to take advantage of small advantages so that one group of animated sprites can wipe the floor with another.

A symphony of war It’s far from a perfect package, but it offers one of the more engaging and innovative strategy RPG formulas I’ve come across. over the years.