Upcoming Strategy Games 2020

By Admin 02 Sep 2020 6

2020 progressing at an alarming rate. We’ve compiled a list of strategy games still to come out this year, although it's not totally comprehensive, and all of the release date information is subject to change so expect to see this list updated even up till the last moment.

Header image is from Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition.

Upcoming Strategy Games Releasing in 2020

  • Manor Lords
  • Mars Horizon
  • The Commission: 1920
  • Iron Conflict
  • Empire of Sin
  • Age of Empires 4
  • Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition
  • Starship Troopers - Terran Command
  • Knights of Honor II: Sovereign
  • Per Aspera
  • Dominus Galaxia
  • Terra Invicta
  • Xenonauts 2
  • A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
  • Stellar Warfare
  • ICBM
  • Drone Swarm
  • Phoenix Point - Festering Skies DLC
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV - Strategy & Diplomacy Expansion

The Best Strategy Games of 2020 (so far)

This has already been a huge year for strategy games, and it shows now signs of slowing down. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Port Royale 4

Release Date: 25th September 2020

Port Royale 4 Release Date

Port Royale 4 is set in the 17th century Caribbean, with the player leading either the English, Spanish, French, or Dutch colonies through time. Expect to see emphasis on trade and production in your colonial cities as you seek to export goods back to Europe. This instalment also includes turn-based ship battles; because where ever there are games about the 17th century Caribbean, there are also pirates.

Age of Empires 3 - Definitive Edition

Release Date: October 15th, 2020

Microsoft still have one game left they haven't given the 'Definitive' treatment yet. Beta testing for the AoE 3 DE took place in January 2020, but it wasn't until the digital GamesCom show in late August that the Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition release date was finally revealed.

It's actually looking pretty good, to be fair, and is coming with new content along with the usual remastered graphics and other quality of life improvements. Next question is, when do we get Age of Empires 4?

Space Crew

Release Date: October 15th, 2020

Bomber Crew was a neat little strategy simulation game where you were in charge of a WW2 bomber plane and their crew. You have to try and keep your plan alive as long as possible while also completing missions. It was a light-hearted take on a serious subject matter, and everything was usually on fire. The same studio is returning with a new game called Space Crew which takes that same idea and propels it into spacccceee!

Space Crew will double down on all of the customsation and ship management elements, while also expanding the crew mechanics, and offering a sandbox style campaign element has you fly around trying to protect the Earth from aliens. What could go wrong?

Drone Swarm

Release Date: October 20th, 2020

I'm not actually convinced this will be a fun game, but it certainly looks pretty. Control a swarm of drones in a successive series of real-time tactical battles against hostile aliens. Due out by the end of the year.

Iron Conflict

Release Date: Q3 2020

This is multiplayer RTS game that looks to pitch an experience somewhere in-between a MOBA and something like World of Tanks. Featuring hardware from post-WW2 to the modern era, as the player you must assemble a squad of up to three units drawn from a roster the centres around Tanks, Aircraft and Infantry support. It actually reminds me a bit of what End of Nations became before it was shut down.

Iron Conflict will come with a focus on Teamwork, will feature 3v3, 5v5 and 10v10 matches.

Iron Conflict RTS

Stellar Warfare

Release Date: Unknown

stellar warfare release date

A new space-based RTS, Stellar Warfare sees the player customizing a fleet of ships and throwing them into the enemy in an effort to command the solar system. There are also layers of resource collecting and base-building, so this seems to hearken back to the days of the “traditional” RTS, but just in space instead of a 2D land map.

This was supposed to be releasing at the start of September, but when we checked again to update this entry we found that instead a closed Alpha had been launched towards the end og August 2020, with the developer (who does this in his spare time) going down the Patreon route instead. Not actually sure when this is going to get a general release (even if it's Early Access) but we'll keep an eye on it as it looks pretty.

Tactical Troops: Anthracite Shift

Release Date: Unknown - currently "post-poned"

Tactical Troops: Anthracite Shift is a top-down 2D turn-based tactical science-fiction game in which the player leads a small troop of elite soldiers through numerous hand-drawn levels in squad-based action. Positioning and expert use of the Overwatch ability is key, but your troops can also make use of state-of-the-art teleportation tech to crack choke-points and other tactical puzzles.

Manor Lords (Early Access)

Release Date: Fall 2020

Manor Lords at first glance appears to be the perfect blend of genres - medieval city-building/management, Banished style combined with real-time tactical combat layer that looks fresh out of Total War. This one got a lot of attention when it was first announced so we'll be eager to see how it shapes up. When it releases in the Fall it will be going into Early Access, where it's expected to remain for at least a year. Manor Lords is a one-man-band indie project, so it's worth tempering your expectations.

Realpolitiks 2

Release Date: Fall 2020

For those who are after something with a more political spin, global politics simulator Realpolitiks is getting a sequel this Fall. It's looking to double down several aspects concerned with governing a country in modern times, while also revamping the methods for 'conflict' - espionage, cyber-warfare and a new tactical battle interface.

The original didn't get great reviews, so we're hoping Realpolitiks 2 manages to turn things around.

Empire of Sin

Release Date: Fall 2020

Can't believe we forgot about this one when we first created the list. One of the big strategy hits of this year is undoubtedly going to be Brenda & John Romero's Empire of Sinwhich seeks to merge a Prohibition era Gangster RPG epic with the management and tactical engines of XCOM. If you ever played Kalypso's Omerta: City of Gangsters, this feels very similar, just with a much higher budget and more rooted in real historical characters and events.

The Commission: 1920

Release Date: 2020

This is a remake of 2018's The Commission, which is a grand strategy crime game set in the 1930's. It will represent a ‘definitive edition’ of the original game, while also featuring some new content such as new and improved rackets, intel on rival families and rewarding units for their hard work by assigning titles and granting benefits. It’s due for release sometime in the summer, although it'll need to be careful it doesn't clash with Empire of Sin.  

Dominus Galaxia

Release Date: Beta out now, full release likely in 2020

Dominus Galaxia release date

Dominus Galaxia is another space-faring, turn-based 4X, emphasizing active strategy rather than managing build queues. This seems to go against the very nature of 4Xs, but it seems to be working well for the team so far. Dominus Galaxia also features some solid hex-based ship combat, along with a customizable fleet, which is always great fun for those who love to conquer galaxies.

Starship Troopers - Terran Command

Release Date: TBA 2020

Who's have thought we'd get a new Starship Troopers game? And an RTS of all things! The chaps over at Slitherine managed to nab the license from whoever it is looking after the fort these days and are coming out with Starship Troopers - Terran CommandThis is a real-time tactical game where you take charge of the Mobile Infantry as they try to defend a Human colony world form the Arachnid threat. The aesthetic is very much the style of the primary movies, and it will feature a dynamic campaign, realistic terrain mechanics, tech trees and lots of different unit types. It's being made by the same people who made Order of Battle, but the visuals remind me of Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach, also from Slitherine.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game

Release Date: Q3 2020

A Game of Thrones The Board Game Digital Edition

Set to release later this year, A Game of Thrones: The Board GameThe Digital Game seeks to be a faithful adaptation of the source material, which by all accounts is a pretty solid board game. Through a mix of warring and politicking with up to 5 other players, you try to seize the Iron Throne. There’s tons of backstabbing in this one, so it's a good thing that as well as a solid solitaire mode vs. the AI, you've also got online AND local split/screen multiplayer as well.

It's being developed by Dire Wolf, who made the excellent Raiders of the North Seas digital adaptation and will be published by Asmodee Digital.

Age of Empires 4

Release Date: 2020

Age of Empires is back! We don’t know too much so far, admittedly, but what we do know is that Relic, developers of Company of Heroes, are working on the project along with another studio. We did see units from many different periods of time in the trailer, from Roman legions to British redcoats, with the noted inclusion of Native American warriors and Japanese samurai, so we can assume that the game is going to take place over a long stretch of time, with plenty of factions to choose from.

They also noted that they’re doing something “special” for the campaign, and they also managed to nab the composer for The Witcher 3, so there’s a lot to be excited for… sometime this year hopefully.

ICBM

Release Date: 2020

Slitherine are known for their more 'serious' strategy and war games, but they're capable of doing some more light-hearted stuff as well. They must have forgotten about that though when they announced ICBM. Following in the footsteps of Introversion's iconic DEFCON, this is a multiplayer strategy game about Thermonuclear annihilation. The trailer makes it look exactly like its muse, although there are a few more bells and whistles. Just what we need to make us feel better amidst all of 2020's Chaos. It's being developed by the same studio that made Polaris Sector, and is due out before the end of the year.

Knights of Honor II: Sovereign

Release Date: 2020

Knights of Honor II Sovereign release date

Another grand strategy game, Knights of Honor II: Sovereign puts the players in the shoes of a kingdom in the middle ages. Interestingly, the game is real-time, much like Paradox’s titles, but with RTS battles as well. The game also promises multiplayer and an 'accessible grand strategy' layer. We’re curious to see how the two game modes mingle with each other, as this seems to be an ambitious project.

Per Aspera

Release Date: 2020

Per Aspera is one of the few games on this list without combat, instead focusing on braving the harsh reality of setting up a colony on Mars. Per Aspera is a base-builder with the intent of eventually terraforming the entire planet of Mars. A daunting task, to be sure, but the boys back down at Houston will help you throughout the game. There are also important decisions to be made about the direction of your work that can affect the end-state of your terraforming efforts.

Terra Invicta

Release Date: Maybe 2020?

There’s not much public news about this one, but the team behind the well-praised Long War mod for the original XCOM are making their own game about fighting off an alien invasion with squad-based tactics. If anyone knows how to make squad-based tactics fun with a strategy layer, it’s these guys. Unfortunately, that’s about all we know for now, but if their development history means anything, this could be a classic.

Xenonauts 2 (Early Access)

Release Date: TBD 2020?

Another XCOM-like, we thought this one might turn up last year, but the developer has had a couple of changes in direction on a couple of features and is otherwise taking their time. This will be the sequel to 2014's Xenonauts, which was a re-imagining of the original X-COM. More modern, but just as hardcore. Xenonauts 2 is less of a direct sequel and more of a '2.0', with some additional features and goodies they couldn't fit into the first game. We believe it's due to hit Early Access before it goes on general sale, and we're hoping that this release will be sometime in 2020.

Exciting Management Games 2020 

Distant Kingdoms

Release Date: 2020

Distant Kingdoms Release Date

Another builder, Distant Kingdoms is set in a medieval fantasy world. The player seeks to make their mark by building up cities that will form a civilization, made up of several fantasy races. In a rather unique gameplay mechanic, the player can form Tabletop RPG-esque adventuring parties out into the world for rewards for your people. Individual citizens also have their social status mapped out, along with a path of upward mobility, meaning that you can track a lowly peasant orc’s journey to becoming a nobleman. There’s quite a bit of depth here, it’s one to keep your eye on.

Mars Horizon

Release Date: 2020

Created by Auroach Digital, Mars Horizon puts you in charge of a major Space Agency where you can write your own history of the infamous 'space race'. Design your own vessels and embark on your own missions through-out the solar system, with the ultimate aim being to land astronauts on the Red Planet. This looks like it's going to be a bit more of a streamlined strategy/sim version of Kerbal Space Program, but we're excited to see more games like this being made.

Dwarf Fortress (Steam)

Release Date: Time is Subjective

dwarf fortress steam release date

Dwarf Fortress is a game near and dear to my own heart, and as such, it is bittersweet to see a Steam release for it. Good, because with the steam release, we get several huge quality of life improvements over the free version, such as enhanced graphics, better controls, and easier modding support. But it’s bad, because it only exists because the developers need to cover their medical bills (thanks US). Even while the game existing creates a mixed feeling, what you shouldn’t be conflicted about is the game itself. It may be the most in-depth modelling of a world ever created, and each new game in the management sim creates an entire world, mythologies, languages, music, etc. from scratch. It’s fantastic, and we’re eagerly awaiting a solid release date.

Strategy Games 2021

Since we're approaching the final third, some notes on games that are due to appear in 2021, to the best of our knowledge. This isn't complete and will be added too as we go:

  • Pegasus Expedition
  • Humankind
  • Stronghold: Warlords - January 26th, 2021
  • Evil Genius 2
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground
  • Blood Bowl III
  • King's Bounty II - March 2021
  • Project Haven
  • Lemnis Gate (Strategy/FPS hybrid)
  • NeuroSlicers
  • Starbase Startopia Spring 2021

We've finally reached the end of our list. We imagine there's a lot of more indie releases especially we haven't spotted yet, so feel free to let us know about cool upcoming games in the comments - we're going to keep this list updated every month so we'll make a note for the next run.

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