Friday Filter: Novel Edition10 Nov 2017 0
With everything from Counter-Strike to Football Manager being listed in Steam's 'Strategy' category, it can be hard to decide what is worth your time. That's where we come in: every couple of weeks, we look into the depths of the Steam Store and filter the noise to bring you the best and newest titles that actually fit the category.
TransRoad: USA (Released: 9 Nov, 2017)
Also tagged as: Simulation, Casual, Management
If Euro Truck Simulator 2 is any indication, people just *love* trucks. If you’re among that people and also happen to like strategy games, you're in luck today.
TransRoad USA is a new management simulation game all about building your own truck hauling business. Starting out as the owner of a small logistics company in one of 37 real American cities, the game allows you to transform your regional venture into a gigantic national behemoth.
The player is in charge of every aspect of management, including buying trucks, hiring drivers, finding contracts, and choosing routes, all in the interest of making money and keeping your company's reputation on the up and up. As your relationships with clients improve, you get more contract options and opportunities including big special requests to connect key industries with their suppliers, which obviously bring in a lot of money and recognition. The execution of those contracts depend both on your logistical capabilities and the available type of trucks and trailers in your fleet -- in order to grow and keep your company relevant, you'll need a sound strategy.
Offering a realistic map of the USA, a complex simulated economy (complete with economic crisis in the automotive sector, economical KPIs, and fluctuating market prices), and some nice little graphics, TransRoad USA looks like an interesting logistics management title. There is one caveat, though: Steam reviews currently indicate that while the game is good, it currently suffers from a significant performance problem. If you're interested in it, either keep that in mind when buying it or wait for a patch.
Space Pirates And Zombies 2 (Released: 7 Nov, 2017)
Also tagged as: Action, RPG, Indie
Another one of those titles that reunites action and strategy, SPAZ 2 takes place in the aftermath of a universe ravaged by a space zombie apocalypse. The galaxy is in disarray after the crisis was defeated, leaving everybody to fend for themselves and scavenging to survive. As one of 200 captains in the galaxy, you must do what you can to come off on top.
Every captain -- player or AI -- is capable of forming dynamic factions, building structures, controlling territory, and waging war -- the game bills itself as "not player centric", which should deliver a different experience each time due to the unique development and interactions of the forces at play.
Fights are real time action affairs, with you controlling your ship on a fully physics based 3D environment, though battles themselves are fought in a 2D plane similar to naval battles. Most objects are destructible and collision-enabled, meaning damage from impacts or sling-shooting debris or asteroids with a tractor beam are real tactical possibilities. Furthermore, you can cut off other ships' components and attach them to your own on the fly.
The strategy part comes with the base and ship building; every component has a specific use, and the mass, location, and shape of parts all matter. Fire arcs, power management, and even ship size are all customizable and important. Resources and territory are also extremely important, and the dangerous post-apocalypse context adds an extra layer of urgency to your decision making and battles. Oh, by the way: battles kill people, and dead people can become zombies. Have fun!
Death Coming (Released: 6 Nov, 2017)
Also tagged as: Puzzle, Violent, Casual
A game about accidents that was accidentally released early, Death Coming is a non-linear puzzle game where you take on the role of a grim reaper. Not the reaper, a reaper. Tasked with causing death in a non-intrusive way, you must manipulate the world from a top-down perspective in order to plan and execute the killings of humans whose time you decided has come.
"How can you kill someone in a non-intrusive way?", you may ask slightly fearful and extremely puzzled from the bottom of your mortal coil. By staging their death in random, Final Destination-style, of course. You see, humans have free will -- it's one of God's gifts, and also kind of the cause of every problem the race has ever had. As a reaper, you are still bound to the rules of creation, and must therefore kill humans without controlling them directly.
Everything is not all (dead) roses, though -- servants of light like the chubby-baby-looking Cherubs patrol the Earth to keep humans safe from the ranks of the scythe-wielders, and you must find a way to work around them to achieve your objectives.
Death Coming also features a reactive AI where NPC's respond to everything around them, from small weird occurences to big loud splashy murders, and seems to not take itself too seriously -- lots of opportunities for morbid humour. If this seems like an interesting concept (and it is), check it out right now!
Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach DLC - Sons of Cadia (Released: 9 Nov, 2017)
Also tagged as: N/A
Only the Emperor is all, and none know that more than the Astra Militarum. The first, last, and often only line of defense against the forces of evil (until the Space Marines manage to get out of that warp field/doomed planet/chaos dimension/space hulk/et al), the Imperial Guard is always a fan-favourite, and they are finally playable in the latest expansion to Slitherine's well-received Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach.
Featuring a brand-new faction with unique gameplay, Sons of Cadia brings 27 new units to the battlefield, such as elite infantry, vehicles, tanks, flyers, Imperial Knights, and even a Morkanaut. Alongside the army, the DLC also adds four new heroes with their own skills and abilities progression tree, a new battlefield type and map objects, and the brand-new snowy fields of Alaric Prime.
As that alone would of course not be enough, Sons of Cadia also features a new Imperial Guard Campaign comprised of nine story scenarios, all played from the Astra Militarum's perspective and featuring them in all their glory. If for some reason you're one of those people who prefer squishy humans to giant super soldiers falling from the sky (you weirdo), this DLC was made for you.
That's it for this edition of Friday Filter - keep an eye out for future updates as we filter out the noise of Steam's 'Strategy' tab. Seen anything else you like or tried any of the above? Let us know in the comments!
This article discusses games developed & published by members of the Slitherine Group with which we share an affiliation. For more information, please see the About Us page.