Introducing: SG Friday Filter (On a Tuesday)06 Jun 2017 0
Strategy is a hard thing to pin down. Arguably every single game under the sun requires some form of strategy, but very few are actually strategic games. While you can bunny hop through a Counter-Strike level with a sniper rifle and call that "strategy", having a tactical plan of troop deployment and supplies movement through Ancient Europe is something completely different.
Welcome, then, to a new series of articles where we look into Steam's 'Strategy' category and sift through its contents, in order to bring you the real strategy games out there. In the future, we'll probably run these on a Friday (hence the name), but we decided to launch the first one early to see what you guys thought (and because the gods of scheduling are being especially capricious this week).
We will avoid games that seem to have a bad reception/low quality, as we'd rather not mislead our readers into buying duds. The main parameter in deciding if a game truly belongs to the strategy genre will be to define what that tag actually means. If you can consistently succeed by mindless shooting or spamming, we don't believe it is a strategy game; if you need a strategy to win and can't be victorious without it. There are games that will blur the lines and straddle the gap, but together, we'll forge a better future for strategy gamers and the strategy tag. Check it out!
Cold Waters (Released: 5th June, 2017)
Also tagged as: Simulation, Naval, Cold War
Inspired by the 1988 classic Red Storm Rising, Cold Waters put you in command of a nuclear submarine in a desperate attempt to prevent “mutually assured destruction” when the Cold War gets hot and WWIII begins. Tasked with intercepting convoys, amphibious landings, insertion missions and battling it out with enemy warships, submarines and aircraft, the game involves real-time tactics and planning in order to come out on top -- resupply, refitting, and strategic planning are necessary for the survival of your ship and crew. Cold Waters features real-time naval combat, over 40 classes of historically accurate ships and submarines, and a dynamic campaign "where your performance matters". For all naval and sub fans out there, this looks like a must have.
The Long Journey Home (Released: 30th May, 2017)
Also tagged as: Simulation, RPG, Space
Explore a procedurally generated universe while you try to make your way from the wrong side of the universe to the Sol system. Combining resource management with decision making and a bunchload of quests, The Long Journey Home tasks you with assembling a crew and keeping your ship in one piece as you plough through the long path that will hopefully take you home. Full of choices and consequences, The Long Journey Home almost feels like a deeper FTL, with a nice dose of strategical thinking on top. Check it out, and expect our review on it next week.
Epic Little War Game (Released: 31st May, 2017)
Also tagged as: Indie
From the developers of Great Big War Game, comes the analogously titled Epic Little War Game. With a cartoon approach and straightforward gameplay, this action focused strategy title simply tasks you to do more damage to your enemies than to yourself. Sounds simple enough.
Featuring a skirmish mode for up to six players, random map generation, and online coop and PvP, this little turn-based is currently very well received, so give it a look if you fancy it.
Wildilfe Park 3 - Dino Invasion (Released: 2nd Jun, 2017)
Also tagged as: Indie, Casual, Simulation
Building games are half simulation half strategy, requiring planning, logistics, and careful placement of assets to succeed. Zoo simulator Wildife Park 3 got a prehistoric expansion this week, allowing you to populate your zoological garden with ten popular dinosaur species (including Velociraptors and T-Rexes, of course), four sci-fi themed attractions, eight futuristic service facilities, and a bunch of decorative objects, from extinct trees and volcanos to plasma and light effects. I never heard of this game before this week, but hey, T-Rexes are fun and it's a strategy game, so what the hell.
Oxygen Not Included (Early Access) (Released: 18th May, 2017)
Also tagged as: Base Building, Survival, Simulation
A space-colony simulation game, Oxygen Not Included is a brutal base building and management game with a marked exiguity of oxygen. As you endeavour to keep your colonists not only alive but happy, you must expand your base while keeping tabs on temperature, air, water, waste, and food supplies at all times, and the game gives you all the tools to build the space station you want. But watch out: given you're in the middle of space, there is not a lot of places to run if things go wrong. Too many people and too little air causes carbon monoxide asphyxiation, and an absence or excess of environmental controls can either freeze or fry your colonists to death. Throw into the mix psychological effects, leisure activities, and power budgets, and you got yourself a surprisingly deep little game that will either make you very happy or want to punch your screen out of sheer frustration. Let us know which!
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!