SG Friday Filter: Steam Sale Edition23 Jun 2017 0
The Steam Summer Sale is here, and with it, a great chance to pick up a bunch of new games which you will probably never be able to play. But 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.
Every so often, we look into Steam's 'Strategy' category and sift through its contents, in order to bring you the real strategy games out there. 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 title; if you need a strategy to win and can't be utterly victorious without it, then that's a true strategy game.
Aven Colony (Releasing: 25th July, 2017)
Also tagged as: Simulation, Sci-fi, City Builder
A sci-fi city builder taking place in a planet light years from Earth, Aven Colony allows you to build a new home for humanity in the alien planet of Aven Prime. Featuring a diverse variety of climates and geography, including deserts, tundras, and wetlands, you must build your colonies into massive, sprawling cities whilst dealing with the challenges faced when settling on a new world.
Featuring a full logistical system, you must keep your citizens happy while constantly expanding cities throughout the planet's surface. A low-oxygen atmosphere, extreme electrical storms, shard storms, dust devils, and deadly toxic gas eruptions from geothermal vents all stand in your way. Worse still, days are so long that they have their own seasons, and when winter comes, the temperature plummets and the surface gets covered in snow. It all makes for an exciting adventure, and the game is looking pretty good.
Although not out until the end of July, Aven Colony has beta and demo builds running right now, so check it out.
Colony Survival (Released: 16th June, 2017)
Also tagged as: Early Access, Adventure, Survival
What looks like a Minecraft clone is... well, a Minecraft clone, but with a lot of strategy elements in it. Built around the idea of constructing and managing your own settlement, Colony Survival tasks you with commanding guards, farmers, miners, and other colonists in the task to expand and secure the survival of your own little piece of land. Every night, a horde of monsters awaken and assault your town, in a bid to slaughter all your villagers -- it's then that you see if your strategical planning bears any fruit.
Allowing you to build your own village, castle, or even city, Colony Survival lets you recruit guards, farmers, miners, foresters, bakers, smelters, and artisans to work for you. It has multiplayer support, a world with realistically placed biomes (including polar regions north and south), and a whole logistical system in place to delegate orders to your NPC's. The game just launched in Early Access -- and although it insists on using the term "colony" wrong -- it's definitely worth keeping your eye on.
Zafehouse Diaries 2 (Released: 17th June, 2017)
Also tagged as: Indie, RPG, Zombies
The whimsically named Zafehouse Diaries 2 is a game of survival, exploration, and relationships, but thoroughly based on tactical thinking and strategy. Every hour, you must designate tasks for your handful of characters - each with their own skills, motivations and prejudices - and try to outlast the zombie apocalypse. You take control of a group of people - each with their own skills, motivations and prejudices - and try to outlast the zombie apocalypse, making decisions every hour that can make or break the survival of the entire group. Featuring a procedurally generated story along with more open-ended and scripted campaigns, the game tasks you with designating and ordering those people around in order to beat the odds and the brain-eaters that roam the world outside. Thanks, Walking Dead!
Art of Gravity (Released: 13th Jun, 2017)
Also tagged as: Puzzle, Physics, Minimalist
I have to be honest here: this is a puzzle game, but puzzles require thinking and thinking helps strategy, and overall this is my own damn column so I do what I damn well please. But in fact, this looks like an extremely pretty puzzle that actually requires strategic thinking to win, and these past few weeks have been absurdly bad at big/good strategy releases, so I had to make due. Also, I'm a sucker for physics based games, and this one beautifully sends stuff flying when you progress in a puzzle. Seriously, look at these blocklings go!
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!