A couple of recent blog posts by Thallians and Tobolds inspired me to write my own list of fun turn-based games. While I must admit I haven’t tried all games on their lists, I’ve enjoyed a few which apparently none of their commenters did so if you’re looking for something new to play check these games out!
Desperados is an entertaining game taking you to the wild west. You control up to, if I remember correctly, 6 characters, each of them with their own unique set of skills and abilities. The graphics are decent, the game isn’t too difficult and you’ll learn the basics in just a couple of hours.
Desperados also has a sequel which unfortunately I never tried (yet!). Grab your revolvers and Winchester rifles and get ready to spend a few days away from other games. Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive is similar to an old classic Commandos which was unfortunately too hardcore (and too real-time) for my taste and I never managed to enjoy it.
HoMM3 appears on nearly every “classic games” list and for a good reason: it’s simply brilliant. I’ve been playing it every now and then for about 6 years now and never get tired. HoMM also has a couple of good expansions, however in my opinion all sequels suck. The game is set in a fantasy world in which you control various heroes, level them up, choose their abilities, learn spells, build cities and most importantly, fight.
It will probably take awhile to learn to play Heroes so be patient, it’s definitely worth it. The combat is probably the best I’ve ever seen and with a little creativity you’ll have no problem beating your opponents. The game also features a map editor and a random map generator which means endless fun. Try it!
Jagged Alliance 2 is perhaps a lesser known game but nevertheless very entertaining. I’ve also been playing it on and off for years and while it doesn’t offer as much gameplay as Heroes of Might and Magic it’s still an excellent game. The storyline and cutscenes are quite impressive and even if you’re not a real fan of the genre I really suggest you try JA2.
There’s an expansion called Unfinished Business which doesn’t live up to the standards set by JA2 so don’t bother trying it. If you want a slightly improved game, check the unofficial 1.13 patch/mod.
There’s a great amount of turn based strategy games released over the years and it’s unfortunate to see the genre dying off. If you look at the list there’s apparently a number of newer turn-based games in the past few years but none that are really good and addictive. The three I mentioned above are merely my personal favorites but if you’re looking for more try Panzer General, Sid Meier’s Civilizations, Total War, and the ones mentioned on the blogs at the beginning of this post. I should note all three games I mentioned work on Win XP just find; can’t say for Vista or Win 7, but they’re extremely cheap anyway.
It’s not about graphics or shooting countless zombies: with turn based games you can really sit back, relax and enjoy gaming. If you never tried any of these games you have no idea what you’re missing.