Tactics Games I've Played

Tactics games are categorized by a primary gameplay loop of commanding an army or party across a grid. I've played 8 games in this genre so far.

You can also go back to all genres.

poster for Triangle Strategy

Triangle Strategy

Good story and refreshing approach to character customization (that is, there's not much of it). Wish the ability trees were a little longer (I maxed out a number of characters, ability wise) but enjoyed the ride. Liked the exploration. Performance was fine, but certainly nice to have it on the go. Story was pretty good, and choices actually mattering was done well.

poster for Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Absolutely superb. Captures a lot of the appeal of FFTA, with their own spin on the combat and leveling system. There's a good set of jobs and maps are cool. My only big complaint is that it's hard to use the jobs you've maxed out because you don't want to be wasting experience. But, then you're on weird power curves because you keep resetting your learned abilities. But, I still enjoyed the heck out of it and will likely play it again eventually w/ DLC. Wild that I'm not even over it. Plot was good too! Decent characters and driving action. Occasional lack of clarity with some of the 3D layouts and I wish there was a quest log for side quests, but I still loved it top to bottom.

poster for Into the Breach

Into the Breach

Really cool concept. Lead to some good puzzles, looking at game state wondering how I can do everything. Got a little repetitive and some of the squads were frustrating. Short rounds and short campaigns make it feel a little less replayable than FTL. UI super slick, music is great. Pretty good achievements, though they feel like the focus over the game sometimes. First win (2 islands) on 2018-03-08.

poster for Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Woof. The actual battles - incredibly fun. Good strategic decisions, rewarding combat, tense at the appropriate times. But, there's a lot of other things in the game that aren't combat. I was playing new game plus, so the beginning was faster - that was nice. It was pretty slow last time. The idea of the monastery and class assignments is very fun, but it feels... padded? Like actions take too much time relative to how much you have to do them. Also, you _really_ run out of useful things to do in the last quarter of the game. It's like they planned 12 missions worth of monastery activities, but have 20 missions in the game. The (character) classes themselves are decent and ability mixing is cool, but there's really only a few paths for each character through the tree. And, most of the top-tier classes are mounted. So if you max out say, an assassin, they have nothing left to grow into. Just like last time, I enjoyed the first half more than the second (which dragged). There's a lot of content there, but i'm not positive that's a great thing. Future me: probably don't play the third route; just watch the cutscenes. It's too much time for what you get. Played Blue Lion route on Hard/Casual (no permadeath).

poster for Spelldrifter


Neat little game. Cool time mechanics (actions cost time), but doesn't explain quite enough about how the keywords work. I also didn't feel like managing a bunch of decks right now.

poster for Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

34:41 game clock. Really interesting game. I liked that they made QOL improvements, most notably no weapon durability and the attack/defense formation. They also shook up the classic classes for the first time in a long time, which was neat. I missed some of my favorites, but ninja were pretty awesome. The story was saccharine Saturday morning cartoon nonsense. There was no depth to the main plot and everyone did the right thing always because it was Right. A couple of semi-emotional moments, but they didn't really land. Dragon veins were a neat way to shake it up. Weapon variety was also good- there was more strategy than "increasingly better swords". Graphics were fine. At mission 13 I was pretty stuck so I went to hard/casual instead of hard/classic (no permadeath). Honestly, this made the game a lot more fun. I always reset when a character died, so permadeath didn't even matter- I was just replaying missions a lot. Casual still had some challenge, but a lot more margin of error. Overall enjoyable, but far from perfect.

poster for Fire Emblem: Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Pretty great game. Good combat and strategy. Surprisingly cool story, great characters. Biggest complaints are reliance on pairing up and just muscling through fights (as opposed to strategizing) and enemies spawning and moving right away (further reducing how much you can plan). Happy I played, but dang was it a grind at times. Other 3ds stats: played it 84 times for avg 57 minutes each. Game clock was at 35:33, so I spent more than 2x more time dying than winning.

poster for Tactics Ogre: Reborn

Tactics Ogre: Reborn

On paper, I should have loved this game. It's routinely hailed as one of the best games in my favorite genre and it's a remaster with a bunch of QoL features. But dang it if it wasn't a total slog! There's a huge amount of backtracking in the levels (there are 50+ story battles but only ~20 maps). You can't mix and match skills between classes, so there's not a lot of theory crafting - it's mostly "pick the best 4 skills for a given class". There's also a distinct difference between unique units and generics (the former are much stronger). You get so many generics that it's never really worth training anyone else. And, there are still some glaring QoL misses, despite the progress there. There's a ton of characters and classes to find, but much of it is locked away behind long, grindy sidequests. I'm sure that's fun for some people, but I wasn't into it. The story is long, but not especially impactful. While there are lots of branches in the narrative, I don't feel like all the branches add much; they just dilute what little story there is. At its core, the gameplay is pretty fun, if a little slow to start. Rewinding time is a great feature that I wish more SRPGs had. But, the games that learned from it and came after it are much better.