Party based rpgs/tactical games

Ok lol, thats unexpected. Ill have to try it out if i can get the switch away from my significant other and her obsession with animal crossing.

I bought this game right after reading this article.

The Obligatory Party based cRPGs: (starting in 1998 with Baldur’s Gate)

Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 + Expansions
Icewind Dale 1 & 2
Planescape Torment
The Temple of Elemental Evil
Freedom Force and Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich
Neverwinter Nights 2 + Expansions
Dragon Age: Origins
Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall, Shadowrun Hong Kong
Wasteland 2 & 3
Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2
Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous (in development)
Baldur’s Gate 3 (in development)

Note the following omissions, while technically party-based, the focus in combat is always on controlling a single character with the rest being AI-controlled AKA pre-kickstarter / console era BioWare! (moreover a character anchored camera / lack of free camera)

KotOR I and 2
Jade Empire
Dragon Age 2 and 3
Mass Effect 1-3

You may want to look into this instead. Its still early access, but really, really well done already.

You should go back a few years and add Eye of the Beholder to that list!

Haha, I’m probably Qt3’s resident Mario + Rabbids fanboy but I rank it up there with SteamWorld Heist as one of the best XCOM-likes (and that includes the new XCOMs). Into the Breach is one of my all-time favourites as well. All three of these are simple and unique but deeply satisfying games that work beautifully on the go too (perfect on Switch).

Oh, I almost forgot! The excellent and criminally unknown Tenderfoot Tactics, which I made a post about here. It’s got a very particular design that isn’t for everyone but I loved its oddness.

I really wanted to like this one. I spent about 8 hours with it, and the puzzle aspect, verse simulation of running a squad of mechs was a turn off to me. Did it offer anything more once you got further in, or was that its core appeal?

Yes! SSI had a lot of great RPGs back in the day, including Pool of Radiance, which was the game that got me hooked on PC gaming.

No no, that’s definitely the core appeal of it. Later you unlock different squads each with their own quirks and challenges to complete. It’s honestly a miracle to me how they made a game with proc. gen. levels, varied squads, gear, abilities, objectives, enemies, allies, environmental hazards, spawns, then have some kind of programming voodoo make each level a tight tactical puzzle that could always be cracked. Even if you made mistakes, it was possible to get out of incredibly tough situations with minimal collateral. I’m not sure how much of that is good design or good tactics, or both, but it was a constant joy to me. I felt like I could rely on the game to give me a crunchy, bite-sized campaign every time that didn’t feel unfair.

the maps are all handcrafted

Yeah, you’re right. They were handcrafted with some procedurally generated elements to vary things a bit. It was a good mix. The levels definitely didn’t seem the same each time I played them, but they were still recognisable. They certainly didn’t play out the same either!

The types of problematic terrain configurations was quite varied so we eventually decided that we could not rely on procedural generation of maps. Instead we opted to manually design the basic layout of each map and use procedural generation for less important aspects of maps (such as forests and sand locations) as well as elements that were unique to specific missions (such as where key structures were spawned). The result was a lot of variety of maps while avoiding problematic layouts as much as possible - however if you play enough you will likely start recognizing key features.

Companion list to this is

Phoenix Point- actually my fav amount the new breed
xenonauts - a near faithful port of the original XCOM with modern updates and xenonauts 2 coming out shortly
Jagged Alliance 2

Here are my list of additional mentions in this sub genre:

Must play (great games period)

  • Battle Brothers
  • Battletech
  • Chroma Squad
  • Dead State
  • Expeditions: Conquistador
  • Freedom Force
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Rim world
  • Silent Storm
  • Star Traders: Frontiers
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad
  • The Fall: the last days of Gaia

Recommended to play (Good games to play if your a fan of the genre)

  • The Bureau; XCOM meet Mass Effect clone
  • Drakensang series
  • Expeditions: Viking
  • Fallout Tactics
  • Hard west
  • Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation
  • Phantom Doctrine
  • Raiders! Forsaken Earth
  • Rebuild 3
  • Tyranny
  • Corruption 2029

Worth a play (Games you may want to check out and play if you a fan of the subject or a huge fan of the sub genre)

  • Depth of Extinction
  • Element of Space
  • Falling Skies if you can find it
  • Galactic Crew
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
  • Omerta - City of Gangsters
  • The Storm Guard: Darkness is Coming
  • Technomancer
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption

Let me know if you want any more info on any of them, please add if you know others that should be on this list!!! :)

The Omnissiah demands the presence of Mechanicus on this list.


“Where things are spawned,” though, for sure, I can see that being randomized to some extent. Not sure I’d dignify that with the lofty term of “procedural generation” although I guess it technically counts!

oops. I had a whole big post here and I meant that ^ to be a follow-up, and instead I just edited the whole post to be that one line. Oh well. Sorry, world, no big long post for u

For some reason, mixing RPGs and Tactical games together seems odd. In my head, I treat them as completely different entities.

Ive got this one in my to play list, kinda waiting for it to hit 1.0

Yeah, kind of odd. For me they are two different things, but the game most out of place in that list (with all due respect) it’s Rim World… A colony sim!

No love for Laser Squad? Tegel’s Mercenaries?