Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas! Thallian's Favorite Turn Based Games for PC

Merry Christmas everybody! and if you aren't christian, that's ok, I can still wish you a Merry Christmas, even if you don't care about it. And you can wish me a happy Hanukkah, Id, Kwanzaa, or just plain shopping season, whatever. No need for anyone to screen things or get offended like a silly person.

Anyways, that wasn't what I REALLY wanted to talk about, what I REALLY wanted to talk about was my favorite, most recommended turn based strategy PC games of all time. At least until 2009.

#1. Heroes of Might and Magic 3. This was a hard choice but I give the number one slot to heroes of might and magic three because it has a map editor and thus we spent the most time on it making our own fun maps and trying to beat each other or the computer on some crazy difficulty setting. It also has an underworld option (caves,s tunnels, underground cities) and great combat. The team who made this and the other might and Magic games are building Allods Online I hear.* Here's a screenshot from Gamespot or two just for your viewing pleasure. This game has limited city building, exploration, crazy hard tactical combat, and an actual campaign storyline to rival Blizzard's games.

*(Correction "Heroes 3 was not made by the Russian team behind Allods. It was not until Heroes 5 that the game development was shipped to Russia. Heroes 3 was developed by New World Computing, while Heroes V was developed by Nival Interactive." - thank you PDM!)

#2. Masters of Orion 2! The best sci fi game on PC I ever played also! (yes its very old and that's sort of a sad statement for Sci Fi but, well Kotor is almost as good but sadly not turn based strategy.
Masters of Orion Lets you pick or make your own race, it lets you set up any galaxy size you want, it randomly creates all the worlds, and it lets you customize your own ships, and play as long as you want and research "upgrades" ad infinitum. The battle were fantastic for its day, and are still fun today. There were new ideas introduced like "gyro destabilizers" and stellar converters. You could blow up planets and make the rubble into new ones, you can terraform and gaia-form. You can get attacked by random things including pirates and giant space monsters. This is way better than sim-city. You can build trade pacts, research pacts, pace treaties, alliances, or just declare war on everybody. Each of these decision greatly impacts your play.

I have to say though, the AI gets very predictable in the "diplomatic" part of the game, but its very unpredictable in the "build up" part of the game. Its hard to tell if the the computer is way ahead of you or behind you, until they strike! (Or you strike)

#3. Age of Wonders 1! This game does have a sequel with better graphics, as do the other two mentioned above, but I felt it was the better game out of the two. It allowed you to keep your units levels as you progressed through the campaign, and build new ones, and conquer cities, and cast neat spells, and yadda yadda. Not only that, it had a branching plot in which you could end up supporting anybody really, but not easily, and it changes the end of the game if you do. Has three floors of the world map too! above ground, below ground, and abyssal (see underdark, lower Moria, whatever)

#4 Worms World PARTY! Ok if you've played a worms game and was disappointed I forgive you. The 3D ones have all been disappointing for me also. But their 2D predecessors are not to be missed! I should go buy this game again since I lost my copy, but I'm broke, so it'll have to wait. This game is awesome for hot seat party time in any home, or college dorm. And who doesn't love blowing people with dynamite, super sheep, mortars, holy hand grenades, bouncing bananas, and "mail bombs" Not to mention all terrain, except the deadly water, is destructible.


Crimson Starfire said...

Nice list! I'm a huge fan of MoO2 and Heroes 3. MoO3 sucked something terrible, but Galactic Civ2 seemed to pick up where MoO2 left off. I thought Imperium Galactica would take the sci-fi gaming title, but they never quiet got there. The Heroes line oddly never got better after Heroes 3 (in gameplay). Worms was always a blast with friends, but died off shortly after mainstream gaming went 3D. Good times...

Anonymous said...

For me it is still Sid Meyers Civilsation.

Kergguz said...

Another shout for Civilization here. Worms, the original version before they got made all cutesy also makes my list. For a more modern turn based game try Blood Bowl!

Marz said...

I've played all those games (or one of the others in the series) to death.

Worms in fact has several hilarious memories (eg. Boyfriend showing a friend how to play, by targeting my worms as examples, and subsequently absolutely destroying my entire team in a round or two!)

MOO2 (or the original?) still lives on as one of my absolute favourite turn-based Scifi games.

Add to that the original X-Com, the fun of which was never quite captured in the 3D sequels, and the original Civ (Civ4 is also a pretty good game).

Every now and then I get the Civ-fever... a completely overpowering urge to install and play one of the Civ incarnations again... Gah, must resist...

Hudson said...

Those arent bad but currently I am liking Elven Legacy. Available on Steam for like 14.99


Thallian said...

@Crimson I totally agree, I need to try out Galactic Civ 2 it sounds like...

@pallynoob & Kergguz & Marz yeah I think Civilization was my one major oversight here..

@Marz what is X-Com about? I've never heard of it?

@Hudson I gave that away at my bachelor party for one of the prizes in the eating contest... I still haven't tried it myself though. I prolly ought to.. its a sequel right? is the original any good?

PDM said...

You . . . you've never heard of X-com?! *boggle*


Ahem, anyway, if you can stand truly ancient graphics you should pick that up. You can still find X-com packs that include every X-com game ever made (some good, some bad).

Also, Heroes 3 was not made by the Russian team behind Allods. It was not until Heroes 5 that the game development was shipped to Russia. Heroes 3 was developed by New World Computing, while Heroes V was developed by Nival Interactive.

silvertemplar said...

Disciples 2, still my all time favorite. I think it came out right about same time as AoW and Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It was a good time for turn based strategy :).

Anonymous said...

I've always loved MOO and MOO2. Master of Magic is also stellar. It's not balanced, it's not perfect, but man, it's fun.

And, Thallian, you don't know X-Com? Wow. You definitely owe it to yourself to pick it up. Steam has it. (I only wish Good Old Games had it.)

Alexandre said...

I was just playing a game of Master of Orion 2 when i read your post :O

Aquatic, Unification, Repulsive, production +2, large HW, Rich HW.

Moo2 > all

its neverending random fun


Thallian said...

@PDM ty! I fixed it in my post!

@Tesh /hides head in shame
I'll look it up right now!

@Alexandre that is an interesting handicap you chose, I bet you churn out people and ships pretty fast but how is your research (and food?)?

@silvertemplar I'll look that one up as well

Alexandre said...

To get the max -10 negative traits, i always choose repulsive, -20 ship defence, -10? ground combat

food isnt an issue with unification.
+50% food +50% prod

The objective is population rush.

Science isnt an issue once you have the population to put your biggest mineral poor planet to full science.

Just a large map on hard with 7 opponents. One of my best scores 2190.

Im sure some can do better :P I tend rush my games and finish them under 2 hours.

fun fun fun

Andrew said...

Lords of the Realm 2....anyone?

Anonymous said...


Thallian, I don't consider it shameful not to know X-Com, it's just something that I suspect you'd enjoy. Aaaaand it's surprising you don't know of it, that's all. :)

Lords of the Realm 2 was pretty good. Castles and Castles 2 were good, as well (albeit much older).

Crimson Starfire said...

Lords of the Realm 2 was awesome!

"Rats have destroyed half your grain reserves, your people are now starving!"

Good times...

Steve said...

Do free games count? How about 'Stellar Forces'. It's a bit like X-Com. (More like the prequel Laser Squad).

Thallian said...

Of course! I'll have to look into that one, thank you Steve.