Unless, of course, you are one of the ridiculous StarCraft II/DotA 2 pros that are able to order a whole army to do about a thousand different things before we can even take our first sip of coffee. Ah well, at least we can turn once again to the indie game scene and gaze lovingly upon its creative secretions for some RTS titles that ruffle our ‘staches in the good ol’ way!
Visit the official Castle Story website »
Building castles is rarely dull so making it the central focus of a game can never be a bad thing. The little yellow guys are called Bricktrons and it is these that you must order around if they are to survive. You see, in this voxel-based land of floating islands and many things green, there exists monsters that intend to attack the Bricktrons. Gathering resources to build castles is the only hope for these harmless creatures to defend themselves - so click them up a castle from which to avoid the fray.
Visit the official StarDrive website »
Space. We meet again, old friend. This 4X strategy title not only looks good but it also has a lot of depth to it, especially in the customisation department. It’s most impressive feature is the module-based approach to ship design. There are literally thousands of different options that really do affect how your ship operates and how well you fare in the game. Let’s be straight here though; there’s a bear acting as ship command. Do you need anything else?
Natural Selection 2
Visit the official Natural Selection 2 website »
Some of you may know about this one as it is the evolution of a very popular mod. This is also the odd one out on our list as it is quite firmly an RTS/FPS hybrid. Natural Selection 2 pits marines and aliens against each other, with each unit controlled by a player. The commander then helps out building modules, nests and other vital structures to aid the units as expected. We make it sound so boring though, trust us it’s not - how can aliens ever be boring?!
Visit the official Towns website »
As innocent as Towns may look, it certainly has a lot of backbone to it. Starting from the bare minimum, you must instruct a bunch of peasants to chop wood, harvest crops and gradually build a town. When things start to shape up, your settlement will attract heroes from across the lands who will brave the dungeons and find precious artefacts amidst the monsters. Pah, there’s us thinking townsfolk were a quiet sort!
Visit the official Shad’O website »
There’s nothing quite like a change in environment to spice things up. Shad’O takes place inside a young boy’s mind as he battles with a dark fog that threatens to absolve his memories. Alas, some light creatures join by his side to help him fight back the fog. What ensues is a whimsical battle of symbolic nature with some wondrous design elements too.
Visit the official Folk Tale website »
What is it that evil finds so ravishing about the peace of innocent villages? Fortunately not all is so grim in this traditional good vs. evil tale as it’s described as a comedy RTS. Basically, those villagers under your control are blithering idiots. No, really. This makes the usual gathering of resources, constructing of buildings and quelling of evil that much more entertaining. Now if only more games didn’t take things quite so seriously...
Visit the official Xenonauts website »
Sometimes, fanship can get out of hand. In this case it has led to what is essentially a remake of X-Com. Replicating the gameplay and style of the much revered strategy classic is almost impossible, but these fine developers are coping with a dandy effort. With all the excitement around the forthcoming X-Com (the real one not the shooter) we are hoping that Xenonauts will keep us amused until its release at least.
Visit the official Airmech website »
If you ever played Herzog Zwei then Airmech is sure to ring those nostalgia bells. Like the Sega Genesis classic, Airmech features plenty of, well, mechs. These, however, can transform between jets and the stompy bi-pedal type. This complements the RTS elements to provide an enthralling mix of action and strategic thinking. There is also an emphasis on multiplayer as well which comes with an array of options for you to ponder.
Gratuitous Tank Battles
Visit the official GTB website »
The follow up to Positech’s thrilling space-based RTS, Gratuitous Tank Battles looks confident in its stride. Taking place in an alternate reality in which World War I is still raging on 200 years after it started, GTB has an exciting range of explodey tower defence mechanics to showcase. Throw in a map editor and easy map uploading and you got yourself a potential community-led great on your hands. We cannot wait!