Upcoming turn-based RPGs and Tactical games from RPGWatch list 2024.

This year’s list has plenty games. Although one has to bear in mind that RPGWatch database often contains only guesses about release dates. Where I could, I tried to find more information, but often I had to fall back on this unreliable source.

As a reminder, this list mentions games that interest me personally, which mostly mean western, isometric and turn-based. Because of this, let’s do away with two most-awaited big releases: Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Avowed. Both hold little interest to me. Well, maybe I’ll check out Dragon Age for old times sake…

1. RPG.

The_Thaumaturge (04.03.2024)

Good looking game, cinematic cutscenes and all. But the most interesting part is setting – you don’t see games set in 1900’s Warsaw every day. The combat system is supposed to be turn-based, but looks kind of strange. More like JRPG, maybe? Anyway, the game has a definite release date, and certainly worth checking out for the setting alone.

Last Epoch (21.02.2024)

Diablo-like with lots of build-porn. Unlike Path of Exile, seems to be less online-focused (but supports coop play). I don’t love this genre, because I only find it fun for the first 3-4 hours while I constantly find equipment upgrades, and then it becomes boring – Grim Dawn, FATE and Torchlight, they all felt the same to me in this respect. But if I have some free time, I still may check this one out to see if the genre made any progress since I last tried it. Early Access reviews are raving.

HeistGeist (01.03.2024 – нет)

Heist simulator with card-based combat in central-European cyberpunk setting. I’m not QUITE sure which genre this game belongs too, but it looks interesting, with unique visual style. There is a demo. But I wouldn’t hope for release in March, or even this year.

Robin Hood: Sherwood Builders (29.02.2024)

A Robin Hood game with city-building elements? Why? I probably will not play it, but I’d like to read a review some day, if only to understand why someone felt the need to create this particular combination of genres. Unless it’s a mobile port – then it’s just business as usual.

Geneforge 2 – Infestation (27.03.2024)

I will never not shill for Jeff Vogel’s games. Especially for Geneforge series. It doesn’t even matter that this is a remake that barely changes anything compared to the original (well, UI is hugely improved – the original Geneforge 2 had awful UI, normal inventory window only appeared in the third game of the series). If you didn’t play the first game, the player recovered a powerful magic artifact from a forgotten island, and in the sequel, you (as another character) has to deal with disturbances that arise from the secret’s arrival into far regions of Shapers empire. Interesting philosophy, interesting choices, interesting combat and summon constructor (and, well, graphics that wouldn’t look out of place in 90’s, but it’s such a trifling thing!). A must buy and my default candidate for RPG of the year title.

Guild Saga: Vanished Worlds (16.04.2024)

This game has a very interesting look: some kind of retro, but not the standard 8-bit fare. More like a top-shelf SNES game, I think? Anyway, the description promises a lot: compelling story, crafting, NPCs who react to your actions, a lot of skills and complex combat. At the same time, authors have zero other released projects. Well, if they manage to succeed even at a part of this list, the game might become an interesting release. Comments in demo-related thread suggest that they still rewriting UI, so I don’t believe in April release. Which is for the best: such an ambitious project will need all the time it can get.

Dustgrave: A Sandbox RPG (01.06.2024)

According to the description, less of a story RPG, and more of Drox Operative kind of a game. Promises include dynamic world that reac to player’s actions, which, if I had to guess, would mostly come to changing fraction borders and NPC reactions. Will this be interesting enough – I don’t know. There is a demo. Release date looks pure speculation.

Yet Another Fantasy Title (01.06.2024)

Kind of the same as previous project, but the description is more trashy. Still, screenshots look good. There is a demo, release date is a guess.

Glasshouse (15.06.2024)

Disco-like (which is what I’m calling combat-less RPGs similar to Disco Elysium) about a group of friends locked inside a big house due to nuclear threat from some terrorist group. The developers promise a lot of talking, politics and, surprisingly, crafting (a fresh extension to Disco-like game loop, but not an unwelcome one). And also puzzles and mini-games. The project has a “concept demo”, so I’m guessing release date is still very, very far away. But it worth bookmarking this one to check on new genre’s evolution.

New Arc Line (01.08.2024)

Another indie RPG that surprisingly looks very well. Seems like they’re trying to make their own Arcanum. Whether blackjack and hookers are a part of the deal remains to be seen. As is usual for such projects, the description is ambitious and the developer experience is lacking. Looks interesting, but one really have to wonder if the authors can pull it off. Concerning release date, the game seems to be in alpha right now, so a release in 2024 is unlikely, especially considering that the studio behind the game originates from Ukraine.

2. Tactics:

Zoria: Age of Shattering (07.03.2024)

Compared to newer projects, this one has lackluster visuals. And a boring story premise. The developers promise interesting tactical combats, but who doesn’t. The details are mostly lacking otherwise.

Cascade Tactics (01.03.2024)

Typical Japanese tactical RPG. The only feature of note is ability to dual-class characters. 1st of March release looks doubtful.

Crown Wars: The Black Prince (16.03.2024)

A new game from The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk authors. For some, this is a badge of quality, but I found the previous game boring – the combats weren’t very fun, and the story was full of boringly bad attempts at humor and absurd. It remains to be seen if the new game improves anything – the comments on demo thread raise questions about combat system, at the very least.

King Arthur: Legion IX (01.03.2024)

This game was almost the second to featue Arthurian themes in this post, but I had to cull the first one for being a mobile port. This one also raises questions, but the developers seem to have better PC background. The description promise a small party, about 15 missions and city building (why?). If you aren’t sick of Arthur yet, I guess you can check this one out.

MENACE (01.03.2024)

A new game from Battle Brothers authors. Personally, I’m not excited about it – the lack of story in Battle Brothers turned me off completely, and this game seems to be the same. But at least it’s set in the future, so we’ll have tanks and mechs under our control. March release in unlikely, but Early Access during the year is possible.

Xenonauts 2 (01.03.2024)

I don’t think I can say anything new about this old-school X-Com. Also, after Chimera Squad and Phoenix Point, I discovered I no longer have patience for such games, as randomly generated levels bore me to death.

Zodiac Legion (4ый квартал 2024)

I can’t quite say if this is tactics, or strategy in vein of Master of Magic or Eador, but the developers write that they tried to marry “X-Com like battles” and “classic dungeon crawling”. Aside from combats, we’re promised base building, spell research and crafting.

Demonschool (01.05.2024)

Japanese style tactics about magic school. Between battles, you’ll have to manage course schedule and personal relationship. In combat, you can use environment, combos and rewind time.

Sword of Convallaria (01.06.2024)

Another Japanese tactic.

BEAST: False Prophet (01.09.2024)

Very good looking pseudo-historical tactic game with a rare setting – Carpathians. The hero spent 10 years in Osman prison, and now his home country is controlled by a mad prophet and everything is awful. But the hero himself is flawed, and can descend into bloody madness (with player’s help).

3. Last year’s entries.:

Sacred Fire: A Role Playing Game (summer 2024) – one of the most interesting RPG projects seems to be finally getting a release this year, but no certain date.

Capes (2024) – super-hero tactics, was slated to come out last year, but had to be delayed.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory (spring 2024) – very unusual-looking 8-bit RPG in style of Commodore 64.

Urban Strife (?) – zombie tactics/survival akin to Dead State. Should have been released last year, but has no release date now. Developers talk of delays.

Void Marauders (?) – The Pirates! in space with X-Com-like combats. The game seems to be developed by a single author, so I have little hope for 2024 release.

Aledorn (?) – RPG that switches between first-person mode for exploration and isometric mode for combat, like Betryal At Krondor. Seems to be dead, but who knows.

Broken Roads (2024?) – Australian post-apocalypse. I checked out a demo last year, and wasn’t very impressed. It was kind of like Encased – very boring combat and skill checks galore. But I will probably still buy it if it comes out – their are not enough isometric RPGs to skip this one. It was to be published by recently closed Versus Evil, so it has no release date now, but the developers state that the game was content-complete at the beginning of the year, and only polishing and bug-fixing remain.

VED (2024?) – a beautiful RPG with focus on story. There are little news about the game, but trailer released late in 2023 gives some hope that it’s not dead, at least.

Mars Tactics (2024?) – X-Com-style tactics about war between Labour and Capital on Mars. As the developers say they’re still developing the strategic layer, I doubt it will be released in 2024.

Project Haven (2024?) – gun-porn tactics. No release date anywhere.

The Way of Wrath (2024?) – I don’t like this game’s visual style, but I remember people expressed interest in this tactic about a primitive tribe last year. The developers say they have all systems in place, but still have to build content for the game. They hope to release in 2024, but this is not guaranteed.

Archaelund (2026) – another “Betryal At Krondor-like” RPG. Was released in Early Access in January, and the official roadmap promises full release in 2026 only.

Pixel Noir (RELEASED!) – noir detective JRPG. Released on 8th February.

Sovereign Syndicate (RELEASED!) – steampunk, investigations and “taro cards instead of dices”. Released on 15th January.

In conclusion

I don’t see any AAA, or even AA releases that pique my interest this year, but indier segment is still going strong. I have to note that the visual aspect of indie RPGs improved greatly in the last few years. Either the tech for content creation reached a new level of accessibility, or Unreal 5 made it easier to have a nice picture with little effort.

Another thing to note is that due to various Steam Fests, a lot of games have demo versions now, while they were almost always absent before. But the definition of demo version changed: now, it’s just another word for a public alpha/beta, and those demos do not represent the final games’ quality. Still, it’s a way to check out a game before buying it – even before wishlisting it – so I guess that’s a positive development!

I'm a video games programmer. I have worked in game industry since 2008 on MMOs and mobile games, but now I work for Owlcat Games on great old-school RPGs. In my free time, I like to play rock'n'roll on my guitar and travel.

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