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Top 5 Turn-Based Combat RPGs of 2017

Updated on August 24, 2017
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I have been gaming since 2002 when I was 8 years old and got my first PC. Now I review games, make lists, and explore fantasy worlds.

Games Covered

1. EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic

2. For The King

3.Torment: Tides of Numenera

4. Battle Brothers

5. Darkest Dungeon

Earthlock: Festival of Magic Cover
Earthlock: Festival of Magic Cover

1. EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic

Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a casual turn-based RPG that is simple, yet fun. The story of the game is a bit unoriginal, which might not appeal to a few people, but the gameplay is fun.

It features all of the usual abilities and turn-based combat without any special qualities. There are no weapons or armor in this game, instead all the gold and loot that you find can be used to unlock talent cards which increase your combat stats most of the time. There are a few rare talent cards which grant unique perks as well.

With all things considered, this is a simple, casual RPG that should just be enjoyed for what it is without any other expectations.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic Gameplay
Earthlock: Festival of Magic Gameplay
For The King Cover
For The King Cover

2. For The King

For The King features a hex-grid style map for the exploration side of things, while using the classic turn-based system for combat. The graphics are low-poly which gives the game a cute look and makes it easy on the eyes.

The exploration part of this game has you running around, discovering new places, interacting with characters, and grabbing quests.

The story of the game is linear, but the map is randomized each time you start a new game. This does not make it a whole new experience, but it changes things up a bit in case you want to start the game with a new cast of heroes.

For The King Gameplay
For The King Gameplay

Each character has their own inventory that will need to be managed a bit as it's limited. You can equip each character with weapons, armor, and use different buff items on them as well.

For the King is a cute game that I would recommend to anyone if you can grab it on sale.

Torment: Tides of Numenera Cover
Torment: Tides of Numenera Cover

3. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera brings you into a universe where you are the discarded husk of a god and now you must brave the world by yourself and discover your true calling. This game is a classic RPG that focuses heavily on the story.

In Tides of Numenera you will be drawn in by the exquisite story-telling, well-written characters, and a plethora of flavor texts. Almost everything has a flavor text that tells you a bit more about the world and its history.

The dialogues that you have with other characters and enemies are the focal point of this game. Each conversation has 6-8 options to chose as a reply for each and every point of the conversation. These choices affect the way the story pans out and how other characters feel about you.

The only thing that is lacking in this game is the battle mechanic, which is quite clunky and uninspired. It rarely comes by and when it does it feels more like a chore. Almost all of the battles in the game can be avoided with good dialogue choices and that makes battles a rare occurrence.

With everything considered, I would recommend this game simply for the story, which is amazingly written. Even if you will have to bore your way through a few combat phases, the story more than makes up for that in my opinion.

Torment: Tides of Numenera Dialogue Options
Torment: Tides of Numenera Dialogue Options
Battle Brothers Cover
Battle Brothers Cover

4. Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers features a gritty fantasy medieval world in which you have to grow your mercenary group and survive the world's brutality.

You start off with three brothers, a bundle of sticks, and some cloth armor. With these heroes and supplies you will have to take contracts, defeat bandits and monsters, take the coin rewards, and gear up your heroes. You will also recruit more heroes and grow your band of mercenaries.

The mechanics of the game are quite complex, as you can decide on a lot of aspects in the lives of your brothers. You can make decisions about armor, perks, skills, talents, training, and many other things.

Each hero comes with his own complex backstory that affects the way he will respond to battle or the selection of weapons he can use. This adds another layer to the game as it makes the heroes part of your team and not just another body that you throw in the general direction of your enemy.

Battle Brothers can steal a lot of your time if you decide to pick it up, as it is quite addictive and each victory gives you a rush. After each victory, you will simply want more and more until you realize that you have spent over 70 hours in-game.

Battle Brothers Gameplay
Battle Brothers Gameplay
Darkest Dungeon Cover
Darkest Dungeon Cover

5. Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon is one of those rare gems that appears every once in a while. The game is not a typical run-of-the-mill, turn-based RPG as it contains a lot of mechanics that make it unique and honestly quite challenging.

Darkest Dungeon features randomized maps which will guarantee that its gameplay remains fresh and it also features a randomized battle rotation system. You won't see the rolls that are made in the background, but there are dice rolls made each and every second to determine which of your heroes attacks next and which attack actually hits.

The game also features a stress mechanic that reflects the harsh realities of adventurers. This stress can cause heart attacks for your heroes as well as demoralizing buffs which reduce your stats.

Although this game was launched back in 2016, I included it into this list because it is an amazing game and because a new DLC was recently launched. Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court was launched on the 19th of June 2017 and it features a new class, new monsters, new zones, new bosses, and a bunch of other new stuff as well. A full review of the game can be found below.

All Games Available on Steam

All of the turn-based combat games shown in this article are available on the Steam platform with the following full prices:

  • Darkest Dungeon - 22.99€ ($24.99) / The Crimson Court DLC - 9.99€ ($9.99)
  • EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic - 27.99€ ($29.99)
  • For The King - 14.99€ ($14.99)
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera - 44.99€ ($44.99)
  • Battle Brothers - 27.99€ ($29.99)

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