In today's Bite Sized Review, I feature Untamed Tactics: a quirky tactical RPG based on the board game Untamed Feral Factions. Provided some of the more annoying bugs get fixed, this is a pretty nice game!
It’s been a slow time here at Bite-Sized Reviews. Between battling fibromyalgia and a second dose of Covid, I’ve been out of action longer than I would like. While I’m in recovery, these will be more sporadic for a while. It sucks because I love playing games and writing about them. However, I do need to put myself first.
Damn, 2023 has been a year, hasn’t it? We’re slowly approaching winter, and that means another gigantic GOTY series for me. This year will be a bit different, as it will solely depend on my health. We’ve got a few weeks to go until I think about that. Seeing how I have over 20 games on my shortlist, it’s going to be a challenge!
Today’s little review covers Untamed Tactics — a gorgeous tactical RPG released by Grumpy Owl Games. They deserve GOTY just for the name of the studio. Unfortunately, there are no awards for badass studio names that I know of. That’s a shame because it could be fun. Untamed Tactics is their debut game, releasing on Steam in August this year for £16.75/18EUR/20USD. Not a bad price tag for what you get. In a time where money is increasingly important regarding the cost of living, this is always something to consider. I ran into some nasty game-breaking bugs in my time with Untamed Tactics so I was unable to play as much as I would like, but if the developers continue their post-launch support as they have done, they have a gem on their hands.
Untamed Tactics boasts some impressive visual design, with a colourful backdrop of terrain features and magical animals. It’s based on the board game Untamed Feral Factions, a magical world of furry soldiers. Playing as Greycoat, you’re cast onto the brutal island in a fight for survival. The tutorial is intuitive and teaches players the ropes progressively — while there are a lot of things to learn, I had no problems working out what I needed to do. Characters have diverse abilities with a lot of leeway in how to approach missions. I have to give credit for the voice too. The linear story, while not particularly interesting or original, still got me invested with the voice acting. It might not be Cyberpunk levels of voice acting, but I enjoyed it.
Combat encounters are the classic turn-based affair. The mechanics are easy enough to learn and the terrain can be used as a potent weapon. One of my characters relied on crowd control with poison bombs, so I used him to mess them up with negative modifiers while my other furry friends wailed at them with guns and blades. There are plenty of ways to develop the characters too, with roguelike elements and stuff to unlock for future playthroughs. I also loved the way I could shove enemies into obstacles. From my Dark Messiah days when I cackle from kicking people into fire or off buildings, this is a lovely thing to do. Or I’m just a sadist. One of those things.
So there’s a lot to like here. Some challenges were pretty brutal. Early on I had to lead my small team to safety while getting swarmed by enemies at every turn, and with only one of my characters able to heal themselves, that was a struggle to manage my health. It took a few attempts. I also encountered some nasty bugs. On one map, after clearing the mission of all enemies after a rough fight, I was unable to progress. I tried the map again, the same problem. Finally, on my third attempt, I was able to proceed, but this is something that needs to be addressed. I’ve yet to test compatibility on the Steam Deck, so that is next on my list.
Overall? I like Untamed Tactics a lot. I am unsure how well the narrative will play out, but the combat itself is solid, and with all the ways you can build your characters up, there should be a fair bit of replayability. As long as they patch the bugs, Untamed Tactics gets my recommendation.
A beautiful, colorful world that oozes charm
Some pretty nasty bugs brought down my experience
Tactical gameplay offers a lot for fans of the genre
I’m unsure how well the story will play out yet
Roguelike elements and unlocks offer a lot of replayability
Maps do seem to repeat
Humorous dialogue and good voiceovers add character