Gamers who want a more animated turn-based tactical RPG may find just what they’re looking for with this week’s pick. The Iron Oath from Curious Panda promises a gritty and dynamic world for players to traverse with a diverse party of recruitable characters. Think of it like a gorgeously pixelated Darkest Dungeon where your choices have lasting consequences on the hearts and minds of your team.

The developers are seeking $45,000 on Kickstarter to see the project completed for a 2019 release date. This is substantially more than their previous crowdfunded project, Rhythm Destruction raised back in 2012. After releasing the finished game on Steam in 2014, the team began looking for their next challenge.

The Iron Oath features tactical, hex-grid based combat. Players can recruit warriors from 12 distinct classes, each with their own backstory and personality. This adds complexity when determining which class composition will have the best chance of surviving the missions ahead. Characters may be morally or psychologically opposed to the tasks at hand. Illness or injury could prevent them from performing at their best. Even growing tensions between characters who dislike each other can lead to the team’s demise. Forming the most effective party isn’t just about matching damage types.

A Play In Two Parts

Gameplay is divided between The Mission Phase and The Overworld Phase. In the overworld, players manage their guilds and travel across the 9 unique regions that make up the world. The map features over 50 cities and towns with a variety of economical and political makeups that develop and change over time. Powerful factions can rise or fall, triggering wars and unrest throughout the lands. This provides a dynamic storyline each time you play.

During the Mission Phase, players will explore different locations and engage in combat with the enemies lurking within. Characters require ‘Spirit’ to fuel their unique abilities, an attribute that fluctuates depending on their encounters. Striking a critical blow on an enemy can increase a character’s spirit, while watching an alley fall in battle diminishes it.

The campaign is off to a good start with the team reporting that the core of the game and many of its planned features are already in place. The Iron Oath seems to appeal to fans of traditional tactical gameplay as well as more character driven narrative. A combination which has proved popular in previous campaigns. Curious Panda may have found their niche with this one.

About the Author

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.

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