Civilization VI (PC) – The Sid Meier’s series of growth and conquest has been going strong now for nearly three decades. Very few games span the time scale that Civilisation does and as a result few have a similar payoff. In Civilisation you begin your days as a simple tribe, your top down view of the game world is small as you can only see the areas you have explored. As time goes on, your tribe becomes bigger, as do the visible areas and more importantly you advance. In this game you act as an external deity guiding your people to prosperity over centuries. At first you will be building roads to allow trade to pass from town to town, then you will be erecting temples and walls to keep out invaders. Just like in chess you must think ahead, forming alliances, choosing how harshly to reign over your population, picking which cities shall become specialized at a skill set, all these decisions have far reaching consequences. If you think you have mastered playing several steps in advance, try thinking in eras instead of turns. Civilisation is a fantastic game for anyone who enjoys, lengthy, rich, games or has any interest in history.
Worms 4 (Android & IOS) – A tried, tested and much-loved title in the strategy line-up, worms pits small teams of, well worms, against one another and packs in as much artillery as possible. One at a time you will control a character equipped with weapons that ranges from baseball bats to carpet bombs. Worms is celebrated for its ridiculous line up of absurd firepower such as the super sheep, concrete donkey and holy hand grenade (Which was even featured in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie Ready Player One). Although the bizarre arsenal supplies a lot of fun, the turn-based gameplay allows for planning. Sometimes the best survival methods don’t involve engaging enemy worms head on, in fact a common tactical turn often involves using a blowtorch to burrow and hide in the fully destructible terrain. Worms 4 is the latest in the series of Worms games, this handheld version has a more vibrant cartoon style than previous offerings but still works like the classic titles, a game strategists and fans of insane action can enjoy.
X-COM: Enemy Unknown (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3) – Chess is an old game, everything about it is historical now, even the pieces revolve around the medieval era. For those players who enjoy the brain teasing play style but would love something a bit more modern – X-COM maybe the saviour you are looking for. The science fiction premise for the game revolves around an alien invasion; you take control of managing the Extra-Terrestrial Combat Unit, (X-COM) a global company comprised of the best military agents and scientific minds. The game has you take turns on the grid-based battlefield playing as one to six of the members of your squad as they are dropped into the fray. But brute force isn’t the only way you can fight back here, capturing alien technology and channeling funding into research creates new ways to play and affords you bonuses as you continue. When you aren’t out on the front lines moving from cover to cover and sniping invaders from a distance, you are back at the base. Here you will grow the backend of your organization eventually leading to an ant farm style construction of all your developing departments. With most strategies leaning into the fantasy audience, XCOM is an exciting and well-rounded breath of fresh air. The games sequel XCOM 2 is available now on the latest consoles.