GAME NAME: Ironclad Tactics
PUBLISHER(S): Zachtronics Industries
GENRE(S): Strategy, Indie, Card Game
RELEASE DATE(S): September 18th, 2013
Ironclad Tactics is a tactical card game, puzzle hybrid of sorts and places you right smack-dab in the middle of an alternate history American Civil War. The divergent path, or what separates this history, from the more vanilla events we’ve come to know is the use of steam powered mechs, known as ironclad, as a frontline asset of the war for either faction. These ironclad serve as the linchpin unit for either side of the war as well as the driving motivation behind much of the game’s narrative.
Speaking of which, while not intensely profound or fantastically inventive, Ironclad Tactics’ narrative is a relatively strong and interesting one and remains so throughout the game’s campaign. Strictly speaking, it’s not even necessary considering that the gameplay is more than good enough to hold your attention, but it sticks with you and serves as an excellent introduction to each new mechanic and unit, and it’s a good thing too because there are quite a few made accessible to you throughout the length of the game.
Told as a graphic novel between stages, Ironclad Tactics’ story tells the tale of two engineers, Maxwell and Joseph, and the inventors of the ironclad unit and their struggles in assisting the North overcoming the Confederates and their own ironclad forces. And while graphical novel/comic styled narratives are, at times, a little derivative and unnecessary, it almost perfectly suits the aesthetic and theme Ironclad Tactics portrays. In fact, it’s one of the better ones I’ve encountered and definitely deserves an honourable mention.