Only strategic thinkers will understand the urge to whip up a spreadsheet or get super involved in the figures when playing a video game. It’s a feeling that is alien to many. Most people reserve maths and logistics for work hours only and the thought of a bit of mental arithmetic that they aren’t getting paid for is frankly unappealing. However, strategic gamers long for these mind puzzles and relish the challenge of accomplishing whatever is required of them. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the very best games for strategic players to enjoy.
Poker is a great game for strategists, as it’s a game of incomplete information. This means that using your powers of deduction and memory, as well as the ability to spot a bluff and a small dose of mathematics, are the abilities that you need in order to thrive. You can’t see other people’s cards, which means that, unlike chess where you can see each piece, everybody is a little in the dark. These games are great for the strategist and can be sociable too. Going to your local card club is a good way to get to grips with the game and meet fellow enthusiasts.
As well as this, it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect in the case of poker and, even if you’re not near a card club, it’s thankfully pretty easy to get some hours in. It’s simple to play free poker online and you can play at any time of day, meaning those few minutes on the bus to work in the morning or waiting for your next meeting can be put to good use in improving your poker strategy.
Untitled Goose Game
Not all strategists are serious and studious, some are just as silly as anyone else, and this game will appeal to the silly strategists enormously. Untitled Goose Game is a one-man production, introduced to the world by Dan Golding. What started as a fun project has turned into a game with a pretty big cult following that can now be played on numerous platforms including mobile gaming, PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, to name but a handful.
The game puts you in the role of a naughty goose, who has a series of tasks to complete. These could be anything from stealing someone’s keys, to throwing their radio into a lake, honking all the while. The strategy comes in working out how to complete certain tasks using only your goosey attributes of forwards and backwards movement, ducking, grabbing in your beak and honking. It’s straightforward in parts, but some of the tasks are surprisingly complex. The graphics are pared back and storybook-like, whereas the music is like something out of a Benny Hill sketch. Combining this with the absurdity of being a naughty goose, the whole thing is a hilarious escape from reality.
Dawn of Man
Within the camp of strategy games there are an awful lot of titles which revolve around looking after your own tribe, village, or civilization. Dawn of Man is an interesting game from this group as it takes you right back to, as the name suggests, the dawn of man. You’ll start the game with a handful of early humans that you need to look after. You must fish, hunt or forage to meet their hunger needs, build primitive shelters from animal skin, and clothe them with what remains. After this, you’ll need to research some milestones in human development, such as learning to make fire, or domesticating wild animals.
As the strategist behind the success of your humans, it’s up to you what research comes next. You could get all the way through to the Bronze Age without domesticating animals if you like, or you could focus on fortification instead of farming. Each choice you make will impact your villagers, making this a fascinating exploration into what life might have been like for early settlers. This isn’t to mention the stunning graphics, the expansive map and the information that you’ll learn about the animals that once walked the earth alongside us. Woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, wolves, bears and more feature heavily in this game and it’s fascinating getting to watch their behaviours and learn about the trajectory that their species took.