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Raucous strategy game Gladiator Guild Manager hits 1.0 on Steam

Management sim and auto-battling strategy game Gladiator Guild Manager leaves early access with a hefty Steam sale to mark the occasion.

Fantasy management sim Gladiator Guild Manager celebrates 1.0 launch with a big Steam sale - A yellow-skinned orc wearing spiked shoulder pads yells.

Combining the town management of Darkest Dungeon with autobattling elements in the style of Dota Underlords or Super Auto Pets, and a cartoon fantasy aesthetic reminiscent of the likes of Warhammer or Dungeons and Dragons, Gladiator Guild Manager has just left early access after three years. Boasting a very positive user rating and feeling like the twisted love child of Football Manager and DnD, this delightful strategy game is marking version 1.0 with the chance to grab it at a special low price.

Gladiator Guild Manager does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a management game set in a beautiful fantasy realm where you’ll recruit, train, and equip a team of warriors, mages, necromancers, and so on. Starting small, your goal is to take your squad to the big leagues and conquer the land’s most prestigious tournaments. Now, to celebrate the game’s 1.0 launch, developer Entertainment Forge is offering a big Steam sale discount to anyone looking to jump in and try it out for the first time.

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“Last year we almost released the game but decided to take a few more months to add and polish a few things before we call it 1.0,” Entertainment Forge says. “This, of course, took ten months instead, but that’s fine because we took the time to add many requested features which made the game a whole lot better. If we learned anything from these six years of development, it is to listen to our audience. You all gave us so much awesome feedback that helped us shape the game into what it is. So, huge, huge thanks to the awesome community.”

The 1.0 release, then, is absolutely packed with new additions. The trait system has seen a sizable rework along with the addition of 30 new traits. Lots of underloved items have been given an overhaul, with improvements to the way item upgrading works. The synergy between your items, traits, and abilities has also been upgraded, allowing them to weave together in some new and creative ways.

Guilds have been given an update along with several new buildings to buy: a crucible to upgrade your gladiators’ traits, a workshop for universal item upgrades, and an altar of respec to reset and reallocate your fighters’ main stats. Faction quests and reputation have been improved, giving you more ways to earn rewards once you’ve proven yourself to a given faction.

Gladiator Guild Manager celebrates 1.0 launch with hefty Steam sale discount - A look at the colorful fantasy overworld map.

Finally, the UI has been given a round of polish to make it more accessible and useful, along with a sound update. There’s also a new option to enable an auto-pause feature that can be customized to stop the action when certain important events happen. “In all honesty, we like playing without it,” Entertainment Forge says, “but the option is there and can be adjusted to exactly the way that works best for you.”

Gladiator Guild Manager is out now on Steam. To celebrate the 1.0 launch, you can get it with a 50% discount through Friday July 6, meaning you’ll pay just $7.49 / £6.39 down from its usual price of $14.99 / £12.79. Head right here if you’re curious to try it out for yourself.

If that’s still not enough to satisfy your cravings, we’ve picked out the best strategy games you need to play in 2024. If it’s more the setting that appeals, meanwhile, the best fantasy games will whisk you away to all manner of magical realms.

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