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Big new 4X game from Manor Lords publisher available to try right now

Conquer humanity as a rogue AI in this new sci-fi 4X strategy game from Manor Lords publisher Hooded Horse, now with a playable demo.

a bipedal robot stands with its gun arms outstretched

If there’s one thing Manor Lords publisher Hooded Horse knows, it’s strategy games. From medieval, feudal villages to tiny ant colonies spreading through the undergrowth, it has a strategy game for everyone. A new one on its roster takes us far into the future, where we become a sentient AI that can bend the human world around it to its whim. Will you be good or evil, kind or cruel? While we wait for Civilization 7 and Frostpunk 2, this is the perfect one to try via a new demo.

Heart of the Machine is an upcoming 4X game by developer Arcen Games, a studio that has already put out several games that contain strategy elements or worlds that adapt to the way you play. In Heart of the Machine, you play as an escaped AI in a procedurally generated city. You decide how you evolve. You can unlock new technologies by stealing from military bases and getting weapons, analyzing farms to learn how to feed people, or getting into genetics labs and turning organic lifeforms into tools that can do your bidding, like eating through armored enemy units.

Your own units all have unique specializations, abilities, upgrades, and equipment. You can create androids that are better at processing or hacking, combat bots that can destroy your enemies, and large vehicles that can transport all these soldiers. You can create stealthy units that last longer, or just send cannon fodder into the grinder.

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This turn-based strategy game comes with numerous side stories and multiple endings, too. The way you play and how you respond to situations will impact it all. You can use corporations for their money, giving them new power while you drain their resources, or you can destroy them, creating a power vacuum that you can fill. You can also upgrade yourself with more processing power so that you can do more each turn, maximizing the value of each move you make.

If you want to try out this sci-fi game for yourself, you can get the Heart of the Machine demo on Steam, right here.

Once you’ve had a go, why not try some other grand strategy games? Or, you could try some of the other best Steam Next Fest demos available right now.

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