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Try this chic new XCOM like strategy game now with free Steam download

Ahead of the Lamplighters League launch, you can try the stylish strategy game from Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive thanks to a free Steam demo.

The Lamplighters League launch is almost upon us, and if you’ve been awaiting the arrival of this stylish ‘30s XCOM rival then there’s some rather good news, as you’ll now be able to play the game yourself ahead of its full release – and, unlike many modern early access offerings, you won’t have to spend a single penny to try it out before launch.

Our full The Lamplighters League review is out now, ahead of the game’s full release date on Tuesday October 3, 2023. But you don’t need to wait until then to play the Art Deco strategy game, because you can try it out right now for free thanks to a Steam demo. As a simpler take on the XCOM style of tactics that encourages creativity, The Lamplighters League is well-suited for newcomers to the genre, or those looking for a more easy-going experience.

Taking control of a rag-tag bunch of agents pulled together by circumstance, you’re the last bastion of defense against a tyrannical cult hell-bent on world domination. As such, you’ll have to get to grips with the signature skills of each member of your team – all of whom are pulled from a list of the pulpiest ‘30s stereotypes you can imagine, and are all the more delightful for it.

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Like several other modern games in the turn-based tactics space, Lamplighters League lets you begin missions with a real-time infiltration sequence where you can scope out the area, lay out your plan of action, and in some cases even complete certain objectives before a fight even begins.

Once things kick off, however, you’ll have to overcome your opponents by whatever means you can – this can be via traditional weapons, or by taking advantage of the game’s stress mechanic.

Applying to you and them in equal measure, stress is accumulated when under fire or in certain troublesome situations. Reach a breaking point, and your actions become limited – but stress out an enemy enough, and you can deliver a finishing move to take them out of action altogether.

The Lamplighters League - The player uses an ability to tether two enemies together.

The Lamplighters League demo is available now as a free Steam download. You can get it here, where you’ll also be able to wishlist the game or purchase it ahead of The Lamplighters League release date.

Once it launches, The Lamplighters League is also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one, meaning you’ll be able to play the full game as part of the Microsoft game library if you’re a subscriber to the service.

If you just can’t get enough of stretching your brain matter, take a look through the best turn-based strategy games on Steam for plenty more head-scratching conundrums. We’ve also picked out the best free Steam games if you’re after even more things to play without spending money.