We here at PCGamesN love strategy games. It’s a genre that’s long been synonymous with PC Gaming, from RTS games like StarCraft and Command & Conquer to turn-based games like XCOM and Civilization 6; from the small-scale tactics of Commandos and Marvel’s Midnight Suns to the most vast grand strategy of Crusader Kings 3 or Total War Warhammer 3. With plenty of excellent Steam Next Fest demos available right now as part of the Valve celebration, we’ve put our greatest minds to the task of finding the most exciting upcoming strategy games you won’t want to miss.
Whatever flavor of strategy games you love most, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your palate in the ongoing Steam Next Fest. With all these demos available to try for free, it’s a delicious buffet of possibilities that might all be your next favorite game. There’s so much choice, it can be tough to know where to start, so we’ve picked out six of the very best that you need to try before Steam Next Fest ends on Monday October 16.
The best Steam Next Fest strategy games October 2023
The best Steam Next Fest strategy games to play are:
- Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin
- Last Train Home
- Wild Country
- Solium Infernum
- Classified: France ‘44
- Heroes of Eternal Quest
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin
With a huge wealth of Warhammer games on the horizon, it’s a great time to be a fan of the vast fantasy world built by Games Workshop, which began with its original 1983 tabletop miniature wargame. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin builds specifically upon the Age of Sigmar setting within the greater Warhammer lore, and features a plot written by established Warhammer author Gavin Thorpe.
Attempting to establish dominance over the land of Ghur, you’ll take charge of four factions including the Stormcast Eternals, the Orruk Kruleboyz, and the Nighthaunt as you explore its cinematic campaign solo or join up for co-op, 1v1, or 2v2 multiplayer battles.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. The full game is set to release Tuesday November 17, 2023.
Last Train Home
The Great War is at an end, but the horrors in its wake are far from over. A small group of soldiers from Czechoslovakia, your goal is to return to your newly independent homeland, making use of an armored train to speed your journey along. Unfortunately, you’re caught in the midst of the brutal Russian Civil War, surrounded by the horrors of conflict and a desperate scarcity of resources as you take the eponymous last train home.
You’ll have to manage and maintain your train to ensure your journey continues, while directing a small team of soldiers in real-time missions where you’ll have to pick your battles carefully and weigh up moral conflicts with the realities of your situation. It’s a journey that will be long, arduous, and grim, so you’ll need to ensure to keep your crew’s morale and their ideals under careful consideration as you strive to make it home.
Last Train Home is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. The full game is set to release Tuesday November 28, 2023.
Blending the hex-based city building of Civilization and Dorfromantik, Wild Country is a ‘cozy-competitive’ card game where you and your opponent shuffle through your decks to build competing sprawls across an arena of hexes. You’ll have to carefully build your deck to take on all comers, deploying structures and firing off attacks to shut down your enemy’s attempts to spread their own city.
Between matches, you’ll meet the delightful animal cast of Big Sky Canyon, where you can collect additional cards, uncover various mysteries, and find new challengers to take on. Then, once you think your deck is up to the task, take the fight online and compete in casual and ranked multiplayer to prove that you’re the best city builder out there!
Wild Country is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. It currently has no set release date, but is listed as “coming soon” by developer Lost Native.
Solium Infernum is a grand strategy game unlike any other. In this full-scale reimagining of the 2009 game of the same name, you are a fallen Archfiend attempting to claim your rightful place as the new ruler of Hell. Blending Civilization-style strategy and political machinations, Solium Infernum is focused on making fewer, but much more impactful, choices over the course of your campaign, as developer League of Geeks explained to us in a Gamescom interview.
With eight Archfiends to choose from, each with their own demonic assets and powers, along with their own set of buildings, legions, and champions, you’ll have to decide how you want to approach your play for the Infernal Throne. With the option to dominate and deceive your friends in asynchronous multiplayer over the course of days or even weeks, we can’t wait for Solium Infernum’s new vision of the hellish strategy classic.
Solium Infernum is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. It currently has no set release date, but is listed as “coming soon” by developer League of Geeks.
Classified: France ‘44
Bringing XCOM style tactics to the Second World War, Classified: France ‘44 puts you in charge of a special ops team formed of Allied commandos and French resistance fighters. It’s up to you to build your resistance network and unleash a coordinated campaign of sabotage to tear apart the German war machine in the months of occupation leading up to the Allied landings that began with D-Day in June 1944.
Outnumbered and outgunned, you’ll have to use careful stealth and tactics to make as much impact as possible for as little noise. The more enemies you take down in an encounter, the more likely your opposition is to realize something is awry. Even a single shot can swing the balance, throwing off their morale or suppressing them to enable a flank – but cause too much chaos and the Gestapo secret police will be on your case in short order.
Classified: France ‘44 is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. It’s currently set to release some time in 2024.
Heroes of Eternal Quest
Heroes of Eternal Quest is a colorful deck building roguelike that’ll feel immediately familiar to anyone who played breakout hit Loop Hero. Much like in that game, your hero makes their way around a path that loops around on itself, slaying enemies and collecting equipment and consumable items as they traipse each subsequent loop. As your gear and skills increase, you’ll also unlock buildings that can be placed down to aid your hero on each go around the track.
One of the few surviving humans capable of traveling through the mystical portals that now connect your world, it’s up to you to make your way through the various layers of the Tower of Shards. Reach the top and perhaps you can wrest your people free of their unfair destiny. Blending the satisfying grind of idle games with real-time strategy and active combat skills, you’ll be able to recruit all manner of different heroes to aid in your adventure and expand your deck with ever more powerful cards as you attempt to claim your salvation.
Heroes of Eternal Quest is available to try free as part of Steam Next Fest, which runs until Monday October 16. It currently has no set release date, but is listed as “coming soon” by developer Drakkar Game Studio.
Those are the essential Steam Next Fest strategy games you won’t want to miss. We’ve also rounded up the very best Steam Next Fest demos across the board – or, if you’re looking to spook yourself in the run-up to Halloween, have a look through the scariest Steam Next Fest horror games to get in the mood.