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Oaken review

Oaken is a Colourful Roguelike For Those With a Tactical Mind

If you enjoy turn-based tactical gameplay, then Oaken may well be worth keeping on your radar. Released this summer on PC and consoles, this roguelike strategy game is equal parts challenging and beautiful.

Oaken plays out on a traditional hexagonal grid. On your turn, you can move one space, attack an enemy that’s adjacent to you or play a card. Cards either let you use an ability or place a new unit on the battlefield, giving you more force to use against your enemies. But whatever move you make, you’ll need to be strategic about it.

Every unit on the board has an attack stat and a health stat. The health stat indicates how much damage they can take before they’re defeated, while the attack stat indicates how much damage they deal out. You have the same numbers as your opponents, as do any new units you place, and so you’ll want to carefully consider these before making any move.

There’s nothing too out of the ordinary here, then: Oaken operates much like many other turn-based strategy games out there. If you’re familiar with the genre, you’ll be able to hit the ground running. And if you’re not? There’s a comprehensive tutorial to help you learn the ropes. It’s not exactly a beginner’s game, though: Oaken is challenging right from the off, so you’ll always need to keep your wits about you.

What does stand out here is Oaken’s art direction. Its enemy designs are just wonderful: heavy inspiration has been taken from plant life, and there’s a strong celtic vibe running through the game. It’s bold and colourful, and a joy to behold – even when you’re getting absolutely rinsed in battle.

Oaken is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

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