10 Must-See Games From Steam Strategy Fest 2023

Planning to snag some strategy games at a good price?

With Steam’s Strategy Fest 2023 reaching its halfway point, there is still time to check out the wide variety of strategy games, new and old, that you can snatch up for cheap. There are tons of fantastic classics and promising new entries to the genre to challenge your brain and test your skills.

Whether you are a hardcore strategy enthusiast, a more casual puzzle gamer, or have just been waiting for that one game to go on sale, we have you covered.

Steam Strategy Fest 2023 must-see games

1. Northgard

Northgard — Screenshot 1

Northgard is a combination city-builder and RTS game developed and published by Shiro Games. In this title, you’ll lead a clan of Vikings to a newly discovered continent and attempt to build a thriving settlement. Such an undertaking won’t be easy, though; you’ll need to contend with the elements, changing seasons, natural disasters, and enemy attacks.

Northgard — Screenshot 2

The combination of city-builder and RTS is often a more tense and involved formula. Still, Northgard manages to be surprisingly relaxing while at the same time maintaining an engaging gameplay loop. If you’re looking for a more chill experience that will still challenge your strategic mind, Northgard is a great choice.

2. Diplomacy is Not an Option

Departing from the chill vibes, we have Diplomacy is Not an Option, a cross between tower defense and colony-sim developed by Door 407. In this tense medieval strategy simulator, players will be in charge of a castle always under siege. Surviving the constant onslaught of enemies will require careful planning and quick thinking.

Diplomacy is Not an Option — Screenshot 2

Though it isn’t an easy game, Diplomacy is Not an Option provides an addictive and rewarding gameplay loop that keeps players adapting and learning, slowly surviving longer, and taking down even larger armies of encroaching enemies. Players seeking a more involved and exciting title will absolutely love this one.

3. Dune: Spice Wars

Dune: Spice Wars is one of several new games adapted from the classic and incredibly influential space-opera/sci-fi series Dune. This grand strategy saga was also developed by Shiro Games and puts the player in charge of a great house vying for control of the mighty planet Arrakis.

Players must manage their territories, build up their cities, and engage in diplomacy, trade, and war, all while maintaining a steady supply of precious spice if they want to come out on top.

Dune: Spice Wars — Screenshot 2

Some fans have expressed concern with the title’s direction after leaving early access. Though we agree with some of their complaints, we feel the title overall still presents a fun and involved experience for fans of Dune and Grand Strategy alike.

4. Crusader Kings 3

A cult-classic and widely acclaimed grand strategy game spanning generations, Crusader Kings 3 is the third entry to the famous medieval monarch simulator developed by Paradox Interactive. In this game, you will lead a kingdom in a bid for power over as much land as you can conquer by any means necessary. You can poison your opponents, steal their spouses, assassinate their heirs, die from pox, and so much more.

Crusader Kings 3 — Screenshot 2

Whether you prefer solo play or are looking to play with friends, Crusader Kings 3 offers an incredibly diverse and changing experience to enjoy. Though it may take some time to learn the specifics, this title is famous for just how much you can do.

5. Against the Storm

Adding a fascinating fantasy spin to the colony survival genre, Against the Storm pits the player against the elements in a world constantly beset by torrential rain. Developed by Eremite Games, this title tasks the player with building a profitable settlement out in the hinterlands between the storms that make the land uninhabitable.

To succeed, players must manage their colonists, including different fantasy races and their unique traits, and keep their queen and the forest around them sated as they attempt to exploit the land and survive the grim darkness of the wilds.

Against the Storm — Screenshot 2

There is so much to say about this game that we really don’t have the time to cover it all. If you love colony simulators or want an immersive world to test your strategic prowess, we strongly recommend Against the Storm.

6. The Wandering Village

A fascinating and original title developed by Stray Fawn Studio, The Wandering Village takes the player to a world where mysterious plants have coated the surface in deadly toxic spores. To survive, your colony has made its home on the back of a giant dinosaur-like creature that wanders the world.

You’ll need to adapt to the changing environment, form a connection with (or exploit) the creature, and manage your colony well if you want to ride out the calamity.

The Wandering Village — Screenshot 2

The world of The Wandering Village is unique, beautiful, and profoundly interesting. This colony sim is one we’ll be talking about for quite a while, we’re sure.

7. Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition

Baldur’s Gate 2 is a classic-style isometric RPG based on the worldwide tabletop giant Dungeons and Dragons. Developed by Beamdog, this game means to immerse the player in the fantastic world of Faerûn, where they can make their own party of heroes (or villains) and set out on a grand adventure.

Strategy elements in this game come not only in the form of combat but also in the way you build your characters, how you use items, how you choose to face challenges, and much more.

Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition — Screenshot 1

If you’re like us and have been completely consumed by Baldur’s Gate 3 (I can stop whenever I want) and are curious to learn more of the backstory or just want to get your hands on a classic RPG to help scratch that itch, we recommend grabbing BG2.

8. Timberborn

Ever wondered how beavers build their dams? Well, this probably isn’t it, but Timberborn is a quirky colony survival game developed by Mechanistry about leading sentient beavers to build a massive settlement. Long after humans have disappeared, you are tasked with helping your beavers build a society completely out of wood.

As you may expect, this can lead to problems you’ll need to face while managing food, temperature, and other needs, all while trying to keep your settlement from going up like a matchstick.

Timberborn — Screenshot 2

A more relaxed experience, Timberborn brings all of the best elements from the colony survival scene together uniquely and interestingly. Not only that but this title is backed by a wonderful soundtrack and gorgeous art that will keep players coming back for more.

9. Civilization VI

If you’re looking for an incredible historic grand strategy that takes you from the Stone Age to the Space Age, look no further. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is a wonderfully complex strategy game developed by Firaxis Games that tasks the player with building a society from the ground up.

The world is at your fingertips, and its riches are yours for the taking, provided you can manage finances, resources, workers, soldiers, diplomacy, trade, and everything else that comes with running a nation in an evolving world.

Civilization VI — Screenshot 2

Alone or with friends, Civilization has long been the go-to name for fans of the grand strategy genre, and this entry is no exception. If you love dealing with the ins and outs of building a nation or the satisfaction that comes from a hard-won victory, check out Civ 6.

10. Stellaris

We hope you have plenty of free time because Stellaris is one of those games you can sink hours into without even realizing it. Developed by the grand strategy experts at Paradox Interactive, this sci-fi society builder has players at the reins of civilization just discovering space travel and tasking them with conquering the galaxy in whatever way they see fit.

Players can engage in trade, besiege planets, fight space battles, design ships, turn their citizens into cyborgs, transcend to a higher plane of existence, kill sun-eating monsters, and then turn them into weapons, and much more.

Stellaris — Screenshot 2

As one of the most ambitious and impressive takes on the genre we have seen, Stellaris takes grand strategy to a scale that makes it potentially one of the grandest. If you want a game where every aspect of your society can be fine-tuned and micro-managed, this is one title you don’t want to miss.

All according to plan

No matter what kind of gamer you are, we’re certain there is something at the Steam Strategy Fest 2023 for you. Not only is Steam showcasing some of the best names in the genre, but most of them are currently available at a significant discount! So, if you’re the type to meticulously plan and choose your purchases carefully, now is the time to make your move!

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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