Get ready to fight Nazi’s and Lovecraftian horrors on the go! From developer Auroch Digital and publisher Ripstone Games, Acthung! Cthulu Tactics is out now for the Nintendo Switch. Though it was released last year on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One, bringing it to the Switch breathes a whole new life into the game.
Using turn-based strategy the player takes control of a group of allied occult operatives in late 1944. Nazi occult forces known as the Nightwolves and the Black Sun are unleashing unknown horrors onto the world and using them to create experimental weaponry and mutant soldiers. Your team consists of Captain Eric “Badger” Harris who specializes in experimental weaponry; Ariane Dubois and her small winged demon she can control on the battlefield; Corporal Akhee “The Eye” Singh who wears a magical amulet that grants him special abilities; and Sergeant Brandon Carter with his loud mouth and signature Thompson submachine gun. Traveling through the “Forest of Fear” and Nazi compounds, players will encounter countless soldiers and monsters as they advance toward the goal.
Though I am new to turn-based strategy games, I found Acthung! Cthulu Tactics extremely user friendly. Going through the tutorial was straightforward and easy to understand. Before I knew it, I was blasting away Nightwolf Grunts like I was a seasoned player. For those that would like to skip the tutorial, the player can choose to omit it when starting a new campaign and selecting the difficulty. This is more than just a strategy game, however, because each character is enriched with a compelling backstory and plot. I soon found myself dedicated to my orders and increasingly curious about the artifacts I acquired. It helped that outside of my groups line of sight, I was completely surrounded by the “shroud”, which looks like a pitch black mist and hides enemies. Many a time during combat did I wander into a shrouded area to find myself face to face with a monster. This added a layer of mystery and fear to the game, never knowing what sort of enemy will be lurking just ahead. As I played through more missions, even though some maps were reused, I still found myself unfamiliar with my surroundings at times. It definitely left me on the edge of my seat.
Accompanying the dark landscape is an equally dark melody as the player explores. Creepy music helped enhance the looming doom that is felt while moving forward. This was replaced by pulse quickening music upon entering a combat area, getting you pumped for the next battle. Though I may have been annoyed by repeated phrases from my team, it wasn’t enough to take me out of the game mentally. This only happened when I started to notice some lag in audio after mission three. Delayed voices after already executing an attack was something that caught me off guard every now and then, wondering what just happened to my characters moments after they fired their weapon. This led to confusion and a few mistakes on my part, but overall was not something that ruined the game.
Playing on the Nintendo Switch was a pleasant experience. There was no change to graphic integrity as I switched from my TV to the handheld console. Details are still crisp, even on the smaller screen. For me, this is a game that I can pick up and play a few missions throughout the day so the ability to play away from my TV is nice. There are no Joy-Con controls but I don’t think they would add anything else to the game, as I can’t think of what you would use motion controls for.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It was easy to get into and the story kept me hooked. Music and voice-acting was well done, even with a bit of lagging. Lovecraftian horror holds a special place in my heart, and this game did an excellent job using the lore in a realistic way. Not too over the top and not too bland either. Like baby bear’s porridge in Goldilocks, it was just right. I highly recommend Achtung! Cthulu Tactics to everyone from casual gamers to hardcore pros. Out now on the Nintendo Switch.