Skulls of the Shogun Reviews

Vorpal Smilodon
246,691 (156,544)
Vorpal Smilodon
TA Score for this game: 243
Posted on 04 February 13 at 17:29, Edited on 07 March 13 at 18:38
This review has 11 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Skulls of the Shogun is a quick, turn-based tactical strategy game that follows the easy-to-learn difficult-to-master approach, and is both charmingly funny and extremely addictive.

Murdered after winning the final battle in a war to become Shogun, you arrive in the afterlife in a less than pleasant mood and decide to fight your way in rather than waiting hundreds of years in the entrance line.

If you can't tell from that blurb, the game is genuinely funny, and the simple story is interesting to boot.

You and the enemy general take turns, during which each of you gets to activate and use up to five units. Except for the smallest maps you'll have more than five units most of the time, so even just choosing who acts each turn is strategic. The main units of the game are slow but sturdy infantry, fast but more fragile cavalry and ranged but delicate archers, as well as you general unit which has to be kept alive or you lose. Combat damage is directly calculated by subtracting armor rating from attack strength rather than randomly - in fact only attacks made at the very edge of the attack range even have a chance to miss - great for people like myself that usually have bad luck with chance.

As you advance you get introduced to three types of monks that are summoned in-battle by capturing and keeping shrines, as well as advanced concepts such as killing enemies by shoving them off the edge of the level or eating fallen enemies skulls to improve your units into demons that get double actions on their turn.

Style: (Graphics/Sound/Presentation)
The style is somewhat silly, but crisp and very good at displaying information - something I consider important in this type of game.

Skulls of Shogun is one of the rare but treasured games with four player local multiplayer! The online matchmaking seems to work just fine, allowing up to four players in free-for-all or 2v2 team games. There's even a play-by-mail style option that lets you play against Windows 8 or Windows Phone users.

Replay Value:
First off, the campaign should last you five hours on your first go, assuming you're not Sun Tzu reborn - level challenges and an achievement for quickly playing levels directly add replayability, giving a reason to replay all the levels a few times. If you're like me, replaying scenarios isn't much fun without a reason to do it, so this is great.

Beyond that, after 100% completion the story is funny, and as such there's a reason to play it again a while after you've last gone through it.

There are of course the usual achievements for playing the campaign, and a couple online multiplayer ones that should be able to be boosted in an hour, or even gotten legitimately. Then there's
Skulls of the ShogunOut of Your SkullThe Out of Your Skull achievement in Skulls of the Shogun worth 189 pointsEarn all gold skulls.
which forces you to complete 3 fun little challenges one each level - some of which you'll doubtless find hard depending on your playstyle. Finally there's
Skulls of the ShogunSpeed of the ShogunThe Speed of the Shogun achievement in Skulls of the Shogun worth 138 pointsComplete every level such that your best times for all of them add up to less than 3 hours.
which requires you to get a best time total for all levels under three hours - this sounds like something almost impossible for me personally, but as it counts each level individually instead of making you do a three hour speedrun even this challenging achievement should be possible to those with either skill or perseverance.

It's an arcade game, so there's no reason you can't try the demo and see if you like it - odds are the humor will catch your interest and the gameplay will convince you to buy it.

The rating has been given as a "how fun is it" from 1 to 5. With a 4 I am saying that the game is a lot of fun, and I recommend it to people who like this genre.
This review has been made at a 1200MSP price point. If you read this review at a point in time when the game is cheaper take that into consideration.
Leave a comment if the review disappoints - if I've forgotten to mention anything I'll be happy to add on or clarify.
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