Bands of magical mutants and worse crawl across the wasteland ruins of Urtuk: The Desolation, and you’re in charge of one. It’s a turn-based tactics RPG somewhere between Battle Brothers and Darkest Dungeon with great design fundamentals. As the escaped experimental mutant Urtuk, you lead a band of other mutants across a sprawling waste in search of a cure for your slowly degenerating condition. As time passes, your mutations get worse. If you die, well, you start over in true roguelite fashion.
Its a fun game with a pretty dynamic battlefield where you push, shove, and move enemies as you fight. There’s also a lot of cooperation between your soldiers, forcing them to shield each other or counterattack enemies, or get ranged support for combo attacks. Much of the fun comes from these powers, but more come from the mutations you can pick up from the body parts and organs of your enemies, or from figuring out what actions to take in combat to give your characters new powers.
Long games of Urtuk can drag on, but it’s a great go-to for short bursts of tactical action, exploration, and desperate survival. Urtuk is the product of a solo developer, David Kaleta, and features lovely hand-drawn art for both characters and the world around them. You can find Urtuk: The Desolation on Steam, GOG, and Itch for $20.