It’s a good time for fans of turn-based tactical games. Invisible, Inc is an instant classic, XCOM 2 is preparing for planetfall and Telepath Tactics is as extensive as any tactical RPG I can remember on PC. There’s also Auro: A Monster Bumping Adventure – or, to be more precise, it’s extended version The Auro Quest Expansion. The original Auro is a game that happens to be on mobile but would happily fit on PC. I’ve spent several flights and train journeys in its company recently, and am delighted to see the Quest Expansion preparing for PC release.
The main addition is the Quest Mode itself. The original game excelled at short-form tactical battling and the turn-based monster-bumping will still be the core of the game, but developers Dinofarm are adding an RPG metagame.
Quest Mode is kind of like an “Auro RPG”, wherein you can explore the underworld, find hidden treasures, learn about character backstories, uncover secrets, and much more – all while embracing what’s great about Auro’s core gameplay.
Central to the quest mode is a randomised map, with locations that add modifiers to the usual tactical play. There will also be item shops and story events so you can improve your character and learn about the world as you travel. Along with all of that, there will be new spells and monsters, although Dinofarm aren’t planning to throw hundreds of new anything into the mix. A handful of new things is the plan, along with the enormous addition of the Quest Mode itself. And that’s sensible because the core tactical experience is incredibly finely tuned.
For those who haven’t played the mobile version, here’s what that core tactical experience involves. You hop from tile to tile, bumping enemies off the edge of the map into the water that surrounds it. As you meet different monsters and unlock new abilities, every turn becomes fraught with risk. There are some similarities to the masterful Hoplite but Auro is very much its own game and one of the finer tactical experiences of the year so far.