Free stuff is always cool, and when that free stuff just happens to be two polished and relatively well-received strategy games, all the better. For the next 48 hours or so, you can snag Syndicate revival Satellite Reign via the Humble Store and the Heroes of Might & Magic-ish Eador: Masters of the Broken World via its Steam page here completely free to keep forever, no strings attached.
Truly, the games industry is the most insidious of things. The first glimmer of summer sunlight pokes in through the British clouds and they start throwing free strategy games to keep us indoors – opiates of the masses indeed. They’re a nice-looking pair of games too, and both arguably underrated, considering the amount of patching and tuning they got post-release. Adam went and reviewed both back in the day, and you see his thoughts on Satellite Reign and Eador here, respectively. Many of the quirks of both games have been smoothed over since the time of writing.
Satellite Reign is the most immediately striking of the two. Developed by a team of ex-Bullfrog/Lionhead folks, it’s a pretty clear attempt to reboot Syndicate for the modern day. It never sold that amazingly at the time, but I chalk that more up to Syndicate actually being a pretty odd series when you get down to it; it just stood out during the early PC/Amiga era it debuted in.
Controlling a squad of cyborg agents, you wander a large open cyberpunk city, completing a mixture of freeform and scripted missions against rival corporations. Combat is a lot less twitchy than it was in the original games, favouring the use of cover and flanking enemies, but you can either slow down or pause time entirely to get a better handle on the more fiddly real-time tactics.
Eador: Masters of the Broken World is clearly inspired by the long-running Heroes of Might & Magic series. A turn-based strategy game, you march hero characters around an overworld map, securing towns, resource points, training facilities and recruiting all manner of weird and wonderful fantasy creatures to your side. When you bump into a hostile force, it zooms in to a single-screen tactical battlefield full of obstacles for the two armies to duke it out on.
There are some fun RPG elements mixed in with the stratelogical stuff, including random events that can present themselves as moral quandaries, and the game keeps things fresh by having you hop between fractured, floating mini-worlds, each with their own creatures, quests and battles to be fought. The last game in the Eador series, Imperium, is also half off on Steam accompanying this giveaway if you want more of this sort of thing.
Both games support online multiplayer – co-op in the case of Satellite Reign and competitive in the case of Eador, so point your friends at this giveaway and go start a (highly intellectual and well mannered) fight. Or don’t. It’s free, either way.