If you enjoy coming up with new ways to outwit your opponents, chances are you’re looking forward to playing the best upcoming strategy games of 2020 and beyond. Whether it’s turn-based or real-time, 4X or city builder, this year is full of great-looking titles that fall under the strategy umbrella.
Here, we’ll be highlighting our most anticipated strategy games releasing throughout 2020 and into next year. We’ve taken the liberty of including any known release dates along with gameplay footage where ever possible. Make sure to check back for updates regarding release dates, trailers, and new announcements.
Port Royale 4
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Port Royale 4 is the latest installment in the long-running naval-based strategy series for PC. Set during the 17th Century, the game sees players taking on the role of an ambitious governor looking to prove themselves by turning their small Caribbean settlement into a thriving trade city.
Joining the powers of Spain, England, France, or the Netherlands, players will grow their empire by conquering rival colonies and hunting down enemy fleets while making sure to avoid regions prone to hazardous weather conditions. As you develop complicated trade routes and provide for your colonies, word of your nation’s prowess will travel, earning you “Fame” that can be used to unlock new buildings and ships. For the first time in the series, Port Royale 4 will feature turn-based naval combat with up to eight vessels battling at once.
Release Date: October 15, 2020
A sequel to Runner Duck and Curve Digital’s WWII strategy-management sim Bomber Crew is due out later this year. Aptly named Space Crew, the game sees you traveling across the galaxy on a mission to defend Earth from a mysterious alien species called the Phasmids.
As appointed leader of the United Defense Force (UDF), your job is to manage every crew member and ensure things run smoothly aboard your spaceship. This includes making repairs, putting out fires, preventing alien invasions, navigating asteroid fields, and avoiding black holes.
Additionally, the game features ship-to-ship combat where players can utilize special crew abilities, weapons, and defenses to come out victorious. Accompanying these features is a robust customization system that allows you to make your own custom loadouts, modify equipment, and change each character’s physical appearance.
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Part sequel, part remake, Spacebase Startopia revisits the classic 2001 space strategy-sim from a modern perspective. The original formula saw you managing your own space station, keeping up with an intergalactic economy that’s always in flux, tending to the needs of alien workers, and partaking in some light RTS skirmishes.
Pretty much all of that has been retained in the sequel alongside a couple of new additions, namely an original single-player campaign designed to show you the ropes, introduce new challenges, and showcase the series’ unique sense of humor.
Additionally, Spacebase Startopia will feature a new online battle mode that allows players to work together or compete to reach certain milestones. Other improvements include a larger map comprised of three separate decks, eight alien races with distinct traits, and a plethora of new options for keeping your station’s inhabitants entertained.
Release Date: Fall 2020
Due out sometime this year, Manor Lords presents an interesting blend of city-builder and RTS battling set during the Medieval Times. The game sees you building your own city on a gridless map that provides full freedom to place and rotate items as you see fit.
As cities flourish and populations grow, players will be able to expand their horizons by crafting trade routes, building fortifications, and forming armies to defend against invaders. However, success won’t come overnight, as settlements require constant upkeep to ensure there are enough resources to keep villagers happy and healthy.
Obstacles such as harsh weather conditions, disease, and famine are all unfortunate realities to keep in mind as you progress in the game. Manor Lords is currently being developed by Slavic Magic, a one-man operation, so try to temper your expectations regarding the scale and scope of the final game.
Release Date: October 22, 2020
DwarfHeim is a co-op focused RTS game that sees players combining their strengths to reclaim their ancestral dwarven home and ward off feral trolls. The game’s primary mode is Conquest, in which two players work together to build up their city while destroying the enemy team’s defenses and gaining control over the Town Hall.
Those who prefer to go it alone are free to explore Survival, Sandbox, and Skirmish single-player modes, with difficulty and challenges scaled accordingly. Regardless of how you choose to play Dwarfheim, you’ll have the option to pick from one of three distinct classes: Builder, Miner, and Warrior.
The class you select will not only determine your playstyle but may also introduce unique challenges down the road, as certain units and buildings require rare minerals that can only be sourced from deep underground. This is just one of the many facets of DwarfHeim’s one-of-a-kind approach to RTS and is sure to boost replayability.
Empire of Sin
Release Date: December 1, 2020
If you’re a fan of XCOM’s approach to turn-based battling but would rather face off against Italian mobsters and not aliens, then Empire of Sin may be the game for you. Set during 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago, the game tasks you with building a criminal empire from the ground up.
To become a boss, you’ll have to prove your worth by mastering different rackets and running illegitimate businesses ranging from speakeasies and union protection offices to shady casinos, brothels, and everything in between.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself taking over rival territories and paying street soldiers for their loyalty. However, the journey won’t be easy as corruption and violence pressure you to bribe, intimidate, and when all else fails, go to war with the other crime families.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Release Date: 2020
The 2004 strategy-management sim Evil Genius is finally getting a proper sequel in 2020, with Rebellion handling both production and publishing. Evil Genius 2: World Domination will see players reprising their role as an evil mastermind as they build a secret base from the ground-up while recruiting and managing an army of minions.
An early gameplay trailer highlights the many improvements and new features being worked into the sequel. These include streamlined base construction and minion recruitment systems, as well as the ability to send minions out on missions once they’ve been adequately trained.
Evil lairs can now be infiltrated by secret agents, requiring players to use a variety of over-the-top defenses to stop them. Considering the original game couldn’t quite deliver on its exciting premise, we’re eager to see how Evil Genius 2 pans out.
Release Date: 2020
Presented as an action-strategy hybrid, Teardown sees you racing against the clock to steal keycards found throughout procedurally generated maps. The twist is, each map features fully destructible environments that can be destroyed using a sledgehammer, vehicles, or other objects.
Players are free to explore maps and plan out their route before triggering the alarm and setting off a countdown timer. The goal is to find your way through the map and nab each keycard before security shows up. Aside from destruction, the game allows you to build and place basic items such as planks and ladders to access hard to reach areas. It’s an interesting approach to the strategy genre that draws inspiration from games like Minecraft and Fortnite while still offering a unique experience.
Release Date: 2021
Coming from indie developer Amplitude Studios, Humankind is a 4X strategy game that sees you rewriting history by establishing unique civilizations based on 60 historical periods starting with the Bronze Age up until modern times.
Players will be able to influence societies by making tough moral decisions, reacting to historical events, and spearheading scientific breakthroughs. The game shares some obvious similarities with the Civilization series, but we can’t exactly blame it.
The Sid Meier games have dominated the 4x turn-based strategy subgenre for almost 30 years, so you could say fans are overdue a worthy alternative. Still no word on an official release date, but expect HumanKind to be released sometime next year.
Age of Empires 4
Release Date: 2021
Many strategy gamers consider Age of Empires to be the best long-running series around, starting with the first entry’s release in 1997. While the original focused on human history throughout the Stone and Iron Ages, later installments have shifted their focus to the Middle Ages, a trend that appears to be continuing in the next game.
Age of Empires IV will attempt to recapture the magic of the original trilogy while offering new experiences tailored for both veterans and newcomers to the series. In it, players are tasked with managing their civilization’s workers and military units, eventually turning their small population into a mighty nation.
The game is expected to feature a lengthy campaign that will see you advancing through the ages as you collect resources, wage war with enemies, and unlock new technologies. It’s unclear when fans can expect to get their hands on Age of Empires IV, but with Microsoft backing it, we’re confident the game will get the love and polish it deserves.
Release Date: TBA
Now that Ubisoft has acquired developer Blue Byte, fans can look forward to a full-fledged reboot of the city-building franchise The Settlers. Currently in development, The Settlers will be the first new entry in over a decade and is rumored to include a ton of features designed to breathe new life into the series.
For one, gameplay has been expanded to now include elements of real-time strategy, namely during battles. That being said, the main focus will still be managing your town’s population and resources, ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.
Additionally, players can expect new upgrades and techniques for keeping their township organized as it grows over time. Considering Ubisoft’s previous role in The Settlers franchise and their extensive history with the Anno series, we’re curious to see what they have in store.
Release Date: TBA
Set during the 14th Century “Dark Age,” Going Medieval sees you attempting to rebuild society in a world where 95% of the global population has fallen victim to rampant plague. In the wake of society’s ashes, nature has reclaimed most of the land, providing the perfect foundation for a new civilization.
This is where you step in, guiding the few remaining survivors to come together and establish a new home safe from not only disease but also outlaws, barbarians, and religious fanatics. You’ll design, build, and expand your own settlement, going from humble wooden huts to stone castles and underground strongholds.
As you progress, you’ll be able to unlock new weapons and equipment using research and crafting systems to give your colonists a fighting chance. However, there’s more to caring for your people than winning battles, as each villager has individual wants and needs that will cause their mood to drop if neglected.
Release Date: TBA
Developed by Ominux Games and published by Chucklefish, Starmancer is an upcoming colony management sim with strategy and base-building elements. In it, you take on the role of a highly-resourceful A.I. tasked with constructing and managing a space station capable of sustaining human life.
The game affords you the freedom to either play things straight and keep your colonists happy or play into their fears and doubts by sabotaging their mission at every turn. Regardless of how you approach things, you’ll eventually have to grapple with the consequences of your actions.
Colonists will remember especially traumatic experiences and are prone to spreading rumors and gossip throughout the station. At times, you may find yourself having to overcome challenges like alien invasions, psychological breakdowns, and total mutiny aboard the station.