The Untamed Tactics review brings to light all the flaws in this grid-based strategy RPG, from its underwhelming Parley System to uncomfortable colonial undertones in its campaign story. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Untamed Tactics ever since its announcement, as the unique tabletop game and its charming world have captured my interest. Sadly, Untamed Tactics fails to live up to its potential, and its strategy gameplay is underwhelming despite its potential.
As someone who loves strategy games and tabletop games, Untamed Tactics seemed like a natural fit for me. I’ve played several sessions of Untamed at conventions, and I was excited to see how its unique Parley system would be incorporated into an RPG game. Unfortunately, Untamed Tactics disappoints in almost every way, from its awkward story and childish dialogue to its repetitive gameplay and lack of visual variety.
Untamed Tactics’ Parley system is the most interesting part of the game and the one I was most excited to experience in-depth. Sadly, it falls short of expectations and functions more like a generic “ultimate ability” than an innovative mechanic that uniquely defines Untamed as a tabletop game.
When you initiate a Parley, you are given the option of making a deal with an enemy, converting them to your side, or simply removing them from battle. This could have been an interesting system, but it’s so overpowered that there’s no reason to ever use the “remove” option. The bonuses you receive from converting or removing an enemy are always far greater than the stats you would gain by defeating them and taking their loot. Even if you do choose to fight, you can easily remove or convert the enemy afterward.
As a result, the Parley system fails to capture the unique aspects of Untamed’s tabletop gameplay, and it becomes little more than a generic “ultimate ability” like in countless other RPGs. The dialogues that accompany Parleys are repetitive, childish, and awkward, and they fail to capture the clever banter that could have made them more engaging.
As someone who loves strategy games, I was willing to look past the flaws in Untamed Tactics’ gameplay in order to support an independent developer and the unique tabletop game that inspired it. Unfortunately, I found that the gameplay showed no signs of improvement despite the multiple years that have passed since it was funded on Kickstarter.
Untamed Tactics lacks visual variety, and its animations, HUD assets, and battles all feel repetitive within just a few hours of play. Despite my best efforts to create unique character builds, I found that I was using the same abilities and stats over and over again, creating little difference in my experience. Even after I obtained the game’s most powerful gear, I was still using the same abilities and dealing the same damage. The only difference was that I was dealing more damage before.
Untamed Tactics also suffers from some uncomfortable colonial undertones in its campaign story. I won’t go into any detail here, as it’s important to note that this is a critique based on my own cultural background and personal perspective. However, I do believe it’s an issue that deserves attention, and I encourage everyone to think critically about how colonialism is depicted in the media we consume.
In short, the gameplay in Untamed Tactics shows potential but falls flat due to its lack of variety and repetitive battles. Its most unique mechanic, the Parley system, is underwhelming and doesn’t function as an innovative mechanic but rather as a generic “ultimate ability.” The story is also awkward and falls prey to uncomfortable colonial undertones.
Untamed Tactics is available on Steam and GOG for $29.99 / $39.99 (price includes VAT). A copy of the game was provided to us by the developer for the purpose of this review.