First Impression: Telepath Tactics Liberated

Developer: Sinister Design

Release Date: 15 March, 2022

Platform: Windows

Genre: Turn-based Tactical

By Chris Picone, 19 March 2022

I’ve only ever played one Fire Emblem game (Radiant Dawn - sue me! I was a Sega guy) but I loved it and I’ve been looking for more ever since. And while that series remains restricted to Nintendo consoles, Telepath Tactics Liberated (TTL) definitely scratches the itch. The gameplay is very similar and while the story doesn’t share the same epic scale as Radiant Dawn, it instead provides a much more intimate tale, and everyone loves an underdog story.

And you are very much the underdog. I’m roughly a third of the way through the game and so far I have been outmanned and outgunned on every level, which is the way I like it. Survival comes down to working out how and when to attack, using absolutely everything at your disposal, and making the right sacrifices. The environment plays a huge part in your strategizing. There are open fields, fortress interiors, bridges, all the expected layouts, but you can also interact with everything on the map. Bushes and trees can be cut down, you can fly over water or push people into it, and you can also prepare explosives and lay traps. When the engineer joins your party, you can even build your own bridges and barricades. The maps are all hand-created have so far been well-designed to create some genuinely challenging scenarios. There are, of course, a huge range of playable characters, races, classes, weapon types – huge variety throughout. However, my favourite aspect of the game has been the mission design. Sure, some levels are just “beat the enemy” – both skirmish and large-scale – but there are also hit and run missions, stealth missions, and still others involve racing against the clock to collect resources before enemy reinforcements arrive.

TTL’s a great size; the dev anticipates that the included campaign should last around 20 hours, which is decent all on its own. However, TTL also provides an editor, which lets you not only create your own campaign but also allows you to create infinite skirmish maps, either custom-made or generated as you please.

The verdict? If you’re a turn-based tactical fan, TTL is a no-brainer. Get it. Pay full price.