Joystiq says "...we found Skulls of the Shogun to be an absolutely enjoyable experience – so much so that we gave it a perfect score." It's fast-paced turn-based strategy inspired by Advance Wars, and supercharged with fighting-game flare!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (398 reviews) - 90% of the 398 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 29, 2013

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Reviews

"Fast, compact and yet consistently thoughtful, there's nothing else quite like Skulls of the Shogun - and, for me, it earns its place amongst the genre's greats. "
9/10 – Eurogamer

"Skulls of the Shogun encapsulates whatever essence puts Castle Crashers at the top of the XBLA charts year after year, and does so without infringing on that game's intellectual property or overall vibe."
5/5 – Joystiq

"Equal parts quirky and complex, it only comes to prove that the glory days of this often forgotten genre aren’t quite gone."
8.6/10 – Gametrailers

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

Joystiq says "...we found Skulls of the Shogun to be an absolutely enjoyable experience – so much so that we gave it a perfect score." It's fast-paced turn-based strategy inspired by Advance Wars, and supercharged with fighting-game flare! Enter the Samurai Afterlife and join forces with vibrant ghost-samurai warriors, magical animal monks, and mustachioed samurai generals. And now Skulls of the Shogun tastes even better in the Bone-a-Fide Edition, which adds a brand-new episode, the new Tanuki Monk, and a heaping helping of new features!

Key Features

  • A fast-paced, arcade-inspired blend of arcade action and turn-based strategy!
  • Rub shoulders with the colorful denizens of the Afterlife and power up your army to deadly demons!
  • Rampage through 24 levels in an epic single-player campaign!
  • Confound opponents with the all-new Tanuki Monk unit!
  • Gain experience and fuse emblems with an all-new player progression system!
  • Battle up to 4 players at once on spectacular multiplayer maps, both locally and online (realtime and turn-based asynchronous modes)!
  • Power your way through an all-new episode, which features persistent troops and the mischievous new Tanuki Monk!
  • Get inside our heads with all-new Developer Commentary!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP + Service Pack 3
    • Processor: Intel Celeron 440 2.0GHz / AMD Athlon 64 3300+
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2.0 graphics card, Nvidia GeForce 7300 / ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 or better
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8, 32/64-bit
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ support (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit. S3TC support is NOT required.
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ support (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB HD space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (398 reviews)
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208 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
sorophx
1.7 hrs
Posted: September 19
This game has the most unintuitive interface I've seen. Switching between units, deactivating them, cancelling moves or actions feels unnatural, it's hard to get used to the controls, so commanding your troops becomes a chore.

And the campaign encounters are terribly designed. You get a few tutorial missions that are very easy for the most part, but then you get thrown into a fight with a mini boss that attacks 3 times per round and has a pocket healer, making the encounter unbelievably unbalanced and difficult.

If the tutorial is so badly designed, I don't even want to see what else there is to this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
21.7 hrs
Posted: September 17
Absolutely great 10/10. I couldn't stop playing once I started
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Salarn
2.5 hrs
Posted: August 15
https://youtu.be/L4WFq1fuZ2o

Tactical turn based strategy finds a home in 'Skulls of the Shogun'. Not only is it a quality game in it's own right but it also pushes TBS games forward with the 'Spirit wall' mechanic.

The visual style is bursting with animation and color but at times it can be difficult to distinguish units from each other, especially if they are in cover. A lot of humor can be found in the single player campaign even the gameplay can be a bit sluggish at times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trynnun
29.9 hrs
Posted: July 19
GENEOUS... PURE GENEOUS on an epic level.

This is by for the most dynamic strategy board game I have ever player... I'm not comparing this to Warhammer, so don't think I'm referring to massive game boards like that... this is more twice to four times the size of chess, with about the same number of pieces.

Yes, I compare this game to chess... I dare say that this game is the evolution of chess. There are no spaces, or square counts. There is movement distantce and proximity combined with ranged attacks... If you attack with a piece, be careful to make sure you have some movement left over (the little thing white circle tells you that).

The controls are clever, elegant... Not complicated or complex.

The map variety is nice, though we could use bigger maps for two players to face off with massive armies like the 4v4 fujin falls map, not the 2v2 version.

All in all, this game sets a very high bar, and a new standard of board games.

This game gives you the biggest bang for your buck on steam without a doubt.


BUY IT!!! Learn it. Enjoy it!

P.S.
The campaign has to be the best tutorial i have every played. Very funny and enjoyable story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Razell
7.6 hrs
Posted: July 11
good move
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Astral and Arcane
11.0 hrs
Posted: July 11
Fun strategy game, easy to learn, but a lot of depth when playing against other people.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SVK PETO
4.6 hrs
Posted: July 9
Product received for free
nonsence
Helpful? Yes No Funny
popgoesthenono
30.4 hrs
Posted: July 3
yes sir ree :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
slow, clunky, weird controls, don't play unless you have a controller
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
69.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Skulls of the Shogun play basically like the silly brother of The Banner Saga. It features superbly tactical combat, great sound and art design, a fun and engaging single player campaign as well as deeply tactical multiplayer.

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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
98 of 110 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2013
After playing through the full (post early access) release, the verdict is in and I can confidently say that Skulls of the Shogun is a winner. This quirky turn-based strategy game seems simple at first, but there are actually some surprisingly deep levels of nuance and complexity beneath the surface. You play as a Japanese swordsman General who is trying to reclaim his stolen identity in the afterlife. The art style is very unique and really well done. The cast of characters and story are also very cool. The dialogue, in particular, is a highlight. I wasn't expecting much from that aspect of a seemingly simple strategy game, but I was pleasantly surprised at how funny and entertaining it was.

So the aesthetic portions of the game are definitely good, but what of the actual gameplay, you ask? In short, it's pretty damn good. Gameplay is turn based, but on each turn you have 5 "orders" that can be performed. Your team is comprised of various types of units (warriors, cavalry, archers), each of which has their own strengths and weaknesses. Instead of moving on tiles like other strategy games, the actions in this game are more free-roaming. Units are able to move anywhere they want, within a certain radius, and are also able to continue moving after performing an action, which adds to the level of strategy involved. One of your main goals is to eat the skulls of defeated opponents, which restores health. However, if a unit is able to eat 3 skulls, they transform into a Demon, which enables them to perform 2 actions per turn, which is a huge advantage. Gameplay becomes a delicate balancing act of attacking, positioning and staying alive long enough to power up.

Outside of these main elements, there are a number of other nuances (summoning monks with special powers, forming spirit walls, environmental hazards, deciding when to bring your general into battle, and more) that add many layers of complexity to the basic strategy. Every level seems to provide some new elements to learn or deal with, and this keeps the main campaign fresh from start to finish. There's no padding at all. The main campaign lasts several hours (more if you play on a higher difficulty or attempt to complete the set of special goals for each level) and is worth the price of admission alone. In addition, the game also features online, local and asynchronous multiplayer matches. So there is plenty of content here for both casual and competitive types.

All in all, this game is solid and brings some really cool twists to the turn-based strategy genre. If you are into that type of thing, pick this one up. And if not, well, this could be the game that makes you a fan. Check it out.
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43 of 46 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
Skulls of Shogun is a surprisingly great game of 2013 for me. With the rise in popularity of Turn Based Strategy (TBS) games, It can be difficult for Skulls of Shogun to stood out among the other quality TBS games such as XCOM, Civilization V, and so on.

Still, with its quirky art style and fairly witty humor that is set in Samurai's afterlife, Skulls of Shogun features a well designed and carefully balanced mechanics, I find Skulls of Shogun to be very enjoyable game to play. At the same time, the game tries to introduce a gridless movement system where your unit's movement range is denoted by a white circle with a fixed radius, I find this innovation to a decent change that works well to be an alternative to the typical grid system found in a lot of TBS games. Combining with the cross platform compatibility with iOS, one could even play this game on the go. While Skulls of Shogun looks like a mobile port, it felt more like a PC game with reasonable amount of depth despite having a rather small unit roster. Each unit has its own unique role that can be useful in the right hands. Personally, I find the PC version's UI to be pretty decent and mouse friendly while it is equally playable on a touch screen.

If you like Turn Based Strategy, give Skulls of Shogun a go if you have the chance. You could find yourself putting a couple of hours into this indie gem.
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47 of 54 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 14, 2013
Skulls of the Shogun is a turn based strategy game with a surprising amount of tactical depth. Units are varied - samurai, cavalry, archers and four types of magic using monks - all with different strengths and weaknesses. Positioning of units is important, because they can counter attack in certain situations, and can also be knocked off ledges for an instant kill. Eating the skulls of dead enemies regains health and increases max health, while controlling rice gardens and shrines lets you summon extra units. The game is challenging, because on most levels you are outnumbered and surrounded, but at the same time well balanced, because each side can only move 5 units per turn. However, any unit that eats three skulls unlocks an extra attack per turn. The game has a wacky sense of humour, particularly with its amusing text only dialogue and animation style. The singleplayer campaign is quite long and very stable. Definitely worth checking out.
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2015
A Masterpiece !

Skulls of the Shogun is a 2D Turn-Based Strategy game. This game has a colorful cartoon style that makes it enjoyable and visually friendly.

With a comic and a good story, it takes place in the ancient Japan. The story begins in the battlefield, after the "General Akamoto" (you) got betrayed by one of his lieutenants. Stealing your name and your sword.

In the afterlife, your mission is recover your name and get your revenge against the imposter.

Fighting against undead and rival clans through many challenging levels.

Talking about gameplay, every team has 5 moves per turn, 3 different kind of soldiers and 3 kind of wizards plus a general, game ends when you kill the enemy general. Every character has its own hability and battle stats.

Soundtrack is well made, relaxing and smooth.

Co-op featur it's a funny experience, up to 4 players you will have a good time with your friends.

A lot of fun packaged in this great game, definetily a must have.

10 / 10


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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
72.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 26, 2014
Unfortunately, little do the bulk of TBS addicts know about this rare gem bringing a nice change of pace. Many consider it as a spiritual successor of Advance Wars, and it is in many ways yet by being a truly unique experience in the even rarer ''cartoony TBS'' sub genre. Don't get it wrong: despite its ( marvelous ) cartoony construct & hilarious dialogues ( really ), Skulls of the Shogun also shines via a lenghty campaign of well drawn maps.

Overall strategy and multiple tactics may seem basic, but ways to win versus enemies ( AI or multiplayer ) require the full attention of veteran players as well. It's not perfect on crowded bottlenecks when trying to command orders, some little glitch here and there, though nothing to alter an otherwise joyful turn based combat.

Pros: vivid cartoony construct and turn based combat mixed pretty well; lenghty campaign and multiplayer modes; hilarious dialogues; great audio track.

Cons: ordering units when crowded like sardines; some questionable unit range versus obstacle placement.

Bottom line: Highly recommended. ''OSHUDA''
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
38.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 9, 2014
Skulls of the Shogun is another indie turn based tactics game. This is a fun game to play because the levels are short and packed with action and tough decision making. It’s also easy to learn and play because there is no hex counting, no charts, and no tables. It has special objectives for completionists including a time attack trial and a developer commentary for all 20 levels.

I like this game because individual levels are short. The long levels can be 30 minutes but you can easily finish most within 15. Skulls doesn’t waste time with load outs or gear management. The only thing you need to manage is your troops and your rice (a currency to buy units). You manage your units with five orders each turn. Activating a unit takes an order. Most decisions are simple yet tough. Do you deal damage? Do you take crucial economy or troop producing buildings? Do you eat skulls to upgrade your troops? Do you provide other units protection from knock back?

Many turn based tactics games rely on special attack and armor types. In Skulls you won’t need to memorize the latest version of rock-paper-scissors. Attacks are easy to understand. Units deal damage and armor subtracts it. No long time investments studying maximum efficiency. Though it is a tactics game and so if hyper efficient decision making is what you like then you’ll be glad to know that each level is scored, even including leaderboards. Each level also has alternate secondary objectives such as winning without losing any units.

On the negative side I think knock back while intuitive often felt a bit fuzzy. An attack that I thought for sure would knock an opponent over an edge just barely hangs on and vice versa. Also while it’s fun that individual levels are short it would have been nice to have more than 20 levels to play through. Because it’s possible to play through the game in less than ten hours that means Skulls relies a lot on it’s great replayability.

Due to it's campaign length I think the $14.99 asking price might be a bit much but this is definitely a great purchase at $10.
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33 of 48 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 17, 2013
Funny and deep, Skulls of the Shogun is a deceptively shallow take on turn-based tactics. It's has a lot to offer for new players and veterans alike.
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23 of 31 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2013
Craving another turn-based strategy game? Don't mind tongue-in-cheek undead shogun fighting each other? Then Skulls of the Shogun is for you.
A comical, cartoony turn-based strategy game with surprising depth and strategy, not to mention quite a bit of humour. Satisfying kills follow the required strategic thinking.
Nice!
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