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: Very Positive (245 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 29, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A stylish turn-based strategy game with some interesting mechanics. Certainly different enough to be worthy of a try."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (18)

May 27

Skulls of the Shogun out for Mac & Linux!

We're very happy to announce that Skulls is now on Mac & Linux!

If you're a long time fan looking for new multiplayer action, jump back in to the game with all the new players!

6 comments Read more

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

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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

PC
Mac
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
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
"demon form,SON!
double the actions,double the fun!
WAHAHA!"

10/10
Posted: October 15
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
not recommended - complete waste of time
Posted: October 14
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11.9 hrs on record
Best game EVER!!!
Posted: October 11
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26.6 hrs on record
A really amazing turn-based strategy game that removed the grid/hex system to be more dynamic and fluid! The campaign along is well worth the full price! I can't recommend it enough to Turn-based strategy fans!!

Pros:
+great gameplay mechanics +the story and dialogues are very funny +great visual +controller support
+multiplayer and challenges

Cons:
- occasionally, the manual will disappear upon taking a screenshot; a restart can fix the problem
Posted: October 24
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.9 hrs on record
Simple and fun strategy game. The humor can be a little hit and miss, but all in all I had a really good time while playing it. It outstays it's welcome just a tiny, little bit towards the end, because the strategy elements are really simple and gets somewhat repetitive because of that, but the game is saved by its best humor bits and the relatively short time you have to set aside to beat it. Definitely worth the asking price. Recommended.
Posted: July 18
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
29.2 hrs on record
Set in ancient japan the skulls of the shogun beckons the player to take hold of a shogun backstabbed by one of his subordinates during a battle aiming to seek revenge after being reincarnated in the afterlife. The gameplay consists of a relatively simple but unique turned-based combat system where the player and the AI each take turns commanding their units in a round to either move, attack, or perform other actions until they run out of moves (5 per side). The player wins if he/she can kill all of enemy units or the enemy general, but must protect his/her own general in the process. Three types of basic units are available from start including infantry, cavalry, and archer where they can be utilised to work together for maximum effect in a scenario. Multiple strategies come into play during each scenario which is unique in their own way such as preventing enemy units from counterattacking when they are being attacked, or positioning one's units properly before the end of a round to minimise the damage received during AI's turn--can be accomplished by either running out of enemy's movement range or hide in a bush which can grant a 20% chance for an attack to miss. The gameplay can become stale were it not for golden skulls challenges and the succinct degree of humour present in the game which, surprisingly, can be quite amusing and definitely goes a long way in making the gameplay experience more satisfying. There are also xp for levelling up and emblems you receive at end of each scenario depending on your performance but otherwise they do not have a direct impact on your gameplay, if at all, whether you are level 1 or 10 you do not possess any distinct advantage whatsoever aside from having bestowed a different title each level. The emblems are purely for asthetic purposes to show off your dedication or time committed to the game, notwithstanding the amount of repetitive grinding just to be able to collect all the rare/very rare emblems either through gameplay or combining them to hopefully obtain the ones you want and then upgrading all or most of them to Gold rank.

There is a multiplayer component in addition to the single-player campaign as well. However, the matchmaking lobby is usually empty majority of times and hence one would have to encompass a gross amount of patience in order to possibly find a mattch courtesy of the ability of the game to continuously search for opponents in the background whilst you wreak havoc in traditional campaign mode or casually browse through the leaderboards and emblems you have amassed. Despite the near non-existence of an online community, I find the single-player campaign infinitely enjoyable on its own and that alone is enough to make this game remarkably innovative and is a refreshing change from the traditional, stagnant TBS mechanisms
Posted: June 3
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Very cool campaign. glad i got this in a bundle
Posted: June 30
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
A short, lighthearted, simple tactical game with a pleasant art style.
Posted: June 26
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
Definetly recommended.

Pros:
- Funny
- Challenging
- Original gameplay. Not a typical 'grid'-like turn based game.
- Originel setting. You're a dead shogun samurai.
- Nicelly balanced units & actions: sometimes you have to choose between eating a skull to heal, haunting a shrine to summon extra units or just try to whack an enemy unit over a ledge. So lots of possibilities & different outcomes to each game.

Cons:
- None, really. Besides that one level seems ridiculously hard. But there's always the possibility to lower the difficulty to 'casual'
Posted: June 27
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
It's the closest thing to advance wars you can get on steam or any modern console for that matter. Also you power up by eating the skulls of your enemies. ♥♥♥♥ is ♥♥♥♥ing metal.
Posted: July 28
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
So, a bunch of the games I've been posting about lately have not been (in my opinion) "great". This is not at all true of Skulls of the Shogun. This highly polished turn-based tactics/strategy game isn't overly complex (it's got a great tutorial), but remains deep enough to be satisfying for higher-level play, with additional rewards for particularly skilled play.

And I'm totally uninterested in playing it right now.

While I can't say that I'm a huge aficionado of the genre (tactics and/or strategy), I have enjoyed games of this type in the past, and while I would generally consider myself to be "not very good" at strategy/tactics, I think it's important to challenge myself from time-to-time. But right now I'm just not in the mood, so this game will go into the pile labeled "revisit" (a designation for games that I either wish to replay, or games that I didn't feel like playing but think that I should try again later).

I would certainly recommend this game, however, and It's available on many platforms (PC/Mac/Linux, some—but not all—Sony/Microsoft consoles, as well as iOS).
Posted: June 23
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Aw, this game is so charming! It got my great-great-grandmother into playing RTS. She also bought a Samurai sword to re-enact battle scenes.
Posted: June 30
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
One of the best turn-based strategies out there.
Posted: May 28
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
This game is just amazing all around. The art, the music, the battles, the tactics...it really envelops you. There's even a perfect amount of humour added in here, most games go too overboard with this; but this one has found the perfect balance.

I give this a zen/zen (10/10)
Posted: June 22
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Skulls of the Shogun is an excellent SRPG. I'm hooked from my first session !
PROS
- very accessible and well crafted
- interesting strategy elements
- campaign with very good level design of each scenario
- secondary objectives to make the game more challenging
- gamepad support

CONS
- minor visibility issue on group of units, maybe missing a strategic view
- movement mechanic is a bit counter-intuitive
- a little too easy and only 2 options for the difficulty : normal or casual
Posted: June 28
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
I just loved this game. The game design is simple and charming yet realy deep.
The campagne is good and the multi is even better.
Posted: May 13
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Game is pretty great.
I hope the game spawns a sequel but I doubt it will sell very well which is a shame because it is actually well thought out, deep and challenging.
even has great online netcode for multiplayer.
Posted: June 22
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
its fun
Posted: June 26
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
it has skulls
Posted: June 29
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
edit: there is somebody literally searching all the positive reviews and rating it down. Seriously dude have the curtesy to at least comment why you think this or the other reviews for this matter is even unhelpful. Everything that was written is true with the touch of some personal references. . .anyhow would be nice if you would comment or something thanks.

+ Skulls Of The Shogun's diverse rock-paper-scissors tactics turned-based combat and comical humor helps me connect and treat this game with nothing less than respect and applause for the very existance of such a well developed and well executed game.+

+Skulls of the Shogun takes the combat to a turned based tactics like set up. Like Final Fantasy Advanced Tactics. +

+Humor that actually funny along with lots of allegory and satire. Brilliantly implented with the bubble chat dialogue which is very easy on the eyes and actually makes reading fun. +

+Innovative art and strategy of the eating of the skulls of fallen enemies. Fun and new and very well implenmented
Posted: July 3
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