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 (244 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

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

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
7 of 7 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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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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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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81 of 87 people (93%) found this review helpful
23.0 hrs on record
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.
Posted: August 5, 2013
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