This indie strategy game is like a tiny Total War that only takes an hour

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I like an indie strategy game, especially if it only takes about an hour to wrap up a campaign. Indie Roma Invicta hits that sweet spot with a game of little pixel art Romans fighting little pixel art Gauls and marching all over a little pixel art Europe eating little pixelated bushels of pixel art wheat.

Roma Invicta is solo developer Puntigames (opens in new tab) first outing, a miniature strategy game that that wouldn’t look out of place alongside the old classic Centurion: Defender of Rome, or North and South, except that it owes more to the Total War series than not. It’s super streamlined, with a very basic campaign map where you choose a historical era, a difficulty, and then go out and conquer Gaul. It took me about an hour to win my first campaign, and I found the loose motions and floppy movements of the combat pretty charming alongside the little skill shots of unit abilities. Click to throw pilum at just the right time and the result is pretty satisfying.

The economy is handled with a single resource—money—and your armies have to be supplied by either purchasing from or looting the locals. New units are recruited from Italy, though you can recruit some grumpy Germans as auxiliaries, and a lot of the strategic challenge is knowing how to bring in new reinforcements over a distance without breaking the bank by overspending.

Perhaps the coolest part is that the developer worked in mod support, and there’s already a few out there. One adds a bunch of armies from The Witcher for your fantasy skirmish needs, including Geralt and some monsters. Another puts together muskets, gunpowder, and cannon from the War of the Spanish Succession if you’re of a more historical bent.

You can find Roma Invicta on Steam for about the price of a sandwich—$6. It’s 30% off until June 23rd. It whets my appetite for whatever it is developer Puntigames decides to get up to next.

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