There are few things I love more in this world than a nice turn-based strategy game, and Dmitry Kozlov's post-apocalyptic Renegades, which draws inspiration from Xenosquad, Zombotron, and even the Fallout series, definitely fits the bill. Throughout each level, you may guide your lumpy-faced squad through danger to finish their objective, carefully utilizing the terrain and cover to make their way through safely. Sometimes you may need to defend a location from a zombie horde, others you may need to get your party all to a specific location, and so on. Click on a hero to highlight spaces they can move to in green, and then click on one of those to go there. If an enemy is within range, they'll display as red, and mousing over will give you your percentage to hit as well as possible damage. Every hero has their own Ability Point pool, and certain actions take more points than others, so think carefully about where you go and what you do with them. Once you run out of moves, you can end your turn and the enemies will take theirs. When you finish a level, you'll be awarded stars, and thus sweet, sweet, cash, to spend on purchasing equipment for your party members. Any character can be outfitted however you want, but pay special attention to each level's objectives. You may need a grenade to blast open a door, or a smoke bomb might be best to give your crew a bit of extra cover.
Though it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles and deeper customisation of other games in the genre, Renagdes is a solid little turn-based strategy game that has some great ideas. Control is simple and intuitive, though a visual representation of how many AP you need to move/attack would be nice, and the wide variety of level objectives keeps things feeling fresh throughout. More heroes will be unlocked as you play, and tweaking their loadouts can make a drastic difference in the difficulty of a level. The downside, unfortunately, is that some objectives can be frustratingly vague. Your first defense level tells you to keep zombies out of the "store" for eleven turns, for example. What constitutes the "store" isn't really defined since you'll get a game over if a zombie reaches an area that's actually outside of what the game designates the zone to protect. Further, the definition of an in-game turn seems likewise nebulous, here counting for each character moved or slain, rather than when both sides have moved all their characters. Despite its flaws and bumps, however, Renegades is a title filled with promise and potential, especially for a more developed sequel somewhere down the road. Though you can see the clear influences, it's neither Xenosquad, Zombotron, or Fallout, but it's still a game with a clearly impressive amount of work behind it that serves as a casual entryway for newcomers to the genre.