Down with RTS Games

Turn-based strategy (TBS) games are simply better than real-time strategy (RTS) games. I said what I said, and I refuse to apologize.

There’s a reason that a popular mechanic in RTS games is the ability to pause.

RTS forces players to manage all these categories on the fly and it just isn’t a fun experience. That’s why they give the opportunity to pause or even switch over fully to TBS.

I just don’t understand the draw of these games and why they continue to be made.

If one of your features is to mimic another genre or to turn yourself into that style, then maybe reconsider your approach.

I’ve talked to some of my friends that play RTS games, and one of their reasonings is that it is more challenging.

I must disagree.

When I am following one unit under my control, I can’t control another unit in a different location across the map.

When the enemy AI is a mastermind and the ally AI has the IQ of a goldfish, there is little I can do.

These aren’t challenges in the normal sense, these are specifically designed areas of the game. Challenges should be things that the player can overcome, not things that just have to be accepted.

When mechanics are designed against the player rather than to improve the experience, it’s poor design not challenging.

TBS games allow the opportunity to appraise the current situation, current resources, available abilities, and adjust strategy to counter opponents.

It also mimics many other games that might have been popular in the childhood of players. Checkers, chess, D&D, even many sports have elements that can be compared.

The main premise is cause and effect, call and response, and these are important skills to develop because it increases creativity and problem solving. It’s rare that the solution to a problem is launched while the problem occurs.

If this doesn’t occur frequently, then why is the game genre that does exactly this, so popular?

I want to play a game that is relaxing, that is enjoyable, and if that comes with developing useful skills then it’s all the better.

What I don’t want, is a stressful, needlessly difficult, slog of a game.

I know that I can avoid these games. I do, but when the RTS genre competes against the TBS genre and takes up resources that could make more TBS games, it’s a sad day in the better genre.

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Professional Writing Undergraduate at University of Oklahoma Covering movies, books, video games, TTRPGs, and other passions

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Trevor Kay

Trevor Kay

Professional Writing Undergraduate at University of Oklahoma Covering movies, books, video games, TTRPGs, and other passions

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