Here’s an indie tactics game inspired by X-Com, Rebelstar, and Laser Squad

An upcoming turn-based tactics game hearkens back to the earliest days of the genre: Archrebel Tactics, an in-development indie game from solo developer Ularis Badler, draws directly from the well of Rebelstar, the 1984 ZX Spectrum ur-tactics game from Julian Gollop, the man who would later steer the creation of X-Com.

Archrebel Tactics will put players in control of a few dozen units on a grid-based map, moving them with an action point system and picking out targets as they go. It’s a bit flashier than that, however: Shooting is on that pixel-based world, and shots can hit intervening terrain—some of which is destructible—or be shot down by countermeasures.

The current trailer shows off some cool effects: There’s copious use of modern particle and lighting effects in the graphics, both for smoke and fire as well as zappy lightning guns. There’s also some really cool tactics stuff, like the countermeasures I mentioned before, and a kind of room-scanning throwable device that picks out enemies inside a room before the soldiers enter.

Archrebel Tactics doesn’t yet have a release date, but it does have some planned post-release features: Graphics upgrades, local co-op campaigns, and local PvP battles.

You can find Archrebel Tactics on Steam

In a 2019 piece we’ve got here on the site, Julian Gollop said that Rebelstar Raiders was the game which really started his X-Com itch: “It’s true to say that Rebelstar Raiders was the beginning of a long line of games that resulted in X-COM and now ultimately Phoenix Point. It’s a tactical combat system that I continued to refine over time as my skills improved.”