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Video GamesJun 7, 2024 5:00 pm CT

What to play this weekend — dive into strategy while streaming Summer Game Fest!

This weekend, the Blizzard Watch team is all about Summer Game Fest — the (currently) largest annual event for the video games industry (RIP E3), but that’s not stopping us from enjoying new releases. We’re deep into strategy and survival in our offerings — from the tiniest of creatures to ancient civilizations. Let’s explore our recommendations for the week!

Release of the week: Empires of the Undergrowth (realtime strategy)

StarCraft Zerg fans, you have a new game to check out — Empires of the Undergrowth is an RTS game where the base you’re building up is an ant colony. Excavate your underground nest, constructing tunnels for storage and safety as you protect your vulnerable queen to help the colony survive. Stay vigilant to survive!

EotU has vividly realistic graphics (arachnophobes, beware) and treats the player to a unique perspective with intense gameplay. In addition to the RTS elements, the title features a narrative-driven campaign mode, set to the dulcet tones of a documentary film maker observing and studying the ants as narrator. But remember, even in the face of brutal scientific test, not all is as it seems.

Get Empires of the Undergrowth for $29.99 for PC on Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG. Save 35% until June 21 as part of the release’s introductory offer.

Early adventures: The Ancients (turn-based strategy)

Are you ready to develop an entire culture, survive fierce, starving wildlife, and struggle to survive some of history’s harshest conditions? Then let’s look back — way back, to our planet’s prehistoric times in The AncientsThe Ancients is a turn-based survival strategy that just entered early access, where you are leading a prehistoric hunter-gatherer tribe through the last ice age.

You’re battling to survive and save your people. Hunt the animals around you as you migrate across the shifting continents into new biomes, survive the harsh seasons, and evolve your people by developing tools, weapons, and shelter. It’s literally survival of the fittest in here — there’s no light except sunlight, dangerous hunters are everywhere, and you are wide open.

Get The Ancients for $19.99 for PC on Steam and GOG, or download the demo from Steam for free.

Steal of a deal: Civilization 6 (turn-based strategy)

Yes, Sid Meier’s award-winning Civilization 6 is on sale this weekend on Steam, with discounts ranging from 79% for the anthology bundle to 95% off the original base title. With 18 DLCs and two expansions, Civ6 persists as one of the top turn-based strategies since its release in 2016. This game can eat up over a thousand of hours of your playtime with diplomatic events involving history’s greatest leaders to research, expansion, and cultural advancement, pursuing hundreds of achievements.

Rumors of Civilization 7 were proved true during Summer Game Fest 2024 with the first trailer for the coming title, so instead of going on and on, I’m going to quote a review Steam community member Tam recently posted to the title:

Looking at the over 1,000 hours I’ve clocked into this game and the ~200 achievements I’ve collected…. yeah, I guess you could say that I think it’s quite good…

Seriously though, this game is fantastic. Firaxis have their work cut out for them making Civ VII top this. World exploration is a delight, interacting with the leaders is fantastic, always wanting to go for just one more turn is likewise fantastic. Going in to Civ VI after playing quite a lot of Civ V, I was very skeptical regarding the districts, but I honestly think even that was exceptionally well done in comparison to the old system. I do wish they had added a one city challenge at some point but that’s okay :D

Get Civilization for $2.99 for Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and PC on Steam. It is also available for PC from the Epic Games Store.

Now tell us, Watchers — what are you playing this weekend? Share in the comments below, and we’ll feature your new interest in next week’s round-up!

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