Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based Tactics RPG
Developer: Auroch Digital
Publisher: Ripstone Ltd.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Tested on: Switch

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Good to pick up and play for short bursts
Bad: Basic gameplay mechanics
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Nazis, Lovecraftian monsters, and tactical RPGs. We’ve discussed Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics before, found here and here, so what is there left to be discussed? Ports, for one. The reason we are reviewing it three times is that there are so many versions of it. On the chopping block today: The Switch’s version of the title. Is it the same as the other titles? Does the small form-factor of the system mean budget cuts in power and therefore complexity? Let’s parachute in.


Still in World War II, still hunted by horrors from the deep, Achtung! Portrays the events preceding the pen and paper RPG by the same name, where the legendary weapon from the pen and paper is on the verge of being invented. The hope of you and your three squad-mates is to hopefully stop the creation of the weapon and escape enemy lines unharmed. As we already knew ahead of time, this obviously doesn’t turn out as we hope, judging by the existence of the pen and paper of course. As far as the story goes, there’s still very limited actual storytelling during your missions. You’ll get your mission briefing, which is a voiced introduction of the current encounter, and after that, it is all show, don’t tell. Due to the way that combat encounters are placed, there could have easily been a couple of throwaway lines in there to progress the story. But then again, as it’s all based on a pen and paper RPG, aren’t you supposed to inhabit the character you identify with and become them? Essentially, your inner monologue about the game -is- the dialogue in the end.


Compared to the PC and Xbox One, the Switch is a console of lower power. This is a natural result of the corner of the market Nintendo set themselves up in with their wish to have a partly mobile console. They have to tune down the hardware in order to conserve precious battery power, naturally making games either run or look worse compared to their other versions. The load times of the levels are longer, and especially when moving the fog of war you may experience some performance hits here and there. This is a compensation, however, because the graphics haven’t really changed. Most of the terrain is the same forest with mountain walls. You’ll encounter some enemy strongholds and things like tanks and vehicles, and the occasional eldritch horror floors and things alike. The last major change between the other versions of this game and the Switch title is that there are only two levels the player can view the battlefield from, losing some of the granular control you may find important in tactical games.


The sound of Achtung Cthulhu Tactics brings some charm to the game. The imperfection in the recording technique of old World War II vinyl records gives an unmistakable character to the audio that lends authenticity to the game. You can find these fragments in the menus while at base camp. When it comes to the actual battles, oh boy. Great use of situational audio comes to light when fighting the Shoggoth enemies, as you’ll get some horror-grade background sound that mirrors the stress you’re about to feel. As we’ve discussed in the story section of the review, the only real voice-over you can expect is during your mission briefings, and the small voice lines when attacking, getting hit, moving, etc. This makes the fights feel a little empty as you’ll quickly drown out the sound of the characters, leaving you with the intermittent shots, footsteps, and the background music.


Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics has not changed its gameplay style of tactics/strategy RPG with a turn-based combat system since our last review. Each mission has two goals, a hidden goal usually discovered by getting started with it, and the main goal. Before each mission, you get the chance to edit your load-out, going from long range weapons like the light machine guns, to close quarters like shotguns and handguns. Each of your squad mates also has a level that gives them access to some unique traits, like straight up damage or abilities to stun or drain life from enemies. Before you jump in, you usually get a side mission to optionally complete before your main story mission, but there’s no grinding on older missions to over-level your squad.

When you start a mission, and on each consecutive turn, your squad all start out with twelve action points, which you can spend on a number of actions. Moving, attacking, or changing your view cone all cost AP. Besides the standard attacks, each unit has some form of special abilities, which cost MP or momentum points, which recover based on your character with the highest leadership. You play on one map, with several packs of enemies spread across it, with small breaks between each pack. This is where you come into some problems with the setting though since the game has a Lovecraftian setting with unspeakable horrors, it is difficult to feel the ever-growing horror of the situation. The monsters all neatly wait for their turn, making them not as much of a threat as they are supposed to be in the accompanying lore.

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics uses a simple armor/health system but they name it luck and health, when you lose your health you obviously die, but in addition to the health, you also have your sanity to think about when you encounter the eldritch enemies, which makes you lose control of your unit if it reaches zero. Before you start your campaign, you pick a difficulty level, and in Normal, the difficulty seems to be in just the right spot of having barely enough health to survive fights, making the game thrilling to play but not being unfair in the process. Added onto that, besides the leveling -which you cannot influence- there is an overall lack of any advanced systems in the game that could make it a rewarding playthrough to grind or work for, which dampens the enjoyment one can get out of the game in general. A little more breadth would have gone a long way for the replayability for this title.


Due to the nature of the game, even though there are eldritch horror monsters in the game there is no real sense of dread you expect from the Lovecraft mythos. Because it is turn-based, the traditional ever hiding presence of the monster gets overwritten, making them less scary. With its systems and its light gameplay complexity, we wish it had a little more depth, but it also makes it great to pick up and play just on the bus home or as a short break. With its balanced difficulty, it will give new tactical-players a healthy challenge, without overtaxing them, and higher difficulties will still break veterans and novices alike. All in all, if you have either a passing interest in Lovecraftian horror OR in tactical RPG games, you cannot go wrong picking up: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (Switch) - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 26, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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