Cthulhu, nazis, isometric gameplay, written dialogue crutch – I think we already hit '90's video game bingo' and we're barely into the intro. Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is pretty much what it says on the tin.
You (a group of diverse soldiers) are fighting evil. In this case, that evil is ….Cthulhu.... and Nazis. No really. I played through, and I'm still confused. I get that they wanted something to fight that has been in a lot of video games, but the way it's presented, it's as if they couldn't choose. It's like WWII and Lovecraft stories are running smashed into each other. It just felt like they couldn't decide on what course to take.
Controls on the Switch were, eh, standard. It's an isometric game, and I didn't know how that would play on the Switch thanks to all the camera angles, but it seemed to work out. It's largely a shooter, and with the thumbsticks it flows nicely.
Like I said, this is an isometric game, so it's 3D. And they do look nice – I was personally impressed with the bunkers looking like concrete that can pop right out. Sometimes it can look too clean. Like things are obviously cut and paste. Like the wood crates that are TOO clean. But for what it is, it's an above average looking combat game. Imagine if the Civilization series battles were more closeup and combat oriented. That's pretty much right on the money.
Being an isometric shooter, it's pretty basic what you do – run around and kill the nazi/cthulhus. Each character has special abilities, such as the French resistance woman having the ability to do one shot pistol kills and setting everyone on fire. And here it gets better, because the solider you choose can make all the difference. Some games have different classes and you can win with any of them, and this game comes close to making the classes important. But the enemy A.I. Is barely intelligent, so any differences the classes make is totally overtaken by that.
The Music is interesting. It's a mix of adventure, 80's sci-fi, and minimalist tension music. It fit, considering the setting, and I actually liked setting up attacks to that. Sound-wise it was pretty standard combat sounds, but with ONE major sound that kills it – the typewriter sound. When certain text comes on, it's done by this typewriter sound. It happens a lot and it throws you out of the loop. Every. Single. Time. Other than that it's pretty good music and sound-wise.
For all of it's faults it ran beautifully. It never once slowed down or had a screwed up frame rate. Even with wild camera swings, and a lot of shooting and everything I could do (At one point I mashed the buttons on my controller) it never once faltered.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics does some things right, but for the most part it stops short of what it could be. Bad AI, a confusing story and gameplay that could have been from decades old can't bump this too high. It is pretty fun, but after a playthrough, it doesn't seem to have a lot of replay value.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.