For a while now, I’ve been looking for a very realistic, buttoned-up battle simulator so I could practice honing my tactical prowess. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, or TABS for short, is precisely the game I was looking for.
What I think I like the most about TABS is how every aspect of the game is a perfect recreation of historical battle units from various eras of history. For instance, I set up a battle between two prehistoric forces made up of a few melee club-men, some shield boys, and a few spear launchers. The very robust AI simulation algorithms of TABS made a genuine recreation to the point where I had to look away because of how visceral it was.
The game offers a lot of challenges to complete, requiring you to pick the right unit and formations to conquer your foes. There’s a lot of them, and since TABS is in early access, there’s more to come in the future.
I personally enjoyed the sandbox mode more though, cause it allowed me to answer some eternal questions that I’ve had about the history of combat. Things like, what if some peasants faced off against the legendary Crow Thrower units? You all know about the Crow Throwers of ancient Mesopotamia? They had wings and would float off the ground a summon their flock of murderous crows. Everyone knows that, they teach that stuff in like, second grade. Needless to say the Crow Throwers won, obviously.
I think the saddest thing about TABS is just how devoid of charm it really is. Sure the art style is cartoony an whimsical, but the action is just so realistic it kind of drains any fun the art injects into the game. The game adheres so stringently to history, even something exciting like that one time Zeus electrocuted a bunch of peasants, less interesting than it actually was.
Do you remember the ancient Romans and how they historically used snakes as arrows to launch at their enemies? Well I put a bunch of those guys up against that very real historical creature, the Minotaur, and it was just underwhelming. Like, yeah, the snakes ate the Minotaur dick first, just like they were trained to back in the day.
TABS is a slave to realism and historical accuracy, and on that front, it succeeds. But for being fun and allowing you to do wacky shit, it misses the mark so bad. TABS is in early access right now, and maybe they’ll get around to making it fun, but for now, it’s mostly a simulation tool that historians could take the best advantage of.
All joking aside, I really like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and think that it’s an absolute joy to play.