The Game Tutor Examines TASTEE: Lethal Tactics

Tastee: Lethal Tactics is a simultaneous squad based tactics game finally out of early access on PC. Following a very similar path as Frozen Synapses the premise is simple, each game is broken down into 2 phases the planning stage where you direct the movement, vision and attacks of your 4-5 mercenaries and in the action phases you watch the results of your actions unfold.
Obviously to be good at Tastee this means not only being precise with your tactics but also predicting what the enemy is going to do next. So many times I thought I had a perfect strategy only to wrongly predict where the enemy was and get sniped as I walked past a window or suddenly have a grenade land at my feet.

Your team is made up of a bunch of misfits each with a key ability such as long range sniping skills, the ability to throw a flashbang, the ability to conceal or simply put “has the biggest explosions”. Each character has a unique feel but sometimes visually they can be hard to differentiate when zoomed out and lets not even discuss the issue with having 2 characters standing on the same spot and being unable to click on one.

Single player is as you would expect a selection of missions loosely tied together with a story but in actual fact it acts as one long tutorial for multiplayer slowly drip feeding you a new character and a new ability as you go. It is however pretty tough and only a few missions in I started to feel my rustiness at strategy game starting to shine through.

Multiplayer however is where this game is strong… but only if you know what to expect. See the first time I played this the other player took forever to take his turn and I ended up quitting. But then I realised this game is similar to all those multiplayer mobile games you have played where someone can have many games going on at once and you merely wait until the other player has made their turn… and that could take ages… days in fact. It’s an interesting take on multiplayer but personally I found this choice bizarre and would have preferred time-outs after 5 mins of no activity in order to speed things up a bit.
When things go well however the game is immensely satisfying. Each time you watch the action unfold with no idea of what is actually going to happen, you will either be met with crushing disappointment as 2 team mates die, victory as you kill an enemy or gleeful surprise as you kill 2 by accident.

In general this is a good game and there is a lot of depth here on offer but the UI is very fiddly and cumbersome. The different actions are controller by a ring display and this includes things such as sprint, crouch look and wait, but the annoying thing is you also have to cancel everything. This means I can somehow have sprinting and crouching selected or my look direction that is totally inappropriate now has to be deselected before I can select a new one. A minor thing on the surface but when a turn in TASTEE takes so many clicks this can drag. Equally movement often doesn’t go the way you and sometimes the maps are not clear where you can and can’t go.

Overall TASTEE is a decent strategy game that bares a strong resemblance to Frozen Synapse so if you enjoyed that you will enjoy this. There is a good game in here but I can’t help but feel that a few tweaks could have made it great…