Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Feb 11, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a funny and compact real time strategy action game. Ideal for beginners.
  2. Feb 9, 2013
    The battlefields in this turn-based tactics gem are as numerous as they are varied. This is tactical entertainment at its best.
  3. Feb 14, 2013
    With a humorous story and plenty of fun to be had in multiplayer modes, this game is well worth the selling price, but it still has a few little flaws. Skulls of the Shogun is a really nice arcade game, and with not many AAA titles out in these early months, this game will keep you occupied for some time.
  4. Feb 12, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun requires patience and a knowledge of the gameplay. This is not a game that can be won by brute force or guesswork like some strategy games.
  5. Jan 30, 2013
    While Skulls of the Shogun does a great job of offering a decent amount of units, there's no inherent "wow" factor when it comes to gameplay. Although the traditional grid is tossed in favor of a circular movement shadow, it still feels about the same as the genre always has, minus the game's visual and vocal charm.
  6. Feb 4, 2013
    The enemy AI is deviously smart, and will not hesitate to take advantage of every trick you can think of and more. That also only means it is all the more satisfying when you finally learn to outsmart it, making Skulls of the Shogun a must for all hardcore armchair generals.
  7. Oct 8, 2012
    Wickedly irreverent and cartoonishly outrageous. [Nov 2012, p.96]
  8. Jan 30, 2013
    Objectivity is an illusion. Perceptions and subjectivity prevail, powerfully influenced by expectations both personal and cultural. Culturally, we want the Great Gaming Renaissance, and we look to indie games to bring it to us. I want to love Skulls of the Shogun for all that I see it can be, but I have to like Skulls for all that it is. Part of that includes being boring.
  9. Jan 30, 2013
    Fast, compact and yet consistently thoughtful, there's nothing else quite like Skulls of the Shogun - and, for me, it earns its place amongst the genre's greats.
  10. 60
    If you were to ask me if you should play Skulls of the Shogun, I'd first go ahead and give you a list of better titles in a similar vein. If you're already past the Advance Wars', Fire Emblems and Valkyria Chronicles', this is well worth a look. It's just not all that memorable.
  11. Feb 1, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is an unsuspected good turn-based tactical game, with an addictive cross-platform gameplay both in single and multiplayer, humorous characters and some cool ideas. With some more depth in customization and options, it could have been an instant classic.
  12. Feb 6, 2013
    A charismatic but simple turn based strategy game. Skulls of the Shogun gives more laughs than tactical resistance, but is easy to learn and fun to play against friends.
  13. Feb 20, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a challenging turn-based strategy game that can be recommended to all audiences.
  14. Jan 17, 2013
    It's the kind of strategy game that I love; it lets you visualize and execute your best-laid plans, even if they can go down in flames. [Feb 2013, p.92]
  15. Jan 30, 2013
    Nifty perks aside, Skulls of the Shogun is one of the best strategy games I have ever played thanks to its elegant accessibility and addicting depth, and you'd be foolish to pass it by.
  16. Feb 11, 2013
    This 17-Bit game is a love letter of strategy fans, and manages successfully to bring turn-based strategy in the hands of all. Its accessibility, its quality, its balanced, deep yet simple gameplay, everything was designed to go straight to what matters, while polishing the details. With its cross-platform multiplayer and a very nice, funny atmosphere, it may very well be the perfect entry point to a genre that is more often than not perceived as dull and complicated.
  17. Feb 12, 2013
    The first "cross platform" game by Microsoft has some great features, like the asynchronous multiplayer mode, unique art direction and great replay value. Probably a must-have for strategy enthusiasts.
  18. Feb 6, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun has a low barrier to entry, which makes it ideal to discover whether turn-based strategy is something for you. The story is filled with humorous dialogues and slowly gets players ready to fight other players. Strategy veterans have nothing to worry about though: strategic insight is still a necessity.
  19. Oct 24, 2012
    Gorgeous looking (if not just a little bit confusing at times) and wickedly funny too. [Dec 2012, p.83]
  20. Jan 30, 2013
    A thoroughly compelling strategy game. Quirky too, playing to the video game retro-chic and tongue-in-cheek humour that's popular especially among XBLA and digital games today. Despite the slightly overblown frills, there's plenty of depth to Skulls Of The Shogun that will instantly engage any type of strategy gamer.
  21. Jan 30, 2013
    It's hard and unfair in the campaign, but that keeps it challenging. Beyond the gameplay, it's just nice to look at. The battlefields are crisp, and the characters are interesting and colorful.
  22. Jan 30, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a light entertainment that remains enjoyable for just about every minute of its six- or seven-hour life span.
  23. Jan 30, 2013
    The stripped down interface makes unit management much more immediate, and the nuanced gameplay, thanks to range of choices at hand, is simple to learn and satisfying to master. The campaign is on the monotonous side, but the engaging multiplayer mode, which lets you compete with players on any other Microsoft device, ensures that you'll always have someone to play against.
  24. Jan 30, 2013
    Providing a delightful glimpse of the past in more ways than one, Skulls of the Shogun is a tactical treat for fans of old school, Japanese-style strategy games. Equal parts quirky and complex, it only comes to prove that the glory days of this often forgotten genre aren't quite gone.
  25. Feb 6, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun offers up a fairly unique take on what we’ve come to expect from turn-based strategy titles, and its use of a unique movement structure and simplified unit types makes this a far more accessible venture than most titles in the same genre. But that accessibility doesn’t come at the cost of challenge, which later stages certainly prove. Combine that with a fun, but bare online mode and you’ve got a new XBLA title that’s definitely worth a look.
  26. Jan 30, 2013
    It's a massive game filled with a lengthy single player campaign and a long-lasting multiplayer component that can be played day-by-day or minute-by-minute. Patience is a virtue as Skulls of the Shogun was worth waiting for.
  27. Jan 30, 2013
    Skulls' hardcore appeal may be limited, but for those looking for a simple, easy to understand turn-based strategy title, it's really solid.
  28. Feb 11, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a well developed and very fun strategy videogame. Too bad it lacks of a higher degree of challenge and contains some tedious missions, yet it compensates with a slick and elegant gameplay, nice humor and an interesting multiplayer offering.
  29. Feb 22, 2013
    A great beginner strategy game when you’re playing by yourself and a challenging one with multiple players. Skulls of the Shogun might not be the deepest strategy ever, but thanks to unique elements such as the Spirit Wall or the lack of a grid, it is one worth a try.
  30. Jan 31, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun encapsulates whatever essence puts Castle Crashers at the top of the XBLA charts year after year, and does so without infringing on that game's intellectual property or overall vibe.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Feb 1, 2013
    Simplistic and also with a great amount of depth. Meaning it's easy for players to get into, but also has enough meat and potatoes forSimplistic and also with a great amount of depth. Meaning it's easy for players to get into, but also has enough meat and potatoes for hardcore players to spend many hours after the campaign to better refine their strategy.

    During the journey of the afterlife, the player will encounter just the right amount of new mechanics that it never gets boring, but also never feels overwhelming. It has an excellent learning curve with a few potential difficultly spikes depending on your skill level, but feels that much more rewarding once the player has overcome such obstacles. The dialog is also something to mention as it is quite funny most of the time by either making old movie references or breaking the forth wall. After the Campaign, multiplayer is where you'll refine your skills either locally, online normal/ranked or asynchronously(play by mail basically). Async is particularly nice if you happen to have a windows phone or windows 8 tablet as it lets you play one turn and send it to your opponent, then come back hours later to see how your opponent responded to your actions.

    With 30+ multiplayer maps specifically design(and well balanced so far) between 2, 3 and 4 players, there's a ton of game for just $15. Highly recommended
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2013
    This game is just solid fun. It has enough depth to make the hardcore happy but is easily accessible by new players. The humor is definitelyThis game is just solid fun. It has enough depth to make the hardcore happy but is easily accessible by new players. The humor is definitely there.
    This game feels like it takes whatever made castle crashers fun and woven it in wax on and wax off style.

    The online lobby system needs more work. It took me a minute last night to figure out you have to keep searching to find a game..don't just let the search idle.

    Also the game is new and not many people are playing it online yet. Xbox definitely needs to advertise this game.

    Have run into a couple glitches like where at the start of the match the game ends quickly and the host automatically wins. I'm assuming this will be corrected. This game is a blast. You owe it to yourself as a gamer to have this.

    Oh and it has asynchronous play; so you can play turn based against other Xbox players, windows 8, and windows phone 8 players....that's just sweet.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 1, 2013
    Skulls of the shogun's simplicity yet the dept offers itself open for a a newcomer like myself to pick up and play. The user interface offersSkulls of the shogun's simplicity yet the dept offers itself open for a a newcomer like myself to pick up and play. The user interface offers every move you can make with prominent button prompts every time you take control of you units. The games’s story mode introduces different stages and scenarios against enemy units. This mode can be approached by new comers and learn the game’s basic mechanics and objectives. Multiplayer offer a turn based strategy game at its finest with async or online multiplayer. Every move counts in Skulls multiplayer. This game's cross platform multiplayer mode is seamless and very good version of the game all around. Full Review »