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 13, 2013
    If you’re looking for a tactical, turn-based strategy title that’s oozing charm, humour and playability without sacrificing depth, Skull of the Shogun is worth the investment, and a shining example of the genre on consoles.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Feb 20, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a challenging turn-based strategy game that can be recommended to all audiences.
  11. 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]
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Games Master UK
    Oct 24, 2012
    Gorgeous looking (if not just a little bit confusing at times) and wickedly funny too. [Dec 2012, p.83]
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Jan 30, 2013
    It's a fine introduction to strategy games for those intimidated of the genre, even if it has its challenges along the way.
  27. Feb 5, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a nice game for starters in the genre, with a great visual style and a very funny screenplay. It's not the best turn-based strategy game around, but it's definitely a good one.
  28. Feb 6, 2013
    This is a good, funny and unconventional real time strategy action game based on samurai-zombie idea. Is the strange idea enough to satisfy your demand of gameplay?
  29. 85
    Skulls of the Shogun is anything but a typical turn-based strategy game, and not just because of its colorful cartoon style and silly sense of humor.
  30. 90
    One of the finest console strategy games ever. [Jan 2013, p.96]
  31. Pelit (Finland)
    May 13, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a nice turn based strategy with a positive attitude and enough depth. [May 2013]
  32. Jan 30, 2013
    Knowing that it's all up to you - not cheap shots, not a roll of the dice - justifies the grinding struggle that occasionally slows the journey from disrespected general to shogun of the afterworld.
  33. Feb 5, 2013
    Skulls of the shogun can provide hours of fun. If you love strategic genre check this out.
  34. Feb 27, 2013
    Eschewing the reams of statistics and options that can often burden similar games, Skulls of the Shogun focuses on combat and fun which means it is the ideal introduction to turn-based gaming and, making no bones about it, is something we can heartily recommend.
  35. Jan 30, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is an enjoyable game with style to spare. The sharp difficulty curve and reliance on aggressive tactics bring it down somewhat, but only because it's easy to see how a few small differences in design could have earned the game a place in eternity, rather than a pleasant distraction on the long road to get there.
  36. Feb 8, 2013
    It’s a solid, fun experience that will keep you coming back for one more turn.
  37. Feb 11, 2013
    A great choice full of humor for those who want to get started in the genre. Long-time fans may find it easy, and we were expecting a deeper gameplay, but still a great recommendation.
  38. Apr 12, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is irreverent, challenging and, most of all, fun. It masterfully mixes humor with well-balanced gameplay to keep players coming back for more. If strategy is your thing, this is a must-buy.
  39. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Feb 27, 2013
    Accessible, surprisingly innovative and completely engrossing. [Issue#95, p.87]
  40. Feb 14, 2013
    We were happily surprised with Skulls of the Shogun. Behind the cartoony art style there is a strategy game with great depth, and a lot of innovative ideas. The campaign slowly teaches you how to use the different units, and the funny story keeps you coming back for more. The multiplayer seals the deal with hours of extra fun you can have with your friends or any other samurai skeleton from around the world.
  41. Feb 8, 2013
    Skulls of the Shogun is a cute, accessible game that’s easy to pick up and play, but adds enough depth and strategy over the course of the experience to remain entertaining.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 49
  2. Negative: 7 out of 49
  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 »