Capes caught my attention by reminding me right away of two of my favourite obscure media.

The first is Atlas Reactor. One of my favourite games ever before the servers went down, the heroes and their abilities in both games blend turn based combat with unique character abilities… Also Doctrine, the grizzled mentor character in Capes, looks, speaks and acts like Lockwood from Atlas Reactor.

Second, Worm. A webserial by Wildbow that gained my attention because they also call their superpowered individuals ‘Capes’, but similar themes of imperfect heroes trying to hold back the tides of grimdark forces attempting to bring down their world quickly stood out. Doctrine even has a visible super suit peaking out from the tattered jacket he wears as a sign of things that were.


Cape’s title screen is a graveyard looking out over a city lit by the dying sun. Half completed statues of heroic figures tower over buildings in the distance; heroes literally waiting to be built, a sign of your coming struggles.

It’s a grid based tactical game where you control a squad of superheroes, developed by Spitfire Interactive and published by Daedalic… the same guys behind the excellent Shadow Tactics games, which is a good start.

We are treated to a cutscene explaining our backstory.

King city used to be a place where heroes kept the peace until they were overthrown by the nebulously evil organisation known only as ‘The Company’.

We get two types of cutscenes. Those rendered in the in-game engine, and comic style panelling where character portraits are lined up on whatever side of the screen lines up with their place in the conversation.

Capes wears its comic book inspiration on its sleeve. Even the menu select options are little comic panels. The characters have bombastic dialogue that tries and sometimes even succeeds in bringing the ham.

Then our caped crusaders find a blood soaked torture warehouse where the company has been experimenting on captured Capes and the tone is flipped. Jury’s out on whether that counts as a planned tonal shift or a jarring one.


Gameplay wise, combat cleaves closer to Atlas Reactor than something like X-COM.

There are no dice rolls, no missed shots or odds to stun. You can see the movement and attack range of every enemy at the start of your turn and know exactly who can threaten who. Couple that with the fact that none of your superhuman soldiers has an ability as banal as ‘shoot the other guy’ and Capes becomes more of a puzzle game than a tactical squad game. It’s all about leveraging the unique ways your Capes can alter the battlefield and combo their abilities with other teammates.

I would like to see more verticality. There are only a few levels that make use of different heights for your teleporting Super to really get your money’s worth from their superior mobility but it’s never much.

I was playing on the middle of three difficulty levels and never came close to losing a mission. Unless things in the late game get significantly harder, simply finishing the mission will not be difficult.

Things become refreshingly harder when trying to complete all challenges on a mission. There are a selection of targets tailored for each mission, things like: use X character’s ultimate, or disarm five enemies. Getting all of these challenges in the same run nets you a bonus ‘all in one’ challenge. Winning these nets you points to upgrade your Capes, meaning it’s a good idea to go back and do old missions for the points to keep your Capes in fighting form.


If Capes has one glaring area where it really drops the ball, it would have to be sound.

Dialogue could use a go over by a writer or five, make those words sound like something an actual human would say. Then delivery needs work… a lot of work.

I can hear the talent in the voice cast, but I can’t help but feel like they may have been reading their lines from different rooms with zero context.

As an example, you can disarm enemies with certain moves. When a goon drops his weapon, he will sometimes shout “my weapon!”

Except rather than sounding like he had dropped a weapon (“Oh no, my weapon!”) he sounds more like he’s pointing out which one is his (“That’s your weapon, this is my weapon!).

William Roberts as Doctrine is the best of the cast so far, but that’s really not saying much.

Music is also too bland to get more than a sentence in this review; it serves, I suppose.


In the end how do I rate Capes?

I personally had a lot of fun. Figuring out what combos go together really well and seeing your team of ragtag superhero wannabes morph by degrees into the real thing was fun. Sharpen up some of the edges and we could have something brilliant here.

Maybe that’s the X-COM, Worm, Atlas Reactor enjoying part of my brain speaking, but it’s a part I like, so there.

Capes (PC) Review
Game details

Released: May 2024
Rating: M15+
Platforms reviewed: PC
Genre: RTS
Developer: Spitfire Interactive
Publisher: Daedalic

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