Sinister Design
Based in Chicago, Illinois

Release date:
April 16, 2015

Windows / Mac / Linux


Regular Price:



If Fire Emblem and Super Smash Brothers had a baby, that baby would be named "Telepath Tactics."

Telepath Tactics is an indie turn-based strategy RPG with deep, deterministic mechanics and smoothly animated pixel art, set in an oddball steampunk universe where generals use telepathy to relay their orders and knights ride atop giant, armored praying mantises.

It was deep winter when young Emma and Sabrina Strider fled slavery in the mines of Kovit. Exhausted and on the verge of starvation, they were found and taken in by a tribe of Lissit, reptilian warriors, who raised the sisters as their own. Now Emma trains tirelessly, bent on revenge and the prospect of rescuing their ailing father from bondage. But the years are never kind to a miner, and time grows desperately short. The sisters will need all of their wits—and the help of some unlikely allies—if they are to succeed…


Craig Stern was playing Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance one evening when he had a moment of sudden lucidity. Looking around his living room, he was struck by how alone he was in that moment; he'd been having such fun, and yet there were no friends around to share the experience with. Determined to create a best-in-class tactical combat system that could be enjoyed in either single player or multiplayer mode, Craig set out to marry the very best mechanics of classic series like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Disgaea to skill-based determinism. The result: a set of tactically rich, low-luck combat mechanics that forms the solid core of Telepath Tactics.


  • Build an army from among 23 different classes; learn more than 110 distinct attacks as you level up your characters, then promote them to powerful prestige classes!
  • Shove enemies off of cliffs and into environmental hazards like traps, water, and lava!
  • Destroy walls, freeze water, build bridges and lay explosives, changing the face of the battlefield to your advantage!
  • Play 2-6 player multiplayer matches with friends featuring randomized item drops, multiple play modes, and support for team matches!
  • Use the robust Telepath Tactics map editor to build your own campaigns, and download other peoples’ creations to play!


Release Trailer YouTube

Gameplay Video YouTube


download all screenshots & photos as .zip (3MB)
Telepath Tactics - Archos.png
Telepath Tactics - Build Wood Barricade.png
Telepath Tactics - Character Screen (Meridian).png
Telepath Tactics - Coria Bridge Battle.png
Telepath Tactics - Fangiss Ka.png
Telepath Tactics - Fireeye Shots.png
Telepath Tactics - Fortress Gate.png
Telepath Tactics - Rescuing Sarn Kamina.png
Telepath Tactics - Scarlet Etoile.png
Telepath Tactics - Special Deal.png
Telepath Tactics - Spin Saw.png
Telepath Tactics - Tavern Fight.png
Telepath Tactics - Vitalia Spring.png

download logo files as .zip (935KB)

There are currently no logos or icons available for Telepath Tactics. Check back later for more or contact us for specific requests!

Awards & Recognition

  • "Indie Expo Selection" Power of Play 2015
  • "Winner of the Twinfinite.net Drool Award" PAX Prime 2013
  • "Indie MEGABOOTH Selection" PAX East 2013, PAX Prime 2013, PAX East 2015

Selected Articles

  • "“Telepath Tactics knows what made Fire Emblem great. It’s the best deconstruction and reconstruction of that formula. The brilliant writing, music, and design are some of the sharpest fine-tuning in tactical RPG history — indie or otherwise.”"
    - M. Joshua Cauller, Plus 10 Damage
  • "“I played the battles like fantastical chess, agonising about every move and every decision, hitting End Turn with that sweet mix of excitement about what I’d achieved and terror about what would happen due to my oversights or recklessness. It’s good stuff, and [i]tight[/i] despite having so very many moving parts.”"
    - Alec Meer, Rock Paper Shotgun
  • "“the combat and encounters of Telepath Tactics are every bit as good and as strategic as any Fire Emblem or Disgaea title…95.8 / 100.”"
    - Alexx Aplin, ModVive
  • "“I had to actually pull myself away from one of the two stations because I wanted more people to be able to get their hands on it. Telepath Tactics won my heart pretty quickly, and it should do the same to any other fan of Fire Emblem, Disgaea, or Shining Force.”"
    - Patrick Hanson, Destructoid
  • "“Instead of dragons and elves, the game features a tropical lizard race (the Lissit), the ghostlike Shadowlings and the winged, imp-like Spriggats. Add to that the presence of mechanized steampunk golems, knights riding upon the backs of giant insects, and a spell system that’s based on psychic powers instead of Merlin-style magic, and you realize you’re a long way from the usual Tolkien retreads…4 / 5.”"
    - infinitywaltz, IndieGameReviewer

Request Press Copy

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Download a zip file with the raw video files for Telepath Tactics's various trailers at sinisterdesign.net.

Telepath Tactics: 24 Tips for Survival
A short guide to the nuances of battle strategy in Telepath Tactics is available at sinisterdesign.net.

Telepath Tactics Game Manual
A manual with information on Telepath Tactics's controls, mechanics, character classes, and more is available at sinisterdesign.net.

Unpredictability and control in turn-based combat
A clear and thorough explanation behind the choice to give Telepath Tactics a deterministic ruleset is available at sinisterdesign.net.

Kickstarter Page
The Kickstarter page where this game was funded in spring 2013 is available at kickstarter.com.

About Sinister Design

Sinister Design is an indie game design studio in Chicago focused on creating imaginative, elegantly designed role-playing and strategy games.

More information
More information on Sinister Design, our logo & relevant media are available here.

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks