Yes, you heard it correctly – first installment in the fantastic David Thompson & Trevor Benjamin series of Undaunted is going digital! Game which gives me and my kids so much fun (couple of reports here) will have its faithful recreation in the computer world, having all the features of the analog product. And even more, as we get all scenarios from the original boardgame plus two additional!

It is Bookmark Games – developer of the fantastic Pavlov’s House app – who is responsible for creation of digital version. I was lucky to get access to the game in its current, Alpha state and will share what we can expect from it. Remember – all the pictures / features are from pre-production version which is subject to change.

Direct link to Steam Store:

Still, before jumping into the overview of the application, couple of words about this title.

The Game

First things first – short game introduction. Undaunted: Normandy, published in 2019 by Osprey Games, is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. It is set-up mainly during the Normandy invasion, in June 1944.

You use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. The game mechanics quickly and effectively resolves move, scout or battle aspects. And each battle plays completely differently. What is more, the game is pretty open for modding and fan-made scenarios so we are getting endless number of possible set-ups.

Steam App for Undaunted Overview

As the picture is worth thousand word, let me now give you now such an overview of what we can expect from digital implementation of Undaunted. You can always click on screenshot to see details in full screen mode.

The main menu is pretty simple, straightforward and easy to follow; not too busy so you can easily find what you need (and believe me, I have seen so dense UI that it was taking ages to familiarize with it)
When it gets to learning the game as well as the app specifics, you can use “Instructions” menu with all the details described.
Alternatively, you can use the Tutorial which guides you through the basics mechanics; that one could be a little more prescriptive as some initial knowledge about rules is needed to go through it smoothly.
When it comes to choosing the scenario, you have 14 of them. Each gets Detailed Description, Map and full OOB (see top arrows). I would like also to draw your attention to “Experimental AI” option – where Machine Learning training of AI takes place (yes, that is how the game are now created!). It can be a very challenging opponent although still sometimes does odd moves. Second important feature is that you can choose random VP locations.
Above you have the main overview of the game; this is a 3D version, with all the details nicely rendered. You can zoom in using mouse, move with keys, etc. The usual stuff you would expect. At the top of the interface, there all cards appropriately split into your Supply, Draw, etc.
You can also toggle on 2D version – less resource consuming and in the end probably also easier to read; look to the right – when you choose a card, it shows you all actions of particular soldier, with one unavailable marked in red.
Here is the mentioned zoom in 3D mode. We can see all details nicely, with hills being higher then the rest of terrain; still, remember this is pre-production version.
I am a sucker for Steam Achievements so I am really glad to see that we will get around 40 of them. Of course, even play-testing the game I could not resist getting them and thus exploring various interesting gameplay situations 🙂

Initial impressions

For the Alpha version, still before Early Access, the application is in really great condition. It is fully playable; AI is being trained via Machine Learning calculations for optimal moves; the Graphics, User Interfaces, Options and Menu are ready from usability perspective. Sure, there will be more work on graphics and small bugs, but I am positively surprised how far the game went after such a short time.

What I also like, is that we do not get one to one product from digital version but and enhanced game, with so many additional options: two more scenarios, possibility to play individual skirmishes or campaign, three different levels of AI difficulty, cross platform multiplayer both in PBEM and hot-seat modes and many more.

Future plans

With regards to the release dates, we should get the more broader Early Access as soon as the (scenario 1) Machine Learning solution is stable. According to Richard we are talking a couple of months now, so pretty soon! That will open the game for much broader public and meticulous process of play-testing will start.

Make sure to bookmark the game to your Wishlist on the Steam – whether you are Undaunted fan or want to try this great title in digital version. Stay tuned!