Clairvoyance is an online board game about "robots, lasers and the future"

The best strategy games - Chess, XCOM, Boggle - involve thinking ahead, planning your next few moves, and (if you brain can't manage that) cupping your head in your hands and looking shrewdly at your opponent like you have something amazing up your sleeve. Clairvoyance , however, takes forward planning to another level as it asks you to make five moves at once. Similar to Frozen Synapse, it's an asynchronous online tactical battle game that demands each player makes their next few moves in one go, before matching them together and seeing what carnage results.

Each team has four cute, boxy little robots, stuffed into a relatively dinky 7x7 grid. After you've decided on your moves, and your rivals have decided on theirs, the game will link up each move so you can witness how many have been successful. One neat feature is the ability to add personality to your bots in the form of customisable faces and action quotes; you can also design your own flags.

It's the kind of game that really needs a demo, as it's hard to tell what's going on just from the screenshots. Thankfully, the development team - Erik Svedang, Johannes Gotlen, Niklas Akerblad and Oscar Rydelius - have just released an open beta, although it's one that you'll have to pre-order (for $5) to access. When Clairvoyance hits version 1.0, the team plan to up the price, so that's something to take into consideration. However, your first move - of five - should be to watch the following, strangely emotive trailer:

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.