Image & Form released this graphical (if not spiritual) successor to SteamWorld Dig. Here we play a band of unusual little robots in a turn based 2D tactical combat game that take on evil in the galaxy. Each robot that you meet has their own weapons and skills and you in true pirate form recruit as you play through your adventure.
Visuals-wise, this game is like SteamWorld Dig. This time you start with Piper, the plucky adventurer in this tale. As you proceed, you will meet other robots – each with their own distinct personalities, which come across in the brilliant dialogue.
It’s the little things you notice when you start this game, such as the music, which has been expertly done by Steam Powered Giraffe. The first time I heard their music in a game, I have to admit, I sat listening gleefully with a huge grin on my face. Marvellous stuff indeed. Image & Form have nailed the sound design too, with pings of bullets ricocheting around the environment. Guns have a nice weight behind them too.
Another thing to mention is the gunplay and combat. From Piper’s laser sight gun to triple shot guns, you don’t get more bang for your buck than here. The weapons feel balanced, well thought out and fun to use. Standing and shooting an enemies hat off from way off screen, or blowing them up using an explosive barrel couldn’t be more fun. You also have other inventory to your hand, such as grenades, armour and the obligatory health packs to use too. Bullets ricochet off the environments creating some hilarious moments in the game. Your opponent may be in just the right position to get him and his friends blown to smithereens by a well placed grenade.
With each level completed comes skill points and water. You can exchange these for more inventory slots, guns, etc. at the local shop. The one minor quibble with the game is that even if you buy the largest inventory storage, you still have to swap / sell things due to lack of room.
Regardless of this minor issue, SteamWorld Heist is one of the most charming, playful, glorious games you will play this year and cannot come recommended enough.
Go on, treat yourself.