Steamworld Heist | Review

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Jason Nason

When I learned that there was a sequel planned for the hit 3DS title Steamworld Dig I was in. Image & Form’s last game was great fun I was sold on a sequel when all that was available was a logo. Now that that sequel has been released, even though it is a completely different type of game, I’m having just as much fun as I did with the last one.

SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based strategy game at it’s core and it’s great fun.

In the game you will join Captain Piper Faraday, smuggler and occasional pirate, as she recruits a rag-tag team of steam-driven robots and sets out on a daring adventure. With your hearty crew you’ll board, loot and shoot your way through enemy spaceships. Overcome the challenges of the vast frontier by upgrading your robots with unique abilities, weapons – and even stylish hats!

Like I said the game is a turn based strategy game so you’ll take turns moving your crew around the steampunk ships. You’ll get to move your crew and then the enemies will make their moves.

There are two levels to the way you can move, with your range of movement shown in orange and blue. The orange range is the distance you can move while still being able to use an action, like firing your weapon or using an item. The range marked in blue is a further distance you can move but you will forfeit an action in the movement.

You can also make two moves to pick up an item or loot so long as it’s within the orange area. You can then take an action or go a little further.

If you stand beside an enemy you will be prompted to use a physical attack instead of firing your weapon but firing of the weapon is a great deal of fun.

There are a wide range of weapons in the game which you can buy at the various shops or find in the loot from plundering ships. Some have laser sights, can fire multiple shots, have explosive rounds, fire an arcing projectile and more. There are also different classes of weapons which can be used by different members of your crew.

There is quite a bit of strategy to taking out your foes as well. If you have a weapon with an arcing projectile you can bank your shot off an object, wall, or ceiling to hit foes which may be out of range or sight. The same goes for grenades when you add them to your inventory.

The main goal and completion criteria for each level varies but the constant is to gather loot and escape from the ship. Some levels will have other goals such as taking out a specific character or collecting other items. But that is the main goal for the levels. Get on the ship, collect loot, get off.

One of the loot items that you’ll encounter are hats. They don’t really seem to do anything for your stats, but they are a cool aesthetic touch to your steambots. You can even shoot the hats of the heads of your enemies. Of course you can also have your own hat blown off.

Oh and one more fantastic element of the game is that all of the ships are randomly generated! So if you feel the desire to grind a little bit and level up your characters (more on that) you can play through a level a few times in a row and it’s different every time.

Talk about upping the replay value!

Did I mention that you level up your character? What fun would it be if you didn’t.

There are quite a variety of characters to choose from in the game and you can usually only bring 2-3 of them with you on each mission. With characters having different weapon selections it can be their abilities that give them their unique flair.

Like any good roll playing game, as you play the game you’ll earn experience and level up your bots. They’ll earn new skills and abilities as they go, some of which can really turn the tide in battles. Increased health, temporary invulnerability, and healing ability are just a few of the upgrades you’ll encounter.

Another element of the game that is top notch is the look and sound of the game. SteamWorld Heist is done in the same style as the last game and looks marvelous. The cartoony style really suits the game and is beautiful. The levels really do lend themselves to the 3D of the 3DS system with some nice layering in the levels.

The audio in the game and level music is very nice as well. And the game actually features some nifty Steampunk tunes in a few of the locales by legendary Steam Powered Giraffe.

About the only thing that I didn’t really like what the limited inventory space. Through the course of the game you can buy additional inventory slots to hold all your gear. You could also find these as loot. My only trouble is that sometimes I had to sell loot that I didn’t really want to part with because I had no inventory space. As a pack-rat RPG gamer who rarely sells anything in my inventory this was tough for me, but by no means a negative of the game.

SteamWorld Heist is a lot of fun to play and definitely worth your money. Check out the launch trailer and then definitely check this one out!

Image & Form Nintendo 3DS SteamWorld Heist

Nintendo Reviews


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