Picture & Kind Video games has achieved very properly to department out from its charming subterranean platforming collection SteamWorld Dig into different genres. 2015’s SteamWorld Heist took the aesthetic and amusing writing of that steampunk fantasy universe (which began out, lest we neglect, with SteamWorld Tower Defence on DSiWare) and transposed it right into a strategic turn-based shooter. The studio’s newest entry within the collection is a roleplaying card battler the place you construct a deck of highly effective strikes for a celebration of three heroes and have interaction in turn-based battle.
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech follows enthusiastic younger knight Armilly on her quest to develop into a member of the Hero Guild. From humble origins, she aspires to be as brave as historical hero, Gilgamech. Filled with beans, she’s liable to narrating the celebration’s journey in third-person as they arrive throughout minions of the Void military, a lot to the chagrin of the remainder of the group. You’ll meet new members alongside the way in which, however your preliminary celebration includes the afore-mentioned Armilly, alchemist Copernica and brutish healer Galleo. They’re a likeable, irreverent bunch very a lot within the vein of the casts of earlier video games.
Whenever you’re not in battle you’ll run across the compartmentalised world, offered side-on, taking direct management of a personality (‘L’ and ‘R’ cycle between them). A easy map within the backside proper of the display screen reveals how these ‘rooms’ join, and also you’ll come throughout treasure chests and destructible objects containing cash and different goodies. Urgent ‘A’ swings your weapon and this can be used to get the bounce on marauding enemies with a well-timed ‘first strike’, not not like related pre-emptive strikes within the Paper Mario collection, that means enemy Coglins will begin the battle with diminished well being.
The meat of the sport is within the fight, and it’s chunky, satisfying fare. With each encounter as much as six ‘punch playing cards’ are drawn out of your deck to the underside of the display screen. Every character can solely use their very own playing cards and you choose simply three of them on your celebration to play (these are then changed the next flip). Playing cards are cut up into three varieties: Strike, Improve or Talent. Strike does what it says on the tin and Improve playing cards provide you with a brief buff. Every time you utilize considered one of these common playing cards a cog is added to a shared Steam Strain meter (SP) which you want so as to play the third kind, Talent playing cards. Abilities are highly effective however putting the steadiness between constructing SP, timing important blows and managing defence is the secret.
Assaults really feel pleasingly stable after they land. You get your SP the second you choose a card to play, so if a Talent requires 2 SP and your pool is totally depleted, enjoying any two ‘regular’ playing cards will unlock the Talent to play as your third. Enjoying three from the identical character creates a Heroic Chain which doles out an extra card relying on that character’s geared up weapon. It’d, say, present a protecting Mana barrier for the entire celebration, or just add an additional strike.
When you’re sad with what you’ve been dealt, two redraws of particular person playing cards can be found each flip by holding ‘X’ in your desired (or, extra precisely, undesired) card. As you discover, craft or purchase extra punch playing cards, you possibly can incorporate them into your deck with every celebration member having house for precisely eight playing cards. Tag group combos come into impact when a sure card shows an icon of one other celebration member; enjoying any of theirs previous to this card unleashes a strong combo. Holding ‘ZR’ hurries up the whole gameplay – each run pace and the battles themselves – and this may be completely toggled on within the menu. We did so and by no means regarded again.
It’s all reassuringly stable, though there’s little or no you haven’t seen earlier than. Harm is available in 5 elemental flavours: Bodily, Fireplace, Frost, Storm and Arcane – no prizes for guessing that enemies have resistance and weak spot in keeping with kind. As tried-and-true and predictable as its methods are, the sport is shot by polish and wit. The truth is, its Steam Strain battle meter, hand-drawn artwork and amusing writing dropped at thoughts the colorful turn-based battling of Battle Chasers: Nightwar – no dangerous factor to our thoughts.
Hero Statues are scattered around the globe which replenish your well being and supply save factors, though enemies within the surrounding space will respawn when used. You select from three difficulties – Squire, Knight and Legend. Flip-based junkies will possible wish to bounce to the best problem from the off, particularly in case you benefit from the grind, however regardless of a slight spike in Chapter four, we discovered the default setting satisfying so long as you combat each enemy you got here throughout.
The foes you’ll encounter run the gamut from mechanical medusas to bratty, over-privileged school youngsters. The ebb and move of battle that evolves as you construct your deck is addictive and also you’re in a position to improve playing cards and purchase and promote weapons on the caravan of a travelling service provider. Successful battles grants the celebration XP which improves your stats and is shared equally between the three fighters (you’ll have to decide on your three from the choice as soon as new recruits be a part of your crew).
The story is split into 4 acts with twenty chapters, together with a particular ‘problem’ space that pits you in opposition to highly effective enemies for rewards. The ol’ SteamWorld allure carries you alongside on a pleasing experience by the cute-if-predictable narrative and newcomers to the collection want no particular data earlier than beginning out, though collection veterans will get a kick out of references to the broader universe and different intertextual nods.
SteamWorld Quest seems to be beautiful, as all of the earlier video games have, with pristine presentation and glorious audio. We have been a little bit stunned to search out the touchscreen unsupported – it looks like an apparent function given the tactility of the playing cards – though the developer’s consideration to element is current and proper elsewhere. You’re in a position to remap each single button on the controller, together with route inputs to any various of your selecting, for instance.
Whereas the nuts and bolts are satisfying, the artwork is gorgeous, and the entire bundle oozes the identical high quality we’ve come to anticipate from Picture & Kind, we did get a nagging feeling that there’s one thing lacking; some further mechanic to set it other than the gang. It’s laborious to place your finger on – particularly when every little thing current is so sturdy and meaty – however it merely appears like there’s house for a flourish, a little bit je ne sais quoi to take the sport into the realm of ‘important’. Don’t get us mistaken, we racked up over 16 hours on the sport’s clock and we loved each one. It’s a tasty burger of a turn-based battler; we simply needed a little bit extra particular sauce or some spectacular aspect dish to show it into a really memorable meal. As it’s, it’s merely ‘superb’.
Remarkably stable and satisfying, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a card battler with an abundance of allure in its artwork, mechanics and writing. The presentation is slick, the dialogue’s witty and the gameplay’s addictive, though nothing about it feels notably particular – not in the way in which SteamWorld Dig 2 felt particular. It does what it does properly, although, and it’s nonetheless a completely pleasant time in that universe. So long as you’re not anticipating something revolutionary, we suggest anyone who likes turn-based battling or who loved any earlier video games within the collection test it out.