In a game that’s all about lootin’, shootin’ and robo-butt bootin’, does the retro futuristic SteamWorld Heist complete the circuit or does it have its wires crossed? Find out in this week’s edition of Backlog Buck Club review!
Switches Be Trippin’
Robots, pirates, guns, robot pirates with guns! SteamWorld Heist has it all and then some! This week on the Backlog Buck Club we set sail on the high seas of the space-time continuum with a ragtag group of steam powered pirates in SteamWorld Heist!
Captain Piper Faraday is on a mission to rid the galaxy of the Scrapper bandits that jettisoned her former crew like space junk and to stop their tyranny over the local moisture farmers. This game is a unique mix of strategy and side scrolling action, but does this prodigious progression of the SteamWorld series make the shot or miss the mark? Here’s our breakdown.
The Dollar of My Eye (Graphics and Music) - 22 / 25¢
There’s nothing quite like playing a game where right out of the gate your eyeballs are awash in a sea of glorious colors and crisp textures. I loved everything about the visuals in this game, from the detailed and distinct character design to the neon lit levels.
Whether it’s a metallic blue pompadour or a twisty u-bend beard, each character has their own unique personality and fashion sense to match. The artists really just had fun with the whole world design and that’s one thing that will always score high points with me. When the artwork reflects the passion of the artists and developers it shines through and makes the game that much more enjoyable.
Another high point worth mentioning is when the spectacular graphics are consistent even during gameplay. All the animations are smooth and very pleasing. It was incredibly satisfying watching that bullet slowly whizz by and knock the hat off your intended target.
The music for SteamWorld Heist fits the game perfectly, what with its very “mechanical meets spaghetti western” styled synthesized beats. Which made the soundtrack very catchy and pleasant to listen to. And while none of the music stuck in my head, all of the tracks were befitting of the levels they appeared in. Go ahead and have a listen for yourself and I guarantee what you’ll see and hear will have your trigger finger itching for some robo-gunslinging action!
Coin-tagious (Gameplay and Replayability) - 24 / 25¢
As I mentioned earlier, this game is a fun mix of strategy and 2D side scrolling. You and the enemy team will take turns moving around your characters and lining up shots to take each other out. You can ricochet your bullets around the stage as well, to pull off some truly fantastic trick shots! If you get close enough you also have the ability to land a part-flinging wallop to your opponent too. There are various environmental elements that can be used to your advantage, or theirs. For example, you can hide behind barrels and various other barriers. Just make sure its not one of the bright red combustible barrels or your parts will be the ones being flung.
However, unlike other games of this type, like XCOM, there is no permadeath. So, if you or one of your other teammates gets scrapped, they aren’t permanently lost from your crew. You CAN however lose your hard-earned accessories. If your hat gets shot off and you don’t retrieve it before exiting the stage, then unfortunately it’s space dust. At least until you can collect another one. Not a big loss, I know, but collecting the hats is one of my favorite parts.
Each stage is procedurally generated, so even if you’ve run through an area already, it won’t be the same should you decide to go back and clean up those coveted reputation stars. Even though we haven’t played a great deal of the game yet, I thought the “Challenge” levels were a fun addition despite not struggling much with them. I can certainly see how in later stages they might eventually cause a great deal of stress. We don’t shy away from such things here at the Backlog Odyssey though, so challenge away!
Give No Quarter (Is it worth the sale price?) - 25 / 25¢
The sale price for SteamWorld Heist on the Nintendo Switch eShop was $4.99 and absolutely worth every penny. Since playing it though I think I would prefer to own it on the Xbox or PlayStation as this is a game that seems prime for achievements/trophies!
Coming in at a projected 15 hours or so, combined with the high replayability I’d say that price is a steal no matter what though.
Dollars and Sense (Is it worth the list price?) - 20 / 25¢
The original sale price was listed as $19.99 and honesty I can’t argue too much with that either. The quality of work put into this game is off the charts and while twenty bucks can be a hard pill to swallow, I give my full recommendation to wash that lozenge down. You won’t regret the outcome!
Since we started doing the Backlog Buck Club a few months ago we’ve poured through hundreds if not thousands of games trying to find something that not only save you a buck, but rocks your world while they’re doing it. While we haven’t always been successful in our buck-tastic quest, but it’s always nice when we hit pay dirt with a title like this.