Think First, Shoot Later: Mighty Tactical Shooter

By Adam Smith on March 31st, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Mighty Tactical Shooter might not be the first turn-based side-scrolling space blaster but I can’t remember ever seeing one before. A friend pointed the game out as we were browsing The Leftfield Collection at Rezzed, wisely recognising that it would be precisely my receptacle of brewed leaves. The easiest way to describe it is by asking you to imagine R-Type if R-Type were turn-based and had fancy physics for debris and tumbling blocks. Orders are given to your ship using a neat radial interface and the short bursts of movement and missile-launching keep the pace at a reasonable clip while allowing for intense brain application.

I spent a while watching other people play and had a brief dabble myself – it’s clever stuff, although I’m entirely incapable of planning out the gravity manipulation that you see in the trailer above. Despite the seemingly limited playfield, complex and cunning manoeuvres are possible. It’s all in the curve of the command lines.

Technically it’s simultaneous turn based (aka WeGo), as the enemy AI will be planning moves at the same time as you are planning yours, and they will both execute at the same time. This sounds way more complicated than it is! It just means that you’re not waiting for ‘the other player’ to finish their turn. You plan your turn, watch the outcome, plan your turn, watch the outcome, and so on without having to wait for ‘the other player’ as you would in a strictly turn based game.

As well as piloting the ship, players are responsible for diverting power to the different systems as and when they are needed. On the verge of a huge collision? Boost shields and cut power to the guns. That sort of thing. As seen at the beginning of the trailer, the various systems have AI personalities as well, and can be upgraded and rejigged as the game goes on. I don’t know exactly what that side of the game involves but I’m hoping for possible bickering and arguments that can lead to the shields failing because they’ve fallen out with the engine.

The game is in good shape but only around 50% complete so, as I’m learning to expect more often than not, a crowdfunding campaign is planned. It’d be good to see the build that was at Rezzed available as a downloadable demo when the campaign begins.

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13 Comments »

  1. Bluerps says:

    There actually is a turned based R-Type called R-Type Tactics (I think), for the PSP. I have no idea if it’s any good, though.

    • ArtyFishal says:

      There are actually two R-Type tactics and they’re both great. I think they’re also available on PSN for the PS3.

      • KDR_11k says:

        They’re not available in Europe, at least. I think the US has some R-Type games on PSN but there’s nothing here.

    • Themadcow says:

      It’s OK but very samey after a while. Not really in the same league as Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, but then again it was probably No#1 in it’s specific sub-genre that didn’t contain any other games.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    R-Type is usually not so fast that it’s big on twitch reflexes anyway, most of the time that series is slow and ponderous and depends more on figuring out the right approach for a situation. And the force pod adds a lot more strategy than you’d expect from a simple powerup like that, especially in Final where you get pods with all kinds of behaviors, even ones that basically turn into drone fighters that chase enemies down.

  3. dontnormally says:

    Awesome. I like the look of this a lot.

  4. Kemuel says:

    This was one of my favourite games at Rezzed. I’ll crosspost what I posted on the Greenlight page here because I’m lazy~

    One of my friends playing looked completely screwed. He was paused at the far edge of the screen with missiles and projectiles coming in on all sides, and judging from their predicted paths, it seemed like he wouldn’t be able to get away from any of them in time. However, by dropping a couple of carefully-placed gravity wells and waves he was able to manipulate their trajectories and part the tide just far enough to create a tiny pocket, which he could then barely squeeze the ship through to survive.

    That’s what really sold me on it- being able to take each merciless SHMUP screen as a tactical puzzle which you need to pick the weapons and tools to solve. If you’ve exhausted your supply of weapons and tools, then you either have to quickload and replay a section (encouraged by the devs!) or get through by flying smart and not being hit until they recover.

    None of the summaries I’ve read quite do justice to how much fun the moment-to-moment gameplay of plotting routes, playing with the toybox of weapons, reacting to threats and puzzling your way out of difficult situations really is. I hope they put the Rezzed build or something similar out as a demo so people can really get a feel for themselves.

    • TheMightyGit says:

      Hiya. I’m the developer. This comment has left me stunned and amazed. You’ve perfectly described what I set out to achieve. That’s the exact feeling I want to generate. To be honest I wasn’t sure the demo would get the message across, so I’m really pleased to hear you got it :)

      The Rezzed build of the demo will be uploaded later tonight. Currently resting my aching feet after all that standing up at Rezzed! This Rezzed weekend had been one of the best times of my life.

      If anyone is going to The Gadget Show Live next week they can chat to us as we’ll be in the brand new Indie Games part of the Game Zone.

      • Kemuel says:

        Feel free to quote me on the cover or something xP

        But seriously, you’re putting a demo out already? That’s totally awesome! I missed day three of Rezzed in the end and regretted not having another chance to stop by and play.

        I think a demo’ll seriously help with the Greenlight campaign and getting Kickstarter kickstarted. The game really gets its hooks into you once you’ve gotten the hang of the piloting, so hopefully you’ll find plenty of new fans with it online!

  5. Tim James says:

    You might consider a name change. I saw this headline on my RSS reader and figured the word ‘mighty’ plus a generic genre name meant it was some cheap F2P crap with grinning characters leering at me. If it’s too late, don’t worry about it. Might just be me.

    • TheMightyGit says:

      I’ve been rocking the prefix Mighty since 1991 :) I did wrestle with the game name, tho. In the end I was happy with a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin name. However, I’m open to suggestions :)

      • pilouuuu says:

        What about M-Type? MTS-Type?
        Actually I kind of like Mighty Tactical Shooter.

  6. squareking says:

    Where do I insert my wallet?!