We have, in the past, said some very nice things about brainosaurusly brilliant puzzler SpaceChem. For instance, things like “straight up genius.” Also, “brainosaurusly brilliant.” That’s technically the past now. But Zachtronic Industries – booming center of commerce that it/he is – refuses to stick to the straight-and-narrow. Which brings us to Ironclad Tactics, a “real-time, card-based tactics game set in an alternate history Civil War – with steam-powered military robots.” To which I reply by gathering a studio audience, teaching them to cry on command, and then having them give a standing ovation for 45 minutes.
From the sound of things, cards are only part of the equation. The official, sadly vague (for now) line is “a unique gameplay experience, blending the precision of tactics and card games with the spontaneous decision making of a real-time strategy game.” I like pretty much everything about that sentence, but can’t even begin to render a verdict until I see it in action.
A story told by way of a giant in-game graphic novel is also in the cards, as is a “Nemesis” multiplayer mode – which allows you to play as the baddies from the campaign. Beyond that, there’s not much info available at this point. SpaceChem was, however, so consistently brilliant that doubting Zachtronics would be nothing short of an apocalyptic folly, so my hopes are pretty high for this one. Apparently, I’ll be able to see it at PAX, so expect impressions soon-ish. Until then, here’s a trailer taken straight from an alternate history steam-powered Civil-War-era version of YouTube.