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SteamWorld Heist: A Turn-Based Space Robot Roguelite

One of the most overlooked games of 2013 was Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig. A total overhaul of the splendid 3DS original, it combined puzzling, exploration, a dash of Spelunky, and the all important mining, to create a Metroidvania that I merrily completed a second time over for its PC version. So it’s with a keen ear that I hear news of their next game: SteamWorld Heist. However, despite the shared title, this is a whole other game – a space-themed, turn-based, survival game, scavenging a dead world with a team of rusty robots. Many more details, and a brief teaser trailer below.

The teaser immediately reveals that the game visually shares a lot in common with the lovely 2D side-scrolling cartoon world of SteamWorld Dig.

The games connect, apparently, although they say this isn’t not a sequel. Heist takes place a couple of hundred years after Dig, when some rather large-scale troubles see their planet split into thousands of shards, its robotic population fleeing into steam-powered space vehicles. And with water even more scarce than it was in the previous game, you’re going to have to perform heists on baddie ships and bases to stay alive.

The result will be a turn-based strategy game, say I&F, which will be an interesting prospect in a 2D side-scroller. In it, you captain a crew, manage supplies, and plot raids, via free platformy wandering around your own ship. Enter an enemy ship or base and things turn turn-based, using an action point system for moving each character. These missions are to be randomly generated, the game using a tile-system of backgrounds to create unique settings for each raid, and they intend for it to be pretty tough. Roguelite tough, they say, with death a frequent certainty. However, progress is permanent, so you’ll carry over skills gained in previous attempts to the next, allowing you to grow stronger, and CONQUER THE WORLD or similar, I would imagine.

You’ll be able to upgrade your ship, take on missions, expand your crew, and explore the game’s worlds. Hopefully we’ll find out more about the game, and see some proper in-game footage, pretty soon. The game is due to release in Spring next year, but it’s not yet clear on which platform/s it will first appear. It’s definitely coming to PC, but frustratingly we don’t know if we’re getting first dibs. Let’s hope so, and we’ll keep you posted.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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