I’m a Pacific Rim apologist. I describe it to people as “the best throwaway film I’ve ever seen”, largely because there’s a point in the middle where you can tell the writers said: “Ah, screw it” and embraced how ridiculous the whole thing is. It’s this bit, in case you were wondering.
Anyway! I’ve fantasised about battling monsters in oversized mech suits ever since, which is neat because I’ve just spent half an hour doing exactly that in tower defence game Mechs V Kaijus. The full game will be out in March, say the developers, but there’s already a free demo. I’m not normally a big fan of tower defence, but I am a fan of feeling awesome. MVK’s premise is a quick and dirty way to generate that feeling, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve to help.
It’s like Plants Vs Zombies. You’re defending your base along multiple horizontal lanes – though some monsters weave around. Also unlike in PVZ, you can spew out mouse-aimed bullets from a stationary mech, as well as call down air strikes or deploy tanks (once you’ve unlocked them). There’s not much to it, but constantly deciding which kaijus to prioritise meant I felt like I was taking a more active role than in other tower defence games I’ve dabbled with.
The best moments, though, are when you summon your defences from the skies. Time slows as you open the building menu, and each wall and turret slams into the ground instantly via a drop pod: there’s no faffing around with build times. Calling for a wall to arrive in just the right place at just the right time is damn satisfying – I’m just sad that they don’t seem to squish the monsters beneath.
There’s a tech tree for both upgrading your mech, or unlocking new defences and abilities. Both options use the same currency, so there’s a trade-off between direct firepower and building more interesting defences. If I feel awesome now, I wonder how I’ll feel when I get my hands on this orbital freezing death laser.
Like I say, developers Doble Punch Games are aiming for a March release on Steam.