Into The Breach was fine and all, but it didn’t have nearly enough robots. Not proper ones. Fortunately, Facepunch – the Rust and Garry’s Mod devs – have made a game about fighty non-oxidised robo-pals. Clatter pits robo-teams against each other in primarily multiplayer matches, playing a turn-based future-sport put on for crowds of smiley-faced cubes. I’ve had one game so far, and it seems promising.
You’ve got eight robots on each side, all with different methods of turning metal into scrap (apart from the cute one that looks like a bird and repairs the others). My favourite so far is the flipper, who dives into the fray and damages every adjacent unit.
I like that it plops you into a bot match while you’re searching for a game – something I might become increasingly grateful for if the player population stagnates.
I do miss the emphasis Into The Breach places on shunting. I miss the possibility paths that game made me map out in my head, the chains of movement abilities that would just about stave off destruction for one more turn. Here, complexity seems to stem less from varied options within abilities and more from choosing which ability to use in the first place. There’s also an armour system which emphasises positioning in a slightly different way – you want to keep an eye on your flanks, because attacks from the back and sides usually do more damage.
It has a Football Manager-esque singleplayer campaign, too, where you manage a team and buy new bots over the course of a season. The latest Football Manager has you looking after the mental health of your players, so this might be a nice counterpoint where you don’t have to worry about the moral of your metal. Or it embarrassing itself in player interviews.
Clatter is available on Steam, with a 20% launch discount pricing it at £6/$8/€7.
Disclosure: Facepuncher Craig Pearson has written for RPS.