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Build-A-Bot Workshop: M.A.V. Hitting Steam Early Access


Since childhood you've imagined it, drawing up lists and doodling designs on your schoolbooks, imagining what name you'd use, awaiting the day when all this would come true. It's finally here. You can do it. Embrace it. Build the killbot of your dreams in M.A.V.. (Mine would be a lean four-metre biped in unpolished metal with shotguns, claws, and neon blue mood lighting.)

The tactical mech shooter with a fancy piece-by-piece builder will arrive on Steam Early Access today, having after its own pre-order alpha for a while, for people fussy about buying elsewhere.

As a confessed character creator enthusiast, it's the mech lab which catches my eye most. It's got hundreds of parts, from bases with wheels, legs, tracks and whatnot, through a whole range of weapons, armour, and cockpits, to tools deploying walls or turrets. These all snap together like in Kerbal Space Program, and their weight, stability, recoil, and so on naturally all affect your mech. A mech which you will then take into combat, I guess, though it might ruin that paintjob. Locational damage means you can exploit weak spots like connectors to knock great chunks off mechs.

The Early Access version currently has deathmatch and a team mode about exploding the other mechs' base, but the full game is due to have a more extensive campaign mode. It'll be a persistent affair about capturing and fortifying territories, recruiting AI chums, saving up for bot bits, and generally being a thorn in the big nasty government's side.

M.A.V. is made by one-man developer Bombdog Studios. Here's a bit of bot-building and bot-smashing from February:

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Alice O'Connor

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