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Mecha Trigger: Control Your Mech By Typing Commands

Just use a joystick gosh!

In the far-flung future when we're all stomping around in mechs, I'm sure some folks will still stubbornly refuse to touch a joystick, control pad, pedal, eye-tracker, muscle sensor, or tactical neural implant, insisting that they're perfectly fine with just a keyboard. All right, Chuckles, you play Mecha Trigger [official site] and tell me how that works out. It's a free mech 'em up where all your movement, aiming, jumpjetting, and laserblasting is controlled by typing commands into a terminal. It's hilariously clunky and overwhelming at first, but that's sort of rewarding. Have a go!

Take this sequence of commands:

legs jet -l 1
legs move -d 50
legs turn -a 90
pitch -a -20
rarm fire -n 15

That'd make a mech hover up a little on its jumpjets, move 50 units forwards, turn 90 degrees, look down 20 degrees, lock onto a target, then fire 15 shots from its right arm weapon.

There's a special feeling of helplessness being in the cockpit of giant mech bristling with weapons and not remembering what to do. "Oh, I'd dearly love to launch rockets at that other mech, but can't remember the command to turn to face it let alone the one to switch weapons!" Handily, they're probably desperately checking their manual too. Possibly with cybergoggles strapped to their head, as it has Rift support. Perhaps imagining that image might help you stay cool.

Along with AI to fight, Mecha Trigger does support online battles, but you'll likely need to round up your own opponents. Definitely do finish the tutorial before trying either. I poke fun at interface stalwarts, but once you get the hang of creating macros to do several actions at once, playing with typed commands becomes more efficient and is merely far, far, far worse than other forms of control.

It's very colourful and pleasant to look at and hear, I should say too. The dropship sequence for falling down through the clouds into missions is swell.

Created by folks on a game design course at Michigan State University, Mecha Trigger is a free download on Windows and Mac. Hopefully those Mediafire mirrors will hold up.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.