Steamworld Heist is a Future Classic
I recently played and beat Steamworld Heist, and I will assuredly be going back for more. It was one of my most genuinely quality game experiences that I’ve had in recent memory. It didn’t stand out to me because it appealed to me personally for any specific reason, it distinguished itself because it was the definition of being just plain fun. I would highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether they are typically interested in games. Here’s why.
Steamworld Heist Gameplay is Tight and Fun
Steamworld Heist is just a damn good game. It’s a turn-based, tactical squad game, akin to Xcom: Enemy Unknown, but in a 2D plane like the Worms games. It features only robots, protagonist steam-bots facing off against imperial adversaries, so there’s no blood and only cartoon violence. There are some tense tactical situations, but there’s no perma-death as the steam-bots can always be re-assembled. Each character has a likeable and cartoony personality and you end up with a crew of various outdated steam-bots on a noble mission against the ever powerful imperial forces. It sounds a little cliché, but the quality and approachability of the gameplay and the quality of the experience make this a game that everyone can enjoy.
The scrappy captain and the crew that she assembles echoes likeable sci-fi properties, and comparisons to the likes of Firefly are unavoidable. The similarities only make the game’s spirit more fun. I haven’t played anything that so effectively evokes memories of the well-meaning struggles of Mal and crew.
The phrase that just kept coming to my mind while I was having a ball playing through the campaign is that it’s just clean fun. In a world where games realistic graphics and competitive killing situations get the most attention, this is a diamond in the rough. The feelings of pure fun I had while playing it are shared with the greats like Super Mario 64.
Image and Form Evokes Classic Nintendo
While I’m not sure how much success Steamworld Heist had on the 3DS as a Nindie, I can completely see why Nintendo wanted it on the platform. Without any compromise, this game mirrors the quality of experience that gave Nintendo the reputation that they enjoy today, despite their more recent struggles.
I will always love Nintendo because of the experiences their consoles and games afforded me during my youth that sparked my interest in video games. The time I had playing Steamworld Heist strides side by side with some of my favorite gaming experiences. Sure, I probably won’t sink the hours into it that I do with the likes of Dark Souls games, but there would be no shame in doing so. Along with that, I would never introduce someone to modern gaming with a Dark Souls adventure, but Steamworld Heist would be a perfect way to jump into contemporary gaming.
All images courtesy of Image & Form Games