- Platform: PC (reviewed), PS4, PSVita, Nintendo 3DS
- Players: 1
- Achievements: Yes
- Steam Trading Cards: Yes
- Controller Support : Yes, Full
- Retail Price: $19.99
High Level Premise: Control a team of robots to strategically take out other robots and collect swag.
Graphics/Style: Beautiful environments, characters and designs are in the same universe as SteamWorld Dig
Music/Soundtrack: Excellent, keeps you involved in the game and doesn't get annoying or distracting.
Story: You are pirate robot Captain Piper, you must guide her and her allies throughout the galaxy to raid enemy spaceships and recover their swag.
Replay-ability: About average, ships can form new designs that are procedurally generated by the program.
Time Commitment: About 15 minutes per level, auto-saves between levels.
Value: Excellent, it's a high quality game that provides hours of entertainment
Favorite Element: When you aim a shot so well, that the hat flies off of the enemy and you can pick it up to equip it later.
SteamWorld Dig came out of nowhere in 2013 with great graphics and addictive gameplay similar to Metroid. The only complaint I had was that I wanted more! Image & Form Games had a sure fire hit on their hands, and I am glad they were willing to continue the series but with a whole new twist. This time, a group of ragtag SteamWorld characters are flying their ship across the galaxy in search of swag (my favorite) and defeating any bad bots along the way. The gameplay is familiar if you have every played a turn-based strategy game like Jagged Alliance, Advance Wars, or XCOM. However, instead of just clicking a fire button and hope you deal some damage, the shot is manually controlled. This is similar to older favorites such as Scorched Earth and Worms. Skillshot bonuses can be triggered including one of my favorite features, shooting the hat off of an enemy's head and claiming it for yourself.
Along the way you will be able to eventually recruit new team members with different abilities which will allow you to make the tough decision of whom to take along for a particular mission. You can upgrade your weapons, armor, and find both "swag" and "epic swag" chests along the way. Your characters gain experience from battle and successful completion of a mission. Strategy is a huge focus with SteamWorld Heist, one wrong move could totally ruin your intentions for the mission. The first time I perished during a mission, it was no fault but my own due to poor decisions made during an infiltration of a bandit trio who took my team out swiftly. In reloading the mission, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the entire layout of the ship had changed, and the trio had been scattered throughout the newly generated ship. I don't want to call it rogue-like, because it seems like the wrong word to use. There has to be some set configurations that the game can choose from when you start a level, or it might make the mission either insanely unfair or down right impossible. Luckily, this isn't the case with SteamWorld Heist. If you make a mistake, it's usually because you didn't take into account for all dangers in the ship. These mistakes allow the player to easily correct for future battles, rather than punishing them severely.
The best part about SteamWorld Heist, like SteamWorld Dig is that you will find yourself in that "just one more level" black hole that fellow strategy gamers know all too well. The game takes around 15 hours to complete, a few more if you are a perfectionist and want to collect all of the swag in each level. There also is a DLC pack released called "The Outsider" which provides a new ally and additional swag to collect and upgrade your character. (We hope to review this DLC pack soon.) Currently, you can save some cash on all of the SteamWorld products during the Steam Summer Sale which is going on right now until July 4th. You got to hand it to Image & Form Games, they easily could have made some new levels for SteamWorld Dig and phoned their next game in. Instead, we get to follow a new crew of Steambots in a whole different type of game. If you enjoyed the style of SteamWorld Dig and love yourself some strategy, make sure you pick this one up. SteamWorld Heist is more of the cool robot style you love, with a new twist on a classic genre.