'Builds up a hand of steam like no other'
April 26, 2019 9:39 AM   Subscribe

SteamWorld Quest: Letting Off Some Steam [Gamespot] “It's easy to be immediately charmed by SteamWorld Quest's colorful fantasy world and the band of merry heroes you'll journey across it with. Their plight is simple and straightforward, making its adventure of confronting evil and its tightening grip on the kingdom around you palatable without feeling overbearing. Underneath this whimsical veneer, however, is a daunting strategy game, one which uses its clever take on turn-based card combat to create a wickedly complex system of decision-making opportunities. But it's also one that is designed intelligently enough to make each part easy to learn and engage with. With regard to gameplay, SteamWorld Quest bears no resemblance to the rest of the games in the series. This is first and foremost a turn-based strategy game, with a light sprinkling of role-playing thrown into the mix...” [YouTube][Game Trailer]

• SteamWorld continues its risky tradition with Quest: Why can’t more franchises experiment like this? [Polygon]
“The biggest franchises on the planet are also some of the safest. Look at Assassin’s Creed. Despite significant scenic, temporal, and gameplay changes in each installment, Assassin’s Creed is still an action-adventure series with an emphasis on parkour and casually shoving your way through crowds. Sometimes the combat engine gets revamped, sometimes they add pirates, but the core remains the same. When Ubisoft does experiment with the Assassin’s Creed genre, it’s in the context of a spinoff developed by a secondary studio with a much smaller scale. The conservative approach makes sense. Taking risks with your biggest franchise is, well, risky. Which is what makes the SteamWorld franchise so remarkable. [...] Every new installment has been a total gameplay departure from the previous title, with the exception of a sequel to Dig. The only unifying characteristic of the games is that everyone in this universe is a steam-powered robot.”
• SteamWorld Quest is an impressive follow-up to SteamWorld Heist and SteamWorld Dig 2 [Kotaku]
“Your party explores dungeons, defeats enemies, and collects treasure. There are save points before bosses, and conversations between characters after them, but at the centre of the game is an elegant machinery of deck building. Image & Form has been taking classic genres and dressing them up with cute robot characters going back to 2010’s SteamWorld: Tower Defence on the DSi Shop. Where SteamWorld Dig took on metroidvania exploration and SteamWorld Heist re-imagined turn-based tactical gameplay, SteamWorld Quest combines elements of card-based roguelike Slay the Spire and gruelling explorer Darkest Dungeon to create a softer, more approachable, but no less intriguing variant. Where in those games it’s easy to hit a wall or fall to their extreme difficulty or cruel odds, SteamWorld Quest offers the thrills of theory crafting new decks and character builds without punishing you to much for occasionally choosing the wrong ones.”
• SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech: Remarkably solid and satisfying, [Nintendo Life]
“The meat of the game is in the combat, and it’s chunky, satisfying fare. With every encounter up to six ‘punch cards’ are drawn from your deck to the bottom of the screen. Each character can only use their own cards and you select just three of them for your party to play (these are then replaced the following turn). Cards are split into three types: Strike, Upgrade or Skill. Strike does what it says on the tin and Upgrade cards give you a temporary buff. Each time you use one of these regular cards a cog is added to a shared Steam Pressure meter (SP) which you need in order to play the third type, Skill cards. Skills are powerful but striking the balance between building SP, timing critical blows and managing defence is the name of the game. Attacks feel pleasingly solid when they land. You get your SP the moment you select a card to play, so if a Skill requires 2 SP and your pool is entirely depleted, playing any two ‘normal’ cards will unlock the Skill to play as your third. Playing three from the same character creates a Heroic Chain which doles out an additional card depending on that character’s equipped weapon. It might, say, provide a protective Mana barrier for the whole party, or simply add an extra strike.”
posted by Fizz (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
i'm a little light on cash this week so i haven't gotten the chance to play this yet but i will buy literally anything these guys make. the Dig games are both excellent and Heist combines a few different ingredients into something completely and totally unique. i love the world they've built. this looks like a great follow up.
posted by JimBennett at 9:47 AM on April 26


Seconding that StemWorld Heist is also an amazing game and worth checking out. It has a very X-COM feel to it and yet it still stays true to the fun steampunk/robot universe they've created.
posted by Fizz at 10:11 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Bought this last night and am SO psyched to play it. Heist and Dig 2 were total standouts on the Switch -- rare games that I actually played all the way through and (in the case of Dig 2) kept on playing to 100% just because of the mix of a fun, quirky world and incredibly tight gameplay. It's amazing that this team can put out three such different games, with three such diverse gameplay mechanics, and nail it each time.
posted by The Bellman at 10:36 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Both SteamWorld Dig games are among my favorite Metroidvanias, so it's a bummer to see that this is Switch exclusive, because it seems customed designed for me. I'm hoping it gets ported at some point.
posted by codacorolla at 10:38 AM on April 26


I also really appreciate that considering how this is a card-based game, they've not created any kind of built in loot-box/buying decks mechanic. You buy the game and you get all of the game to play around with. It's such a rare thing in this style of game.
posted by Fizz at 10:43 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I'm really looking forward to this one, but I have so many games on my plate right now plus a new dog I can barely
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:25 PM on April 26


So I have a couple of questions: 1 should I get this or wait for Slay The Spire to appear on Switch (fwiw my issue here is time not money). 2 How much of the appeal of the steam world games is in their steam punk aesthetic? (cos I relay don’t get steam punk).
posted by tomp at 3:32 PM on April 26


How much of the appeal of the steam world games is in their steam punk aesthetic? (cos I relay don’t get steam punk).

Almost none, although the art and narrative of the world building is really well done to the degree that the 'steam punk' kind of fades away, and it's just its own thing. The two I've played (the "Dig" series) are just really good Metroidvania games with some RPG mechanics. Fun puzzles, dynamic movement, exciting exploration. I highly recommend them.
posted by codacorolla at 7:47 PM on April 26


should I get this or wait for Slay The Spire to appear on Switch

It might depend what you're into -- if you get a kick out of both roguelikes and deck-builder boardgames, then you will likely have an absolute blast with Slay The Spire.

For me, Slay the Spire had heaps of replayability. I also enjoyed how respectful it was of the player's time -- each run is usually quite short -- perhaps 15 minutes if you wipe out early due to pushing your luck a bit too hard, or an hour or two if you manage to claw your way to victory. The short duration of each run also makes the permadeath more palatable, and you gradually unlock new cards and items as you play even if you don't win. If you like trying to figure out the puzzle of how to bend a deck of cards towards being game-breakingly overpowered in a weird new way, to take advantage of a little early luck that has gone your way, you'll enjoy it.
posted by are-coral-made at 9:29 PM on April 26


i think despite the surface similarities SteamWorld Quest and Slay the Spire are very different games, so: why not both?

Both SteamWorld Dig games are among my favorite Metroidvanias, so it's a bummer to see that this is Switch exclusive, because it seems customed designed for me. I'm hoping it gets ported at some point.

every SteamWorld game except for Dig 2 has started out as a Nintendo exclusive (Dig 2 released on Switch I think a day before PC? but has apparently sold WAY better on Switch). I think this will absolutely make it to PC by the end of the year at the latest. Heist has a great phone port too, I wouldn't be surprised if Quest makes it over there as well eventually.
posted by JimBennett at 10:22 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


steamworld quest will be released on steam for mac/linux/pc on may 31!
posted by JimBennett at 10:39 PM on May 14


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