Review: Steamworld Heist

Oh the joys of a 145MB game, downloaded in minutes, enjoyed for many, many hours - welcome to Steamworld Heist. With their home planet shattered into pieces, life goes on for our mechanoid chums, with crews of robots on scuzzy ships trying to farm a living and trading with each other off the surrounding fragments.

Scrappers are the new threat, stealing everything in sight, and we start out on one of their ships - where our heroic leader, Piper, is thrown in the brig. Escaping this prickly situation helps set up the turn-based shooter, where you need to use cover for protection, solid metal to ricochet shots, and find water to keep your steam-power up, and hats - lots of hats!

Each level is procedurally generated and provides a short sharp dose of cover-based shooting. Your team, from one to four bots, moves, the enemy moves, takes pot shots and you return fire. Across the levels, weapons, grenades and utilities come into play, so you can bounce lasers or bullets for trick shot richochets, beef up your armour, and advance through story.

That sees rival factions, then alien races turning up to threaten your robot's borderline criminal existence, with the odd boss baddie who requires some serious thought or persistence to take down. To a chorus of metallic clangs and clanks, the game plays along at a hectic pace, not bad for a turn-based game.

Each ship has enough vertical space and dark corners to explore, while shooting grenades or sighted weapons is easy, it is a challenge to hit some clunkers, and you get that good feel whenever you pull off a trick shot or use a special power to mow down a line of foes.

There's lots of junk to pick up along the way to sell, extra weapons to find, and you can more from the various supply stores littered around the system. Everywhere has an interesting character to meet, hire, or do a job for. The characterisation is one of the stronger features of the game, and these rust buckets have more personality than the generic roster of human action heroes we usually come across.

I'm not too sure about the replay value, you can go back for missing stars and rare items, try different team members and weapons. Oh, and there are DLC missions, still, on first play through, Steamworld Heist is a gem well worth thieving.

Score: 9/10
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Price: £15.99
Developer: Image and Form
Progress: Completed