SteamWorld Heist Review
If you ever played SteamWorld Dig, you know that developer Image and Form is not messing around. They take time to make their games, but they are damn fun! I have owned – and played – SteamWorld Dig on multiple platforms, and plan to do the same with SteamWorld Heist if it is as good as the previous title. I had my reservations, especially since I am not a big fan of turn based titles. All I can say is…wow. SteamWorld Heist is one of the best indie games I have played this year, and by far the best indie title I’ve played on a Nintendo platform.
Piper and her Band
Piper, for the most part, is the protagonist. Yes, you will get other characters to take into battle with you, but Piper will be your mainstay piece. As you play, you will pick up extra characters to add to your team. They all have different attributes. Some have less movement per turn but more attacking power, others are all around, etc. Picking who you take into battle is incredibly important.
Don’t think you will scope the level and then decide, however. Most levels in SteamWorld Heist are randomly generated. The number of enemies and the amount of loot might remain constant, but the layout will drastically change. This is both a positive and a negative. You will almost never be able to learn from your mistakes which might ultimately kill you. Once you restart the level, the layout is different and what you think you know about the stage, well, you don’t. On the positive side, if you ever feel like you need to ‘grind’ to get more currency or experience, the levels always feel fresh and new!
Gaining levels is incredibly important, especially as you begin finding higher tiered loot. Each level is stocked with items, and that is half the fun of beating the levels. Unfortunately, I think the game hampers you early on by not providing enough inventory spots. It requires some hard decisions as you sell off items you might otherwise like to keep, just to make room for other things. There are different items that can be equipped to characters, some that are a one time use and others that can be used multiple times, depending on cool down timers. You will find or buy health packs, new weapons, shoes that give you more movement, armour that gives you more health, and the like. It is really fun mixing and matching equipment – and hats too! – between your characters. I do wish, however, that items worn wouldn’t count against your inventory slots. After all, they are not really in your inventory.
Through a star rating system, players can attempt to “100%” a level. This means not having any casualties, finding all the loot, and obviously completing all the objectives, including optional ones. This adds a little extra to an already decently long game (25 hours and change). For those looking to blow through quickly, you can always lower the difficulty level. On the lowest level, things are probably too easy. I generally played on Regular, although for particularly frustrating levels I would drop it down to Casual.
I am still playing my way through SteamWorld Heist, but title really is incredible. Even for someone who hates turn based games – that’s me! – I found this game incredibly engaging and exciting. I keep going back for more, short bursts of turn based, SteamWorld action. Whether it is collecting loot, using the environment to bounce bullets and do considerable damage, or just exploring and talking with the (humorous) characters, there is lots to love about SteamWorld Heist.
- Lots of loot to collect
- Great audio and visuals
- Good dollars-to-entertainment ratio
- Fun “trick” shots
- Wide variety of humorous characters
- Not enough inventory slots early on
- Small screen size