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SteamWorld Quest Review: A Must-Own Nintendo Switch RPG

Bild & Form has done it again. After hits such as SteamWorld Dig 2 and SteamWorld Heist the genre shopping developer puts their views on a new challenge: a SteampWorld Quest RPG game. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech released today for the Nintendo Switch, turning his knights and mages into robots that claim it in clever turn-based battles. It's one of the best role-playing games I've had in a long time. SteamWorld Quest follows the experiences of Armilly, a happy successful adventurer who dreams of joining the local heroism. Nobody really takes Armilly seriously first: She is inexperienced and runs around in dingy armor that is too big for her. But after the heraldry was attacked and her village was searched, it's up to Armilly and her friends to find out what happened. On the surface, it is a very wide-ranging requirement for an RPG, but the SteamWorld aesthetics help keep it healthy. Yes, I've seen things like tanks and mages many times before, but I've never seen them depicted as a charming frog mech or a college dropout robot, respectively. The unique character concepts, combined with lush, handmade designs, provide a lively world that I was happy to explore. But what really does SteamWorld Quest sings is their combat system. It is a turn-based RPG where you choose your actions and then watch your opponent make their own moves. Your talent pool is dictated by punching cards with associated switch costs, which you can imagine as this game's version…

Bild & Form has done it again. After hits such as SteamWorld Dig 2 and SteamWorld Heist the genre shopping developer puts their views on a new challenge: a SteampWorld Quest RPG game. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech released today for the Nintendo Switch, turning his knights and mages into robots that claim it in clever turn-based battles. It’s one of the best role-playing games I’ve had in a long time.

SteamWorld Quest follows the experiences of Armilly, a happy successful adventurer who dreams of joining the local heroism. Nobody really takes Armilly seriously first: She is inexperienced and runs around in dingy armor that is too big for her. But after the heraldry was attacked and her village was searched, it’s up to Armilly and her friends to find out what happened.

On the surface, it is a very wide-ranging requirement for an RPG, but the SteamWorld aesthetics help keep it healthy. Yes, I’ve seen things like tanks and mages many times before, but I’ve never seen them depicted as a charming frog mech or a college dropout robot, respectively. The unique character concepts, combined with lush, handmade designs, provide a lively world that I was happy to explore.

But what really does SteamWorld Quest sings is their combat system. It is a turn-based RPG where you choose your actions and then watch your opponent make their own moves. Your talent pool is dictated by punching cards with associated switch costs, which you can imagine as this game’s version of action points. Basic traits like sword attack are “free” and build your point pool. More advanced features, such as a splitting blow, often hit harder or have special static effects &#821

1; which means you have to spend some gears to pull them off. The deck set has a limited number of slots, and there are over 100 punch cards to collect. The cards that end up in your active hand are also random, but you can draw new battle cards a limited number of times.

Together, all these mechanical elements build an addictive mini puzzle for the player. Do I build a character to be more of a bruise, or do I give them a good mix of healing and static effects? How many big do I play in a deck? Do you use all my action points when you go? Or am I saving up and trying to get the nicer, more advanced card? There are no right answers, just different ways to solve the problem.

When the game goes, it still complicates the basic setting. Cards can combine with each other for extra effect: You can suck an enemy with water with a sign, just to zap them for extra damage with another ally. Signs can also coincide with each other if you play cards in the right order – one of my bread-and-butter combinations gave Galleo, the shy craftsman, a devastating blow if I made sure Armilly was attacked first. SteamWorld Quest also distinguishes you if you play a full hand of moves that are of the same character. Combines three Copernica book bases – she is the team mage-ends that turns with a bonus shield that fills all your allies. Standard things like buffs / debuffs, XP, and equipped accessories add the strategic elements woven throughout the game. You always think of who should attack first, in which order and with which cards. These considerations become even more fun when you recruit new allies with different types of abilities.


Image & Form / Thunderful Publishing

For the most part, repetitive turn-based battles in an RPG make me check. I figure out what works best, and then I do exactly that over and over again until a manager comes around. If I grind and get enough XP to above level, that loop becomes even easier. In SteamWorld Quest I also found the most basic battles against repeating enemies because of the randomized tire building elements. Sometimes the cards are just not for your service, and you have to learn how to work with what you have. It also helps that AI is smart, and will fully use its features to its full advantage. I never felt like I could turn off my brain during battle. I found myself constantly tweaking my deck depending on the challenge at hand. I am theory-creating my buildings as I write this sentence. To the game’s credit, the mechanics are so well-tuned that I feel encouraged to experiment with all the opportunities presented to me, instead of trying to find the best all-round deck.

SteamWorld Quest feels like an economic game. You often walk along corridors, where exploration seems easy. There are some NPCs, but not many, and you often struggle with the same enemies over and over again. The story is classic “good against illus”. In another game there would be shortcomings that remove the overall experience. However, SteamWorld Quest knows exactly what it is and what it wants to achieve. Like other SteamWorld games before Quest is seeking a basic idea – in this case, turn-based tire-building battles – and it is based on it, tipping over until the machine takes on the satisfying complexity of a clock.

SteamWorld Quest was released April 25 on the Nintendo Switch for $ 24.99. The game was reviewed on Switch using a final “retail” download code provided by Image & Form. You can find additional information on Polygon’s Ethics Policy here .

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