Steamburg is an award-winning puzzle adventure game set in a dark and gritty world with a steampunk theme running through it. Shortly after the game was announced Steamburg was awarded the Best Upcoming Game at the International Moblie Gaming Awards in March 2017. It released at the end of 2017 on the Steam and mobile platforms, we skip forward a year and see developer Telehorse bring the game to Nintendo Switch.
Our story revolves around protagonist professor Vincent Cornelius Moore, an inventor looking to change the world for the better through his study of electricity. His mission is abruptly brought to an end when the world comes under attack from an invading army of giant mechanical robots. Undeterred Vincent uses his knowledge and skills to create electrical devices capable of defeating the once believed unstoppable killing machines, kinda sounded all Sarah Connor there for a moment, as he searches for his missing fiancee.
Played from an isometric point of view Steamburg shows off some beautifully realised 3D visuals. The game reminded me very much of the excellent Lara Croft GO, Deus Ex GO and even, yes you guessed it, Hitman GO. The world created is interesting and detailed, the story-driven narrative helps guide you through each level by explaining what is going on and teaching you new game mechanics as they become available. Steamburg has excellent voice acting throughout the campaign from a varied cast of talent, including movie star Bruce Glover. There are thirty-two levels in total spanning across eight chapters, with hidden areas and secrets to find there is plenty of content to keep you entertained.
Gameplay itself involves two key elements, collecting three power orbs to obtain the best ranking and using the Telsa coils on each level to neutralise the enemy threat. Although Vincent is essentially unarmed as progression is made you unlock the use of electro-charged grenades which can be thrown at the killer robots to slow them down or lure them towards the coils and their ultimate demise. For the most part, puzzles are straightforward and can be completed within a few munites. If wanting to get that perfect score the game really makes you consider what the best strategy to use is because as soon as you are in the eyesight of a robot it will begin to hunt you down. What starts off as a simple task soon becomes intensified when faced with multiple robots at the same time becoming faster and faster responding to Vincent’s every move. By collecting letters and photos along the way Vincent’s love story unfolds with his missing fiancee.
On the Switch you have the option of using a traditional control input but additionally, the game can be played using the touchscreen which makes perfect sense coming from a mobile background. You can zoom in by hitting the left trigger button which really comes in handy on a smaller screen setup. Gameplay is slow and puzzle based so is perfectly suited to the less accurate and responsive touch method.
Steamburg is a solid entry for the Nintendo Switch that is graphically beautiful with a decent soundtrack. It is entertaining throughout offering enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more. It is ideal for a pickup and play experience. There is very little to criticise about the game but without the backing of a licence, like Lara Croft GO, it will be interesting to see how it sells on the Switch especially when it can be found cheaper on other formats. At under £5, you can’t really complain either way.
Beard Score: 7/10
Platform: Steam, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 22/11/18
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Action, Puzzle
Publisher: Monster Couch