Last week, I wasn’t able to work on an Indie Spotlight due to travel but I still found some time to check out the news that the team responsible for all the Steamworld games, Image and Form Games, are creating something brand new for the series. I thought that for this spotlight piece, we’d take a look at things to come. Let’s dive into what we know about SteamWorld Quest.
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a card-based role-playing game that stars three adventurers who seem to be fighting against all kinds of baddies; from mecha dragons to toadstool monsters. Not much has been released regarding the story, but the gameplay has been said to have over 100 different cards to collect and build your deck with. Although we know little on how these cards work, it will be interesting to see if there is a random element in this game based on what card you draw in battle, or if you will have the same cards every time. Watching the trailer, you can see that each character can only have a maximum of 8 cards. This seems pretty low, unless these battles are either really quick or you constantly reshuffle your hand. It is also unclear what the game will feel like when not in a battle. Will there be a lot of exploring of the world outside of combat, or will it be back-to-back events? Needless to say, there are still many unknowns around this title.
What really fascinates me, is more around the direction of the company from this game, rather than the game itself. Each SteamWorld game prior has had a similar art direction since their first title, SteamWorld Tower Defense. However, one thing that has not remained, is the genre or style of gameplay. Once SteamWorld Quest releases, out of all five SteamWorld games, each one will have a different genre, with the exception of SteamWorld Dig 2 since it is a sequel. These fine folk are setting up quite the padded resume for game types they can tackle. They are not looking to just make the same game, but rather, looking to create a franchise that expands its reach to all gamers and their varied interests. Personally, I have loved the previous titles but I won’t say that I’m not a little nervous with something so far from their more popular Dig games. With an Independent studio, every game really counts. Something that had this much time and resources poured into it can be very detrimental if it does not get the recognition the developers anticipate. Questions like “Why not just work on the third Dig title?” can pop up. Although, if these do come up, keep in mind that this is what the fans wanted.
That being said, I think this is the right move for the company (and I’m not just saying that because almost every game I have gotten into recently is card related). You often find that sequels back to back will improve on the previous installment but this can often lead to small steps in iteration. Having this break to try something completely different will come with a whole new way of looking at the next games to come. The team will most certainly learn new aspects of game design and can apply those elements to their next installments. As a big fan of the RPG genre, I can’t wait to see how much progression this game will have and to see what they can apply to the almost certain, SteamWorld Dig 3, whenever that comes.
There is still much to learn about this game and the future of this company but I can’t wait to see what more this game has to offer. Keep an eye out this year as the only release date we have is sometime in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch with other ports planned later. For more information, check out their website and the trailer below: