I started this 3 days ago and somehow have 17 hours into it. I beat it once on Hard with a custom squad and uninstalled before it sucked away more time!
I’m about 100 hours in. The interface is obscure in places, the retro graphics do nothing for me, and the randomness of incoming enemy movement can put you in an untenable situation depending on the loadout.
… and I am there for it. The game loop is smooth and it just excels with a simple rule set that gets you thinking creatively. I can do a really smart turn but end it nervously because I left a unit near a corner and maybe ineffective next turn.
I finally started playing this on Switch and absolutely love it. Getting a 2-island completion is so incredibly satisfying, even though I’m still playing on Easy so far.
I’m going to play the game a bunch more and with other Mech teams before bumping it up to Normal, but man this game is just perfect to play while on my commute, and listening to a podcast or whatever.
(I know the soundtrack is amazing, but I’m happy listening to that in other situations instead of just while playing the game!)
I picked this up in the last Steam sale, and yeah, it’s great. Just got my first 2-island victory (on Normal), so, feelin’ pretty good about that.
The one nit I would pick, (and maybe I’m just doing something wrong?) is that there’s all these great upgrades (weapon upgrades, movement/hp upgrades, plus the occasional new weapon with upgrades), but you need energy cores (or whatever they’re called) to activate them – and those cores seem really rare, to the point where I can’t imagine ever getting to activate even a small fraction of those upgrades. Like, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more than two or three cores in a run, and that’s including buying them and finding them in time pods.
Just seeing all those unfilled upgrade ovals makes me sad!
I get a bit of that feeling too, but I think it makes sense for the game. As you get better at the game, and don’t need to repair the grid at the end of each island, you can afford to buy more power cores. The relative scarcity also means that you are making tough choices about which upgrades to power at all, rather than just what order to max things out in. And of course, it also helps you always have upgrades to go for, even at the end of four islands.
Yeah, Gear with high activation/upgrade costs are useless if you’re working to upgrade stuff you already have.
Finishing perfect on an area helps speed the upgrade path
During each island I usually prioritize reputation, so by the end of each island I can buy 2-3 power cores. And buying those cores usually seems more valuable to me than buying the equipment offered for that reputation.
Granted, I’m usually playing on Easy, and sometimes Normal, so perhaps that strategy doesn’t usually work too well on Normal / Hard.
Generally speaking if you are buying something besides cores at the end of an island, something went wrong.