Review Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch)

Game: Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamesh
Genre: RPG (Cards)
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developer| Publisher: Image & Form International AB|Thunderful
Age Rating: EU 12|USA E
Price: USA$24.99|UK £22.49|EU €24.99
Release Date: 25th April 2019

No review code was used, bought the game myself

After releasing the popular titles of Steamworld Dig 1+2 (Metroidvania exploration games) and Steamworld Heist (a turn based tactical game), Image & Form are back again. This time with their latest twist on their robot-themed games with Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech.

Steamworld Quest Hand of Gilgamech is a card battling RPG game where you control a party of three robots.

Meet our heroes

At the start of the game you meet the first three members of the party. Armilly the knight. She is a grocers’ daughter who wants to join the Hero’s Guild. Galleo the craftsman, who really just wants to stay at home. And Copernica the alchemist, a college drop out who wants to be free to practice her alchemy skill. A rag-tag bunch of hero’s who set out to right the wrongs that evil has brought upon their village. As the game progresses you  meet other friends like the retired legend Orik and the grifters Tarah and Thayne. 

As with all Steamworld games the characters are quirky, lovable, clanking robots who all have their own personality. There’s humour throughout the game as they banter between each other in the cut scenes.  

Your party of three follow the linear path around the lovely hand drawn 2D side scrolling environments. Going through magical towers, haunted woods and leafy glades via ladders, doors and and tunnels. Meanwhile, you collect loot and cards and of course, battle the enemies  that you find strolling around.

Card based RPG

Each party member has their own deck of Steamcards. They only start with a few cards and eventually, through crafting and collecting cards, their decks grow to 24 cards each. The cards have holes in them, punch cards holes to be precise: this is after all a game about robots! 

Party member equip eight cards, each colour coded to the character they belong to. This makes it easy, as a glance at the card will tell you who’s card it is. 

Steamcards come in three varieties, Strike, Upgrade and Skill. Strike cards give a basic hit, Upgrade cards give a temporary buff or heal. Using either of these types of cards will earn steam pressure (SP) in the style of cogs which appear in a shared party bar at the top of the screen. Skill cards give powerful attacks but in turn use up the steam pressure that has been collected.

A good tutorial is in place

During battle you draw six cards and you chose up to three cards to play on each turn. You can also redraw two of those cards per turn if you come upon a card that is unplayable during that move. Heroic chains can be preformed if you have chosen three cards from the same party member. This generates a special effect at the end of the move depending on what weapon the character has equipped. Some cards are marked with a team tag. When used after another party members’ card, a Tag Team combo is preformed resulting in even more damage. 

If you’re thinking that all sound a bit complicated it’s not really. There is a decent tutorial that explains everything. Once you start playing and get used to the system it all works seamlessly and it’s great fun. All the mechanics of the battle system are very enjoyable to play and you might think that battles could be a bit long. Image & Form have thought about that as well and added the option to speed up battles if you wish to. 

Colloseum of the Cursed

The story is divided into four acts with twenty chapters and these can all be revisited if you miss completing them 100% first time around. With over 100 unique cards to find, craft and upgrade there are certainly plenty of cards to choose from when deciding what cards to use in your teams’ decks. 

Around half way through the game you unlock the Colosseum of the Cursed where you can take part in challenge battles which offer more of a challenge then the normal fights and these reward you with even better loot.

Conclusion

With Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech Image & Form have added another brilliant title to their Steampunk games. The gameplay is entertaining and great fun to play, nothing felt tedious or repetitive during the combat. You do have to be involved as you think about what cards to play on your teams’ next move. 

With the hand drawn environments, the quirky characters, humour and the engaging gameplay Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a very welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch. I’ve no hesitation in giving it our best rating of Two Thumbs Up.

Two Thumbs Up Rating

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