Steam Marines v0.7.3a is out
I just gave this a go - several goes, in fact. Unfortunately it seems the program crashes out quite frequently - I had a look in the event log and didn't see anything that looked useful, just an 'APPCRASH' and the usual "Blah-di-blah has stopped working" popup. It seems to happen more frequently as I hit tab to switch to the next squad member, but after I noticed that I stopped using tab and I'm still getting crashes. :/
It looks promising, though - and right up my street! I would totally play it more if it would let me.
The two main critiques I would give are:
- It seems a bit weird that enemies randomly show up more or less anywhere - even right in the middle of your guys - without warning, and makes any tactical positioning a bit useless. You can position for the enemies you know about, then randomly a handful of new ones show up behind you!
- The way nearly all your guys fire in straight lines only means a lot of action points that seem pretty wasted just getting into position to shoot an enemy that, really, is just there
. This one means that I'd much rather spend action points on guard than actually firing even if the bad guys are right in front of me, because like that I get many shots for the price of one and it makes all the points I spent lining myself up feel more worthwhile.
Other things that I'd question:
- It's a bit weird that turning to face a new direction costs me an AP but turning to face that direction and moving one square in that direction also only costs me one AP. This adds to the "lining myself up with the enemy to shoot" frustration. I wonder if this is all inspired by Space Hulk
, which was similarly finicky about movement in a similar setting... but SH lets you shoot non-orthogonally and doesn't have quite the same degree of random you-opened-a-box-and-hey-your-guy-exploded looseness, so it doesn't seem to fit so well to me. (And I am a massive fan of the Space Hulk boardgame.)
- The ease of breaking down walls makes me wonder what doors are there for. Are these ships made of cardboard?
- Is it correct that the get-all-your-AP-back item isn't usable once you've run out of AP? That caught me by surprise.
- The frequency of squares randomly blowing up and killing my guys seems alarmingly high. I've never noticed any warning - at first I thought it was when I was destroying boxes, then I realised it wasn't that and wondered if there was any graphical cue, but I've been paying attention and it seems that sometimes even moving into completely empty squares totally kills ones of my chaps all of a sudden. Is that really intentional? Is there anything I could be doing to avoid it?
- The 'WARNING:' screen at the beginning of a game is nice and scene-setting and all, but it mostly just delays getting into the game. Unless I've missed something and it's actually different each time? If it's meant to relay useful information, I'd suggest just putting it all on-screen at once rather than doing the scroll.
- If you try to pick something up with 0 AP, you get a message reading "Not enough action points to grab item" and then a new item appears in your inventory anyway.
- At least once, when going down an elevator, I had a starting position where the top edge of the room I was in had no wall, no stars, and couldn't be moved towards. I presume this means I had reached the mythical Edge Of The Map, but whatever it was, it looked a bit weird. I might be a good idea to either ensure that all your rooms are at least 2 tiles away from the edge so you have space (heh heh) for a bit of hard vacuum.
Also, I love the chatter! ;-)