Reviewing a game like Steam Punk is not an easy task. Not because the game is so bad that you want to stop playing as soon as you have started the game but because the game’s original influence is so clear that it’s really hard not to make comparisons.
As soon as you get into the action, it’s clear how Monster Robot Studios has been heavily inspired by classic Megaman X games, maybe too much. The only thing that seems to set it apart from the classic Capcom series’ is the unique steampunk setting and a few features, like the hub town, which don’t really add much to the overall experience. The heavily inspired gameplay experience will make you love or be at most indifferent towards this game depending if you have played one of the Megaman X games or not.
Steam Punks is a 2D platform/shooting game where you will have to explore stages filled with enemies and traps, reach a final boss and defeat him to claim a brand new weapon. These extra weapons have limited ammo so don’t think you can go trigger happy on every enemy you encounter. The stages of the game can be completed in any order, allowing gamers to make the game easier or harder depending on the choice of stage and obtained weapons, as some of them are more effective against a particular boss.
While it’s true that the gameplay formula lacks any form of originality, a polished experience would have made the game stand out more. Unfortunately Steam Punks lacks this level of polish, feeling more like a sloppy job. The team really didn’t think about the fact that they were developing a mobile title, resulting in stages being at times too long, just to make an example. This is something that must always be taken into account if you’re developing a mobile game, as gamers who play on the go have different expectations from those who like to sit down with the same game for hours.
Even the game’s presentation feels unpolished. While graphics are decent enough, the interface doesn’t look too good. Controls suffer from the same lack of polish as the rest of the game, being unresponsive at times, resulting in many unwanted deaths.
Despite the issues, I have found myself enjoying the game a bit, probably because it made me remember about those 2D platform games that every kid loved over 20 years ago. Even those who have never played these kind of games before may find themselves enjoying Steam Punks since its gameplay formula is not too common nowadays. Granted they can look past the lack of polish and not too good controls, though.