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SteamWorld Quest Review
SteamWorld Quest begins with a father telling his kid a bedtime story, with the story being the one players will experience. It tells of a young steampunk knight named Armilly and her friend Copernica the Alchemist. Armilly dreams of joining the Heroes Guild, while Copernica is searching for additional potion ingredients. The games basic tutorial takes place in a forest, teaching you about the combat and exploration. After retrieving the mushroom you were looking for, you return to the village of Goosebucket and find it on fire and under attack.
Both characters mention that the Guild heroes should be protecting the town, but are nowhere to be found. Something fishy is going on, and it is up to you to investigate. While doing this, you meet up with a third member of your team named Galleo. With a full team, you fight off the Evil Army that has invaded your village. From there you need to find out what happened to the Guild heroes and figure out why this Evil Army attacked your town. The journey itself will run you about 14-16 hours if you do the arena as well.
Battling in SteamWorld Quest is both turn-based and card-based. Each character can hold a total of eight cards, and you can generally play three per turn. I do want to stress that the deck building is easy to understand, though there is depth for players looking to dive deeper. At first, you will stack three cards in any order and fight that way. As you progress, you get character combos and tag team combos you can use to spice things up. Character combos happen when you use three cards from the same person, and the result is a fourth special card being played. The special card can be an attack, buff, or even a heal in some cases. Tag team is what it sounds like: two characters attack on the same turn and are strengthened for working together.
After playing for a few hours, you will start to find more and more cards, but you can always hold only eight. In total, you will have 24 cards you can play with during a battle. If you have a hand you don’t like, you can redraw two cards to help you open up combos. I got into a rhythm with my decks quickly and didn’t run into any trouble playing on normal difficulty. As you progress, the game adds more resistances to enemies and adds a new layer of challenge. That fire damage combo you used to rely on isn’t going to do anything to a lava creature. There is always an answer in your cards, and sometimes you have to dig.
Combat is really the whole crux of the game. You explore on small maps during each chapter, looking for treasure chests and solving the occasional puzzles. The Arena is the only real side content outside of finding all of the treasure chests. The challenges of the arena will provide some of the most exciting fights in the game. You don’t get to heal in between battles, and you redraw after each encounter. There are times I would be sitting with all my team around 25% HP on the last fight wondering who would win. Then if you can win it all, you are rewarded with items, crafting materials, and gold.
The crafting materials are used at the shop to make new cards and upgrade old ones. The shop also sells weapons, accessories, and items to use in combat. A lot of characters use the same upgrade material for their cards, meaning you have to decide who will make better use of your upgrades. Early on, this is a problem because of the limited crafting supplies. Later in the game, you can buy some of the low-end materials, and that helps out quite a bit. Either way, you should expect to do some grinding for gold and materials if you want to upgrade all the cards.
SteamWorld Quest is a solid RPG that contains a number of interesting ideas and packs the charm of the other SteamWorld titles. Fans of RPGs or SteamWorld games should give it a go.
This review of SteamWorld Quest was done on the Nintendo Switch. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
SteamWorld Quest is the series’ first attempt at the RPG genre. Does its setting suit the genre, or should the series stick with action-adventure games? Check out our review and find out
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