The Indie Café – AirMech
Dig it, you crazy cats and kittens. You have entered the Indie Café, where the underground is given the floor. You know, sometimes we want to chill out with some games that give you something the Devil May Cries and God of Wars of the world can’t deliver. So we got your art house games, your retro titles, and anything else made without the man’s oversight available for you to groove and sink in to. So pull up a chair and lend your ear for these cool characters from the down low.
Way, way back when most of us were either little babies or not even a thought yet, the Sega Genesis was released in 1989 and titles like Super Hang-On, Strider and other big arcade hits at the time were the reason you bought a Sega Genesis. However in 1990 a game called Herzog Zwei was released and was a strategy game before the idea of strategy games was an actual genre. Although it didn’t do well at the time, it gained a cult following and became one of the forefathers of the genre. A sequel was never made and due to the developer going out of business in 2001, but it looks like there never will be.
Thankfully, Carbon Games will not let that game go into that dark night and has released their spiritual successor, Air Mech. Like Herzog Zwei, you will control a transforming mech and move your units to take over various bases on the battlefield, ending when you take over the enemy’s home base. You will create troops by spending resources or Kudos which you acquire from your home bases and will increase as you take over bases.
Nowadays, the game plays a lot like a Massively Online Battle Arena title or MOBA but you only control your transforming mech as oppose to each individual unit according to how many players are in the match. Speaking of, you can transform between a plane used to order troops as well as survey the landscape and a robot in which you can attack enemy units directly. You can die and if you do you will respawn at the home bases and you will lose the ability to order your units in that time. For reference, it is not unlike the strategy sequences in Double Fine’s Brutal Legend.
The game has several modes including solo matches as well as co-op and Player vs. Player modes. Special types of rounds are Capture the Flag in which you steal the enemy’s orb which does 1/3 damage to the opponent’s home base, survival mode in where you must survive numerous waves of enemies and Challenges which has you take over your enemy’s home bases under special conditions.
Many of the developers in Carbon Games came from Titan Studios, known for Fat Princess on the PlayStations 3. The studio was formed in 2011 and though they are a team of only seven people, they managed to put out this title. AirMech is still in open beta but is slated for a full release “Spring 2013” and is for PC via Steam or directly in Google Chrome’s browser. Android and OUYA versions are also in development. Better yet, it’s a free to play title so it’ll cost you nothing!
Can you snap your fingers to celebrate the wonders of the little known game deserving of undercover fame? Step into the Indie Café every week to hear about the best of independently made video games. If you know about a groovy but little known title made by an independent studio, send me a tweet @Colorwind with the hash tag #IndieCafe and I’ll spread the wealth. Until next time, creep out like the shadow, cats and kittens.