It’s time for WAR! Take a trip back to 1886 in Ironcast for the Nintendo Switch. Ironcast is a beautiful turn-based, combat strategy game inspired by the steampunk genre and Victorian science fiction. War has erupted between the French and British over a new, clean energy power source called Voltite. Voltite was created by the French, and they intended to keep it a secret. When the British discovered what they were hiding, they went in and took some for themselves. Thus the calamity that is war began.
The game begins with a detailed story and plenty of tutorials to show you the ropes. I had to go over a few of them more than once. There’s a lot to remember so it can get a little confusing, bear with me here. Players will take control of an Ironcast that Is powered by resource nodes. You can generate nodes by matching 3 or more of a specific color. Blue is coolant, green is repair, orange is energy and purple is ammunition. You have to use all of the different resources during a match. You can see the meter for each resource in the lower portion of the screen by pressing Y. They will all gradually deplete so keeping them full is a top priority.
The Ironcast is equipped with 2 different weapons. You can customize these and swap them out for newer weapons as you progress. When it’s your turn you can choose to fire your weapon at the enemy. This will use up some of your ammunition gauge and your coolant gauge. You can also activate your drive which causes your Iron cast to walk a short distance, or you can put up a shield for defense purposes. You can layer up on shields (up to 3) but it costs energy and coolant. Layered shields and other abilities will fade with each turn. When enough damage is done to your system, it will break and become unusable. This is when you need to use repair to fix your components so they will work again. You can also unlock useful abilities that can be applied to the Ironcast. Once used the ability needs a certain time to cool down before it can be used again.
As mentioned before you can customize your Ironcast with a variety of weapons and defense systems. There are over 50 different items to unlock and an infinite amount of combinations. After each battle you are taken to the hanger where you can modify your Ironcast. In order to purchase new stuff, you will need to collect scrap. This is easily obtained by defeating enemies, matching scrap nodes or completing missions. You will also need blueprints if you plan on creating new items, which you can also get from defeating enemies. However, they appear at random so what you get is merely chance.
After completing a mission and fixing up your Ironcast you are taken back to the map where you can choose your next mission. All of the missions are premade and each time you go to the map there will be three new missions to choose from. Before picking one you can view the rewards you receive for completing it.There’s a good amount of variety when it comes to the missions. Salvage missions are about destroying the enemy without damaging a specific system. Survival missions put you up against a tough enemy to see how many turns you can go before being destroyed and Collection missions are about gathering specific nodes. There are a few more mission objectives but those are the ones that I liked playing the most. It’s nice to be able to choose a mission because some of them are a tad frustrating and I liked being able to skip over the more daunting ones. There are certain missions that are mandatory, like the games few boss battles. These were a lot more difficult than I expected so don’t take them lightly. You’ll need some top of the line weapons and equipment to get past those guys!
Ironcast is a really neat, original concept. I loved the hand drawn graphics, and all of the levels\environments looked great, and really went with the sci-fi look that the game was going for. There were a lot of detailed characters throughout my adventure as well. Each with their own stories and backgrounds. It makes you feel pretty immersed in the whole old-timey, steampunk thing. Usually, these types of games are not my cup of tea but Ironcast is one I can see myself giving a second chance one day. I just really didn’t like how complex and technical everything was. I mean once you get used to keeping track of everything while remembering all of the rules, and what your suppose to do, it’s not too bad. I just found myself wanting to skip over the long drawn out tutorials and get right to the game, but it’s just not that easy.
Overall Ironcast is a very technical game where a lot of attention is needed. So if you want to get straight to the point or you’re not a fan of turn based games, you might want to skip this one. Also, I need to randomly note that the text in the game is pretty small. I have great vision so I was able to read it but some people might have some trouble with it, so fair warning. On the plus side, Ironcast is awesome when it comes to replayability. Since all of the missions and rewards generate randomly, it’ll be different each time you play. Hardcore gamers will also love the challenge of completing Ironcast (good luck!). So if you’re looking for something different or you’re a fan of strategic, turn based puzzle games I recommend checking it out. Ironcast is available now in the Nintendo Switch eShop for $12.99.
Review: IRONCAST (Nintendo Switch)
Ironcast is not for the casual gamer. Time, effort and patience is needed to get the items you need and to defeat the more difficult enemies. However replayability is high and the game’s hand drawn graphics look great on the Nintendo Switch. Check it out if you’re a fan of turn based strategy games.