A Big Month for Steampunk Games
From Airborne Kingdom to Torchlight III, here’s a look at forthcoming steampunk titles
Sunday, June 28, 2020
June is typically a big month for video game announcements thanks to E3, aka the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which is held annually in Los Angeles. The event was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t keep developers and publishers from announcing new titles, including numerous games with steampunk elements. Others released new trailers or revealed new details about their games.
Some games were announced at online events previously held in conjunction with E3. These included the PC Gaming Show from PC Gamer and Future Games Show from GamesRadar.
Here’s a look at these games, as well as others that were announced earlier this year.
In Airborne Kingdom, you build and manage a steampunk-inspired city in the sky. You also explore and interact with a landscape populated by ground kingdoms and ancient relics. The Wandering Band announced the game in 2019, but released a new trailer June 13 as part of the PC Gaming Show. The developer plans a fall 2020 release.
This sequel to Torchlight I and II was originally announced in 2018 as a massively multiplayer online game known as Torchlight Frontiers. It was later rebranded as Torchlight III and scaled back to be a straight sequel, set hundreds of years after Torchlight II. It is playable in single-player or online co-op modes.
The game is set in a fantasy world known as Novastraia. Each player can assume one of four character classes: Dusk Mage, Railmaster, Sharpshooter, or Forged, a steam-powered robot.
The game was developed by Echtra Games. On June 13, publisher Perfect World posted a YouTube trailer and released an early-access version in conjunction with the PC Gaming Show. Early reviews are mixed. The early-access version runs on Windows PCs, but the game will also be available for consoles. See the website for more info.
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder
This 2D combat game is set in a steampunk world known as Canaan. Players are invited to “unravel centuries-old conspiracies, battle hosts of monstrous automata and thwart the twisted schemes of the city’s corrupt overseers, the Comitium, as you fight for mankind’s survival and discover the dark truth of the Steam City’s origin.”
The game is published by Sold Out, which released the first trailer this month along with a demo version on Steam. Versions for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One are also planned. It’s set for release later this year. Learn more on the website.
Developer Atemly Games describes this as a “Victorian Steampunk RPG” set in the fictional country of Gataela in the aftermath of a civil war. It features a “debate battle system” in which you interact with a variety of nonplayable characters to gain knowledge and allies. The developer, which is based in Ottawa, Ontario, raised CA $5336 on Kickstarter to fund the game.
This first-person shooter begins in East Berlin in 1989, shortly before the end of the Cold War. A secret research facility takes the player to a “mysterious and surreal steampunk world.” Developer Bleakmill further describes this world as “lynchesque,” referring to filmmaker David Lynch. Headup Games is the publisher.
This aerial-combat game is set in a fantasy ocean world known as The Great Ursee. Players take the role of Falconeers, warriors who pilot large birds of prey and do battle against airships, dragons, flying beetles, and other airborne combatants.
The game was created by independent developer Tomas Sala, who also produced the Skyrim Mod video game series. The publisher, Wired Productions, recently posted a new trailer (see above). It’s set for release later this year in versions for Windows PCs (via Steam) and Xbox One. See the website for more info.
This single-player 3D puzzle game from Antler Studios began as a dissertation while the developers were students at Brunel University in London. Players take the role of an alchemist exploring the mysterious Forest of Dacrima while accompanied by a robot named L-P1N. Along the way, you create potions from exotic flora growing in the forest.
Learn more on the website.
Currently in closed beta, Corepunk is described as a “top-down MMORPG with fog-of-war in a seamless open world.” That’s game-speak for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game,” played in a world viewed from above, in which you or your opponents never know where danger might lurk. It’s a world that combines steampunk, cyberpunk, and dark fantasy elements.
“You can explore the world, participate in trading, complete dungeons, or engage in PvP [player-versus-player] battles,” the developer says. You can participate in PvE (player-versus-environment) challenges in solo mode or in groups of up to four people.
They’re planning to launch an open beta test in Q4 of 2020. Learn more on the website.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes
The creator describes this as a “Horrorpunk Action RPG filled with Lovecraftian horrors and Cronenbergian gore.” You play as “the last surviving Striver of Dibrom,” going against the Seven Acolytes of the title, “accursed and powerful beings possessed by malevolent deities called Gahars.” The arsenal includes swords, axes, maces, spears, pistols, shotguns, and rifles. The game is rated “M” in North America for “blood and gore violence.”
Jeremy Peel of GamesRadar observed that the game has a “steampunk twist” in the form of an ornate gauge in the user interface.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes was developed by Still Running and will be published by Merge Games. They released a trailer (above) on June 13.
This virtual reality adventure and puzzle game is set in a steampunk dystopia where heroine Agatha seeks to learn secrets from her past. Developer GuraShop launched an early-access version on June 23 via the Steam platform. It requires the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index VR headsets. Learn more on the developer’s website.
A Wake Inn
This virtual reality horror game takes place in an abandoned art deco hotel populated by mechanical puppets. You navigate the environment in a virtual wheelchair, guided by the mysterious Dr. Finnegan, a Frankenstein-like figure who manages the hotel. You communicate with the doctor via a shortwave transmitter.
VR Bros, the Polish company that developed the game, cites Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stephen King as influences. They plan a fall release in versions for SteamVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. You can sign up for notifications on the website.