|DEVELOPER||PUBLISHER||RELEASE DATE||GENRE||PLATFORM TESTED|
|FuturLab||FuturLab||June/2019||VR, Tabeltop, Turn Based Strategy||PS4|
If you told 10 year old me that one day I would be sitting in my lounge room programming the strategy of my customizable Mech…
Needless to say, I’d have probably shit myself with excitement.
Adult me, on the other hand, is slightly less impressed. Because despite Mini Mech Mayhem being of beautiful design and smooth UI, it lacks a few critical components that would make this truly feel like a trip into the future of tabletop games.
Mini Mech Mayhem is essentially a board game on steroids, seeing players program three turns each. The end goal? To land on the Victory tile as your final destination. All the while, being nudged around by moving opponents, or hit by their gunfire.
The order in which the Mechs perform their corresponding actions is randomized each turn, making it extremely difficult to predict where they’ll end up.
Programming your Mech’s actions is done via a control panel attached to the battle-board. Beautiful, simple, and something that truly adds to the futuristic feel that’s associated with VR.
Select which type of action you want, to Move or Shoot? Next, select the direction you want that action to be performed, and finally, select the number of tiles to travel, or the body part to fire at.
The whole process has you pressing buttons and turning dials before pressing the ready button and watching the mayhem play out.
By far, the hardest feature to grasp at first is the use of Interceptors, a type of special action which is given out at random before each round. While each of the cards has information available, it’s not exactly clear as to when each of them is best used.
I hate the standard, and quite frankly boring format of tutorials in games, but would definitely have appreciated one for the assortment of Interceptor actions that can be used.
A large deciding factor in who will win each round is luck, which loses Mini Mech Mayhem points as it kind of breaks the gameplay.
Think of it this way: You plan out a strategy and do your best to think ahead while observing the layout of the board. And then, through a quick shuffle of the play order, everything goes to shit.
Currently, the games multiplayer mode isn’t seeing a lot of action due to a low player base and unfortunately, there may not be enough on offer to convince people to give it a go.
While play-testing Mini Mech Mayhem, we had very little exposure to this side of the game, but it follows the exact same format as the AI matches we spent time with. Albeit with some extra hand waving and emotes.
Mini Mech Mayhem has a lot of charm and plenty of room for some friendly competitive play. Unfortunately, it lacks a few minor touches that would make the overall experience much more enjoyable, such as an option to speed up non-player actions, skip rounds, and a statistic tracker of some kind.
Overall, Mini Mech Mayhem is worth checking out for any lover of VR, tabletop hybrids, or AutoChess style gameplay.
Mini Mech Mayhem
- Great concept, and fun virtual interface used to deploy your Mech.
- The introduction and tutorials are simple and get the player ready for battle. Emotes are a great addition to VR
- The town that the battles take place in is animated and friendly, creating the illusion of a living world.
- Very slow battles which get old quickly.Being a turn based combat system, and combined with the unpredictable actions of your opponent - winning at this game really comes down to luck.
- Multiplayer is all but non-existent, and single player is limited to tedious AI battles.
- Too much time was spent turning this into a VR game, while fundamental points in the overall design were ignored.