As with all preview pieces this is based upon a short time with a title that is still very much in development as such anything mentioned here is subject to change.
All footage was recorded with a 3 mega pixel camera unless the footage is the developers own trailers.
I did actually get some free pin badges off this developer (there were pin badges on the others to but I only ended up with pin badges from this one)
So take one part Ikaruga and mix it with one part Final Fantasy and throw in a dash of FTL and what you get is Mighty Tactical shooter a turn based bullet hell game. the game starts with the staff on a space station celebrating the completion of the new high tech prototype ship when something goes badly wrong, in the chaos the ship activates itself and grabs one of the nearest people about to pilot the ship.
Here's the intro for you courtesy of the developers own footage
It's up to you using a turn based combat system to fight through waves of enemies to reach the end of the level and take down the huge bosses. The game really does capture the feel of bullet hell shooter with the huge monstrous end of level bosses. It also manages to create a very deep turn based strategy game with plenty of abilities and tactical options.
The gameplay is surprisingly intuitive and deep as you plan your moves. Moving the ships destination icon to where you want but also being able to curve and modify its course to allow for more complex moves. All the time the screen showing where your own shots will go from the standard gun and where the enemies will move to and where their shots will go.
Here's some footage I took and after it I can talk a bit more about specific aspects and show some more of the developers own footage to better illustrate them.
The amazing extra tactics that come into play here compared to other games are the gravity weapons. Most weapons and even enemies are impacted by gravity, so on the ship you have two gravity weapons. A gravity wave which can be deployed to push shots and objects away from it and a gravity well which sucks things in.
Here's a demonstration of the Gravity well in action for you from the developers footage:
That extra level of tactical decision making just pushes the game beyond the norm.
You might also have noticed the nanodust being collected in the video above. This is used by the ship to repair damage using the repair buddy on the left and to use on the on ship production facility to refill certain special weapons such as missiles and gravity weapons. You are awarded nanodust for killing all the enemies present in a wave on screen and then collecting the dropped dust.
The FTL element comes in the form of being able to balance your weapons power and your shield power. More weapons power means you can do more damage and restore your laser quicker while more shield power means your shield can absorb more hits in on go or restore the shield if it's been broken. This further element adds so much to the game as you might find in the middle of a fire fight your shield is broken down and you end up diverting most of your power to restore the shield at the expense of your weapons. The importance being if your shield is down you take damage which takes time and dust to repair. However this is countered by the fact your weapons are less powerful. This dynamic allows for two pretty distinctive approaches to enemies: either you raise the shield and minimise damage or you go on the offence and keep your power as is then try and wipe out the enemy before they wipe you out.
Infact through out the game there are multiple ways to approach many situations. In this footage from the developer you'll see one possible solution to one of the obstacles present in a level.
Now in that footage the other possible solution could have been to loop a missile round and hit that power node. At another point you find yourself faced with falling rocks. you can either shoot them out the way or use a gravity weapon to hold them up until you've passed.
The game has an impressive range of weapons each with different options related to it. For example you can fire your ships guns in a V shape instead of right ahead, heck you can even fire the gun backward if you need to.
This footage from the developer shows just some of the weapons options and shows one of the large end of level bosses.
The cluster missile being shown is quite a cool weapon however the one I think I should highlight is the laser and the mechanics surrounding it. you see rather than set damage per second the laser has a sort of penetration mechanics. The longer you keep the laser on a target the more damage it does. What this does is change your tactics to match the enemies movement to do maximum damage.
The big difference I should say between Mighty Tactical Shooter and FTL is that in Mighty Tactical Shooter your survival is always in your hands. The game won't screw you over or make it impossible to win. If you're good enough you can escape anything an Mighty Tactical Shooter and as such no death ever really feels cheap or unfair. It's a game where skill is what matters not luck.
Now I absolutely fell in love with this game at the show and it is because I'm actually so exceited for this game that I'm going to point out just two little issues I had. Now the game is still very much in early development and as such I'm certain these will not be issue down the line as the game is changing. So much so that you might have noticed the ship looks slightly different sizes in the different video, this was done because people kept bumping into things due to the ships size.
The first issue that I think the game really does need a "baby's first" tutorial. By this I mean a tutorial that breaks everything down to a very simple level, the kind you find in many games there days and people go "Why do I need to learn to jump in a platformer I've been playing them all my life" the difference is here you need to be told about the weapons and you really do need to be introduced to them in such a basic way to allow you to grasp each concept so when you're using all the concepts and mechanics at once you really are prepared. The game does have quite a good tutorial already however I just felt it didn't quite go as deep as it needed to. I think maybe having the option to turn on or off a deeper tutorial or having an entirely separate tutorial to the main campaign could be beneficial initially to new players.
Secondly the game might need an easier difficulty option. Now I'm not saying make the game easier, the default difficulty should stay as it is but I feel it would be nice for the game to offer an ever so slightly easier option. While I'm not great at games I'm not dire either and it has to be said that I really found the game to be tough (I enjoyed it but I still found it tough). A slightly easier option would be useful to make sure players could get used to the game and if default was too hard they'd be able to drop the difficulty until they were practised enough tackle the default level. Heck you could even deliberately change the game and have either the true end or all levels only available on normal and have the game end on easy before then with a message like "Simulation mode over, are you ready for the real thing Pilot ?"
Now I've got that out of the way what I will say is the developer is extremely passionate about this. When I spoke with him he was nervous about having to do a video talking about the game and making sure people could see he was passionate about this. I wish him all the best in doing said video and can honestly say he was extremely passionate about getting his game out there and it was very evident how much he also loved this project.
I really do hope, down the line, Mighty Tactical Shooter does get onto Steam because the game really did just blow me away with how cool a concept it was and how great it looked and played.
Here's the teaser trailer for the game
Mighty Tactical Shooter is planned for release on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux along with a tablet version for IOS and Android devices though the developer is exploring potentially releasing on the Vita, PS4 and Xbone as well.
An estimate of the price sets it at about £3 ($5) on tablet and £5- £8 ( $8- $13.50) on PC with the PC version having more content to justify the higher price than the tablet version. I can say at those prices from what I saw even though it was an in development version it was well worth the price.