Steam Marines is a squad based Roguelike set on a steampunk spaceship. It features tactical play focused on positioning and careful use of resources. Built to keep you on your toes as you progress through the decks of your besieged ship while clearing enemies and trying to reach each level's elevator.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (178 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 4, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A tactical turn based roguelike set in space. Highly reminiscent of Warhammer 40k's Space Hulk series."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (11)

September 24

Steam Marines is released!

Hi, everyone!

It's been a long haul, about two and a half years, one of them on Early Access. Windows, Mac, and Linux builds have been pushed with added content, tweaked AI and difficulty levels, and a bevy of bugfixes.

For fun and flavor, two short stories in the universe of Steam Marines have been written! In the "_Stories" folder of the install directory you'll find the following:

  • Orion Hunted - Jourdan Cameron.pdf
  • The Grinding Teeth - Darren Grey.pdf
They give more background information on the events before the player's marines wake up from cryosleep.

I hope you enjoy them and happy robot hunting!

15 comments Read more

September 19

Steam Marines to release by the end of 2014!

Hi, everyone.

Steam Marines is steaming toward full release within a month! Having been on Early Access for a little over a year now (since September 2013), development has been largely affected by players offering feedback and suggestions.

A brief overview of what has been added since hitting Steam:

  • Linux build (yay!)
  • Alien Deck and final Patriach boss.
  • Weather/random event system.
  • Game options to cater to more casual players.
  • Level completion scoring report system.
  • Brutal difficulty level.
  • The Engineer marine class.
  • Perks to further differentiate marines.
  • Marine retraining to reclass and continue leveling stats and skills.
  • Faster AI Delay settings for impatient players.
  • Exposed internal data for modding.
  • Steam Achievements and Trading Cards.
  • New items, weapon ammo types, and alien enemies.

Steam Marines will be released soon, but not abandoned. I fully expect bugs to crop up and I will be here to squash them. The price will remain at $15 for the foreseeable future, and purchasing Steam Marines on non-Steam platforms will continue to provide Steam keys.


Thanks for helping Steam Marines become a real game!


P.S. Remember, there's a Beta Requests thread on the discussion forum!

3 comments Read more

Reviews

“Steam Marines is a dark and compelling game, which will force you to learn to play the hard way and make you deeply regret every mistake you make.”
8/10 – The Indie Hut

“There are a lot of tactics. It's such a brutal game and it makes it even more brutal that you didn't realize how brutal it is when you start. Then you realize you died because you made one, literally one, wrong move.”
N/A – Indie Games AAA

“Players must control their Steam Marines and try to get as far as possible through the ship’s elaborate, procedurally-generated levels. When I say “try”, I really do mean it.”
N/A – The Wargamer

About This Game

Steam Marines is a squad based Roguelike set on a steampunk spaceship. It features tactical play focused on positioning and careful use of resources. Built to keep you on your toes as you progress through the decks of your besieged ship while clearing enemies and trying to reach each level's elevator.


Permadeath
Build your marines up into long range or up close death machines, but don't expect any mercy. Death is permanent and fallen marines are gone forever. Finding survivors not guaranteed.

Turn and Squad Based Gameplay
Command up to four marines, each with their own gear, talents, and Action Points. Positioning is critical - even a lone enemy can be lethal! Sight and snipe or funnel enemies into a choke point and blow them up!
  • Five marine classes - long range death, shotgun knockback, grenade launchers, all to help the squad
  • Four ranks for promotion and talent tree access
  • Five perks to further differentiate each marine
  • Exoskeleton suits stripped from the hulks of dead enemies - flamethrowers and face punching
  • Deck bosses that will challenge you but do not negate the tactics you have learned (no "immunities"!)

Procedural Generation
The steampunk spaceship is composed of multiple decks you must progress through. Different environments and creatures await, and you'll never know for sure what lies beyond the next corner.
  • Five human ship decks with a sixth Alien Deck
  • Procedural decks with destructible walls, high/low ground, and tactical variations
  • Randomized weapons, armor, and enemy units

Score, Difficulty, and New Game Plus
Get rated on your overall performance. Manage to fight your way past 30 levels of mayhem? New Game Plus offers fresh challenges. Four levels of difficulty with one being for the truly masochistic!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or higher.
    • Processor: 800 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 32 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP or higher.
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 128 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    • Additional Notes: Widescreen monitor resolution
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: 800 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 32 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 128 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    • Additional Notes: Widescreen monitor resolution
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 800 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 32 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 800 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL supported graphics card with 32 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
If a roguelike met space hulk, this would be their mean offspring. It's a very unforgiving squad based dungeon crawler. The robots on the ship want you dead, and they are very good at it. You need to recognize each type of enemy and learn to deal with them. You can, with some luck, find equipment to help you out. But first and foremost, you need to keep your squad healthy. Learn how the enemies move, learn how to cut paths through the ship, and make sure to cover the entrances to the rooms you're in. It is a very bleak game. You're not gonna find health packs all over to heal your squad, but at the same time you are invested in them. There's multiple classes, each good for different roles, and together they mesh to make it survivable. Losing a squad member hurts, and you will be fighting to save a squadie if he gets cut off from the rest. I do wish that firing was more free line of sight, ala space hulk, but it's all tile based, which offers a different strategic element, though I find it works pretty well with the constricting corridors you often find yourself in. Playing the tutorial is a must. There's not a lot of clicking to be done, as most controls are done with the keyboard, and if you don't play the tutorial, you will not know what keys to use. I almost wish they had just completely removed the mouse from the controls. I think it just confuses people more than anything. Graphically, it's retro. My only real gripe is that I wish there were death animations and corpses left from your squad members instead of them just dissapearing. If you like roguelikes and you like tactical gameplay, and you don't mind (prefferably like) the retro presentation, it's a pretty fun game. I feel like there should be more depth to it, more classes offering more weaponry, etc, but it is what it is, and what it is is a pretty solid, cuthroat scifi roguelike with squad management. Just don't give up after you get murdered the first couple times.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
I had a lot of fun with this little gem. I plan on revisiting it at some point too. Great squad-based roguelike that has great keyboard controls, and an addicting difficulty curve. Very difficult, IMO.

Totally worth the money.
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36 of 38 people (95%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In Steam Marines, even the things that kill you make you stronger. And there are a lot of things that are very good at killing you.

As someone who hasn't played a bunch of roguelikes, this games is brutally difficult. I have often immediately regretted certain tactical decisions, and hung my head in shame as I ended my turn, resigning my squad to a swift and gruesome death.

The procedurally-generated levels, combined with the ability to completely demolish walls (I have a strange compulsion to destroy every wall I see) and carve out your own path gives this game a great deal of replayability. You don't memorize levels to make progress, you learn to plan and make better decisions. You will learn when to lure or flank the enemy, and when to shove the enemy off your ship a la Harrison Ford in Air Force One.

And when you get too frustrated, there's always hope. Maybe you'll get a giant metal exoskeleton you can use to exact fiery flame-thrower vengeance on your unwitting foes...
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51 of 65 people (78%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
Post Early Access Update:
After the release the game still features numerous bugs, glitches and even chrashes. The game still does not feel like a full release. The random generator still spawns you in closed off rooms, the controls are still clunky, the UI still needs work and the overall experience still hasn't improved enough for me to recommend it.

Original Early Access Review:
I'm at a loss with Steam Marines. The game has promise and I might recommend it when it's finished, but so far the game is just lacking that special umph to make it a great experience rather than a mediocre one.

In Steam Marines you start the game looking over the tutorial, end up confused, start up a game and die... horribly. After 2 or so games and tinkering with the classes I started to get a grip on things. You choose a squad of 4 marines at the beginning of the game and each class has a different weapon and a different skill tree. The skill tree is interesting but basic, each level you get to choose a passive or an activated ability. I never did use the powers much as they take multiple points of Action Points (AP being the resource you use to move, shoot etc.) and it always seemed better to just fire regularly.

The gameplay is a slow tile-based tactical slog through a ghost ships with robots and other baddies crawling out of the walls before attacking. This can be very frustrating as a wrong move and lack of items to restore AP can lead to dead marines very quickly. Furthermore, the random dungeon generation really needs some touch-ups as rooms with no doors or walls placed on top of each other make it impossible to move without breaking down walls and you need to do this to create proper tactical spacing.

At the end of every level you're rated on your performance and if you're a careful player like me you'll most likely end with a negative score even if all your marines survived the level. The score seems to indicate that this is supposed to be a fast-paced tactical RPG but the gameplay itself rewards slow and methodical movement. It's frustrating to say the least.

I'm not saying there isn't fun to be had with this game but in-between bouts of frustration, lackluster UI, boring music and a retro look that works but still needs a little work done (dropped items currently don't show up on the map) it just isn't worth the full price. With some polish I'm sure this gem will shine but right now I just can't recommend it.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Similar to an unpolished version of Space Hulk but less forgiving and more confusing.

It is quite fun But takes a while to fully grasp the mechanics such as promotions, using different weapon sights, and how to utilize your troopers properly. It captures the feel of early 1990's late 1980's computer gaming quite well. It brought back many memories of playing Laser Squad (the predecessor of the X-Com series by the same programmer). However this is not as much tactical squad based as it is a cross between that and a rougelike dungeon crawl.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
This game is fun... brutal, unforgiving, permadeath fun.

My first play I made it down four floors, but after the second floor, a feeling of hopelessness and dread started to set it. My team was injured... two guys with a point each of health. Armor was low, and ammo was starting to run out. As I dropped down to the next floor, I was praying for helpful goodies in lockers.

Meanwhile, I was getting a feel for the amount of strategy and thought needed to succeed in the game. Planning ahead is key, as is gaining a tactical advantage. Managing supplies is vital. It's all very challenging, and satisfying.

As I moved through the third floor, using flanking positions and crossfire traps to take down my foes, I came to the realization that it was already too late for me this game. In many games, even classics like Half-Life, there's a trusty health pack or armor kit just around each corner. It's all a bit too convenient, really... playing Steam Marines opens your eyes about things like that, and for me at least, has brought understanding that you don't always have to have the easy outs to get through a messy situation and have fun.

It's okay to lose... and you will. It's okay to feel like you have no clue what you're doing... because you learn as you go. It's okay that the game is a real challenge... after playing for a few hours, you probably wouldn't want it any other way.
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25 of 37 people (68%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
At first I was unable to play this game, after working through several guides I figured out there was an issue with the steam overlay. Kinda frustrating, but the game itself is fun but a little overpericed IMO, I'd wait for a steam deal if I were you, I was expacting a similar FTL experience but the UI is challenging and the tutorial only gives you the bare basics. IF you love roguelikes it might be worth trying, but I wouldn't pay full price.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Good game, simliar game mechanics to Space Hulk, other then things like movement is more free and every inch of ground must be treated with the upmost caution. Everything wants to kill you and will if you are not careful. 8/10

Edit: Playing this game more, i have to say it is so awesome. Very intense, every loss is felt dearly. 8.5/10
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
A challenging game that offers some nice tactical decisions (17 hours in and I have only made it half way thorugh on Normal difficulty).

Its a bit of a throwback given the challenge and and how the mechanics of the game are not totally clear (you know that having more resistance is good, but not really sure what the aliens are using on the later levels).

The random levels and random equipment drop is nicely done to make each game feel different.

A couple negatives would be the music (but on most games I usually play my own after anyhow) and more importantly the controls and interface is a bit buggey. Sometimes it does not properly render units on less you go out to the menu and back in.

All in all its a good game for people who like to be challenged and take enjoyment ina game that beats them.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
Early Access Review
With too many bugs that freeze the game, (thus, it not responding) and strictly limited character customization, Steam Marines is okay; the gameplay is great, the graphics are good, and the concept is original, but the game has too many glitches; even during a beta test.
My advice? For $14.99, this game is WAY overpriced; it would probably be a better deal to buy "Freedom Planet", with that kind of money, on Steam. (After all, for a Sonic homage, "Freedom Planet" looks amazing!)
For effort, I give this 5/10, saying that the game has good concept, but it KEEPS FREEZING!
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
41.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
This is a first feedback from a short play of released version and a full play of an Early Access version that was quite advanced and totally playable.

It's a very fun Roguelike game with a team of characters. That's very rare for Roguelike games because it requires control multiple characters. But a mix of design elements makes it work very well. It's very surprising how light the play is despite you control 4 characters. Also the team aspect gives it a lot of originality and helps reinforce the depth.

Another noteworthy element is how the game evokes Spacehulk/Alien, that's great.

About Steampunk, look yourself the snapshots, it's very light, so don't really search that in the game.

About about random range and diversity, it's here, enough to make a play enough different to another, and to keep the surprise which is an important element of the gameplay. But if my experience of Early Access is still valid, and additions hadn't changed it deeply, then the range of variations isn't huge like some of the biggest Roguelike. It's solid random and fair range of diversity of random, but don't expect much more. It's still enough to makes it a true Roguelike.

Overall its key words are, very fun Roguelike, light play, good depth, team, Spacehulk/Alien.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Early Access Review
Very subtle game, and very addicting. It's part of the "new wave" of the nostalgic "rogue-likes" mixed up with a simple (but not stupid) tactical turn based rpg. The AI is not very bright but this is part of the fun because you are going to be waved by tons of enemies and in most of the occasions a single mistake can ruin a run lasted hours in a single turn. so, even at "normal" difficulty the game hits hard on your kidneys and needs absolute concentration. casual gamers will find it frustrating but we're better off without them. looking forward for updates and bugfixes.

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19 of 32 people (59%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
The game is supposed to be released but feels more like a prototype. Moving your squad is awkward, you keep getting stuck behind your guys. AI turn takes too long even tough you mostly can't see the enemies move. There is no death screen, game just gets stuck without telling you anything. Not fun, not finished, do not buy.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Old school X-Com plus tactics.

This game is fun. You will have fun playing it, you will like the strategy, you will not like getting ganked.

There are cool items, fun mech suits and big explosions and big bosses.

You can beat the game, and keep your stuff and start a new game +. This is a key feature I like A LOT.

It's worth picking up for some casual space alien shooting action!
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
blasting walls to make it through
i hope to god my aim is true
to blow that robots circuts away
and make it to the elevator way
to the next level i will go
even when my health is low
i tactically shoot my enemy
my squad of special steam marines
and at the bottom
we will come upon victory
and in the end
we are set free
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
A very brutal rogue like that rewards tactical thinking for your squad.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
Early Access Review
This is a procedurally generated turn-based squad tactical game, similar to the original Space Hulk. There are several different classes to choose from and team member stats are randomized. Even stats like weapon range, which is crucial to the gameplay. I've only played this game a few hours and it has been quite challenging so far.

The interface could do with some polishing. For example, items you collect sometimes have incomplete or missing descriptions. I also feel that a system where you can redo moves before commiting to the next turn would be appropriate in this game.

Good for a quick gaming fix. However, I only reccomend this game to enthusiasts of the genre.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
Bought this in early access, but really haven't put in much time. Why? Because it's so unforgivingly hardcore! One mistake, one misstep, and you'll never have enough health to recover. Positioning is extremely important, but so is staying out of your enemy's range and setting up ambushes. Items are everywhere, but so are enemies who are as tough as you, if not more so. And, once one of your guys dies, he's gone forever. You can pick up more crew between levels, but the new guys are never as useful as the guys you lost.

I've yet to get past floor 3.

The best thing I can say is... it's alightly easier than the original XCOM. So there's that.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Early Access Review
Lots of fun!!!!!! This is an amazing game, who will provide you with countless hours of fun, as long as you are ready for facing the complete unknown. The first thing to remember about this game is that you have to remember that a lot of it being fun is due to its "old style", "retro style", game, so don't expect things to come as easily as they come in modern games, where you can control everything just using your mouse ... this game requires you to really understand it and learn how to play it, and that means that the first times that you play you are probably going to loose, a lot! So, be ready to die, die, and die, as many times as it takes until you understand the gameplay. If the game doesn't look appealing in your first try, consider playing a few more times, since the easiness of dying can make you feel kinda blue when u are beginning. One of the key aspects of the game is memorizing what each class of soldier can do (leader, grenadier, etc.) and understand how to use them ... for instance, if you are not careful the grenadier will most likely get your other soldiers in a friendly fire ... also, you need to pay a lot of attention to how many moving points each soldier has, since a single mistake usually means death. What is fun about this game is that each scenario is completely random, so each start is almost like a fresh new start ... details, like paying attention to ammo, to doors that have bombs on them, or learning when is it worth to break down a wall to move to another room instead of using doors can mean the difference between life and death ... game rules as well must be well learned, since "simple" things like reloading means using all the action points available for that marine ... learning how to fire at enemies is also interesting, since you can only fire in straight lines (exception to the grenadier who can cause collateral damage around where his shells land), so it is almost like playing chess only with pawns and towers ... the guard mode can be pretty useful if you positioned your marine in the correct line of fire, or useless if he is looking to the left and the enemy is coming from the right ... and no, although in guarding mode, he won't turn and shoot the enemy ... in essence, I think this is a game where you spend the first hour learning "how to play" and counting how many times you already died ... however, after understanding the gameplay, it is fun, definitely! Due the random nature of the game you can find yourself suddenly surrounded by enemies or just exploring room after room and getting credits and more ammo ... what is going to happen? Nobody knows, each game is unique, and they are worth a shot ... however, if you are expecting an easy to play game, this is not a good idea ... it takes time, strategy, memory and the ability to cope with defeat ... just like in real life!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Early Access Review
Kind of clunky control wise but it seems pretty damn cool, definitely see potential in it.
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