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: Mixed (263 reviews) - 60% of the 263 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 4, 2013

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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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 120 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
Helpful customer reviews
65 of 70 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
I really wanted to like Steam Marines. There's some pretty cool ideas at work here; turning Space Hulk into a roguelike. Unfortunately, it just falls short of almost every mark it wants to hit.

The random levels are entirely too random. Sometimes you'll spawn in a room with no doors. Sometimes you'll spawn in a room of nothing but doors. Sometimes you'll spawn on top of the exit! And on and on. Enemy placement suffers similarly, with you going from no robots to being completely surrounded in the space of a turn.

The UI is a mess. The tutorial doesn't tell you everything. And ultimately, what options you do have on a given turn are extremely limited.

This game has a great premise, and what's here is a promising effort, but ultimately I can't really say it's worth your time and money. It's not an egregiously awful game, it's just not really much fun.
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47 of 58 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
Steam Marines is another futuristic roguelike in town, released from the rather bizarrely named development studio, Worthless Bums. It offers a tactical squad turn-based gaming experience with some rather novel but very exact gaming mechanics which help it to stand out from the crowd. It boasts huge levels of difficulty and promises to provide the kind of old-school frustration which rogue players love to hate. The gameplay clearly caters to the kind of player who likes to make carefully calculated moves and always checks twice to ensure no mistakes happen, and for that type of player this game could well be the next thing on their shopping list. However, whether or not Steam Marines is a great deal of fun for anyone else is quite another matter.
The action takes place on a steampunk styled spaceship which is under attack. Your marine squad has been abruptly woken out of cryostasis to deal with whatever-the-hell is going on out there; an array of strange enemy robots and aliens. Details are left unexplained as you enter the top-down isometric playing field to take care of the invaders and progress through the game as far as you can.
The roguelike formula is interestingly twisted by the spaceship setting. Walls can be torn apart by both your team and the enemy. This offers the possibility of simply smashing through the walls rather than opening the doors. It also means you can be ambushed from boarding enemies at any particular moment. Equally, you can blast backwards enemies with knock-back weapons sending them into space and causing instant death. The objective of each randomly generated level is to find the elevator and descend. Each set of levels is split into the main decks – engineering, bridge, etc. – of the ship, all of them having their own tile-set and enemy unit types. After completing a deck and facing some kind of mini-boss you may choose the next deck to continue with.
Your squad consists of four soldiers who can be any one of four different classes. Those consist of the leader, who has a shotgun; the scout, who has a long range gun and good visual range; the support, who has a machine gun; and the grenadier, who has an area of effect grenade launcher. XP is gained from exploring, descending, and killing enemies. The marines can be levelled up four times, each time you get to choose one of two special abilities; all of which are unique for that class. Additionally, special items, grenades and weapon upgrades can be found throughout the levels and made use of.
The game is designed to be completely unforgiving even on normal difficulty levels and it shows. One stupid mistake can easily cost you dearly, and the game is auto-saved in only one save game slot so there’s no way of reversing a disaster. The good news is that your marines do have hit points and therefore can normally withstand a small amount of damage, however; a great deal of errors do result in the death of a squad member.
There are also a few rather unique game mechanics in the game which are worth a mention because they make the tactical experience somewhat novel. For example, area of effect damage cannot initially kill units. This means that the grenadier can initially decimate a room of enemies, but can only finish one of them off at a time with direct hits. In addition, the game features flanking bonus damage where attacks from the side or back get additional damage.
The gameplay is compelling from a strategic and discovery perspective; in addition the game can move at a fairly fast-pace thanks to the ability to reduce the AI move-delay in the options menu. The combination of deadly enemies, ambushes through the walls, and a short standard weapon-range all adds up to an experience which could be rather charming for a certain type of tactical geek.
Conversely, the storyline is rather weak and doesn’t offer the kind of compulsion that, say, the space rouge-like Faster Than Light offered. Aside from a few Christmas cracker jokes from the marines and scraps of semi-nonsensical text discovered on computer consoles – which are really just acting as XP boosts – there really isn’t much plot to speak of. On top of that the game doesn’t offer an awful lot of customization. New weapons are few and far between and the four classes aren’t all that diverse; at least not to the extent of other roguelikes.
Putting it all together, Steam Marines may be a tasty little challenge for some, but it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps it’ll be a nice addition to a rogue fan’s collection, and maybe a few indie diehards would like to pick it up to see what it’s all about. However, it doesn’t do a sufficient number of things in a new way or provide enough of a compelling experience to make it a hit for everyone; it’s nothing special, but it’s alright.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2015
This is a very hesitant recommendation. Steam Marines is a turn-based roguelike that tries to stand out by having the player control a squad of 4 characters (of different classes), instead of a single one.
It's also extremely difficult -- far too much so, to the point of imbalance.

I haven't played many turn based games, so my perception of the difficulty might be distorted. However, I will say that the gap between Easy and Normal mode is huge -- especially considering that there are also Hard and Brutal difficulties.

The game is pretty standard in its mechanics -- each character has action points that they use to move and attack, there's ammo and reloading, and position is crucial. The enemies follow the same rules, some with little quirks that make the game more interesting.

It's... solid. I enjoyed my Easy playthrough... somewhat. I'll get into it later.

The game has several issues that make it just an "okay" game, for me. Still, okay is fine, in this case. I do think the mechanics work well together, and a full playthrough is enjoyable. But that's about as far as I go, as someone who quit on Normal Mode.

It's hard to review exactly how I see the imbalance in the game, since it's heavy on numbers. Let's just say that enemies on Easy kill you in perhaps 2 hits, and only have 2 Action points per turn. They also have 6 HP. On Normal mode, they have 4 Action points, 12 HP and kill you in 1 hit. The actions points, especially, make a huge difference, as you need to be really far away from them to be safe. Plus the necessary reloading (that takes ALL of your action points), small rooms, and several enemies at once, make Normal mode infuriating. It's too easy to lose a character on the very first level. And there are 30 or 35 of them!

On Easy Mode, however, it's still hard to get through the first set of levels. When you reach the 6th level (second area), you have access to these Hulk suits that are incredibly overpowered, in comparison with the normal characters. After that, you can play through the game rather easily. Which is a huge problem, for me. The first set of levels being by far, the hardest. It's just a big wall that keeps most players away.
On my easy playthrough, I actually quit out of boredom. I understood the mechanics and quirks of the enemies, so the game got pretty formulaic. When you beat the game, you go into NG+. I beat that as well. When I started NG+2 I quit. It was simply not fun, anymore. I knew what I need to do everytime, it wasn't fun.

At that point, I tried Normal. I didn't get past the first set of levels... again. I could do it, but not without losing a character. There's an incredibly big difference between the two difficulties. It's just not fun, for me.

Then, there are other issues about its "rogue-like" label. It's always the same thing, essentially.

Character have 4 levels, with each one having a choice between 2 skills - a passive, and an active one. Always the same 2 for the given level and class. There's virtually no point in experimentation.
Some of the classes are also virtually useless, so your party won't vary too much.

Then, the worst of it, is that there are almost no equipment and weapons to find. Even when you do, it's purely numerical and provide absolutely no interesting choices. It's just a question of "this does more or less damage, accuracy, etc. etc.". If you take something like The Binding of Isaac, there are tons of interactions between the items, some of them drastically changing the game. In Steam Marines, there's none of that.

It also lacks a purpose, having a very monotonous pacing. There are 5 or 6 "zones", each with 5 levels. You find an elevator to proceed to the next level. Every 5th level, there's a Boss in the elevator.
It's always the same. Story is virtually non-existant, and the Bosses aren't very interesting, either.
Take FTL, for example, and there's a very clear threat and purpose in the Mothership fight. The whole game is a build-up to that moment. In this game, there's nothing resembling that. Especially with NG+, you can just keep going, without any sense of progress.

It's also far too long for each run. Even on Easy mode, is may have taken me 6 hours or something.


This is apparently a very, very negative review, despite the recommendation. Well, I really had big issues, especially being unable to progress on Normal mode. Maybe it's just not for me. But I still recognize some merit to its mechanics are the general idea. Perhaps it can appeal to veterans of Turn-Based games. For me, it seems imbalanced, lacking a good difficulty curve as well as pacing a variation.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2015
I like roguelikes, I love space hulk, and I'm often seen at steampunk events, so I honestly thought this game would be made for me.

It's not. I played it for a few hours waiting to see if it gets better, but I couldn't find myself being engaged at all. The character progression feels lack-luster, the roguelike elements feel constrained, and the art didn't catch my eye.

Sorry, Steam Marines, I think your concept is good, but the gameplay isn't there for me.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2015
A great little game.

pro
-great pixelart
-exiting ammo management
-enough difficulties for everyone(easy is...easy while normal need MUCH skill....the jump is huge and maybe too much but i think it is ok,normal is sooo rewarding)
-above that are hard and brutal..i not tryed them but....trust me i will need long enough to beat it on normal^^
-nice gameplay.
field of view plays a important role here.your marines itself not have sooo much different abilitys.The tactic aspect came from the extremely important positioning and since the maps are random...every run will feel a little different
-its my fault...i played ALOT roguelikes/roguelites(i throw them in 1 pot) and this is 1 of the few where its to 90% your fault if you fail....1 mistake can ruin your entire run on normal,but errorless playing have a good resistance against a evil rngesus
-sound
-music
-dev that is still active.he maybe not patch anylonger but he help if you have gameplayquestions..normaly
-the ONlY ,,classic,, rogueLIKE that i LIKE^^

contras
-some small bugs(realy small,the only 2 that i have are the healthbars of enemys that not dissapear if you kill them through pushing them to space...(graphical) and that the fullscreen mdoe always reset if you leave teh game...but thats done in 1 click)
(i not found A SINGLE BUG that effected the gameplay realy)
-patchsupport over so.....no fixes for the last few bugs
-dont minimize the game...it will make the inventory to a white box and cause huge lag for 10 seconds....(ok that infect the gamepaly but its easyly avoidable)


I cant understand why this great game have just 61 percent.....dont let you fool from it,if you like hard games with permadeath that requires tactic and need that you think about your actions,this IS your game

i wont give up until i beat this damm aliens on normal^^
if you excuse me,SEND IN THE MARINES^^


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