Steam Squad is a "Steampunk" Turn Based Strategy game, currently available as early access (in Beta - currently v0.371b)
Whilst the game is based on "The Great War", it's historical content does not include the Entente and Central Powers forces per se, but the British and "Exotic Asian" (Han) forces instead, this dynamic is interesting - and refreshing and sets a very plausible scene.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=330512716
The main character in the story is a British Captain - Ken Whitehall, and his troop of "Gentlemen", whom are battling the "Han". The storyline follows Ken and his men, through different missions as they undertake the battle and stop the march of the Han.
The graphics in Steam Squad are still being developed, they are similar to Men of War in it's current state. The artwork is interesting and fun, with of course a steampunk look.
The Gameplay is the typical turn based type, where you get to move your troops into position, fire at the enemy and then end the turn,waiting for the enemy to make their move. As always, placement of the troops is important, as the Han are very good shooters!
Steam Squad will include tanks, artillery and other "steam" powered instuments of war ,which will be drivable. This increases the playability value - and turns this game from a typical strategy shooter. Destructable environments are currently not included, but will be at a later date.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=331276120
There is no ability to control the camera - other than panning (zoom is not enabled), and the camera does not focus on the enemy when they take their turn. I believe that some camera tweaks are being worked on and will be released in a later version. The camera view is dimetric. **Update v 0.371**
The camera now follows the actions of the player and npcs. It also includes the zoom function. These improvements have made a big difference to gameplay.
The UI looks great, but again, some work needs to be done on this to make it more polished and easier to use. Having said that, it does not stop you being able to have an enjoyable game.**Update v 0.371**
There have been tweaks made to the UI, both in the main menu, mission selection, and gameplay screens.
The music is ok, the background effects lack the atmosphere of explosions and gun fire. . more needs to be done with improving the audio emmersion.
Overall, Steam Squad performs very well, and is not a walk in the park to play. It's an early beta, so expect that there are going to be things that are missing, don't work, or need improvement. The developer - Bretwalda Games - is constantly working on Steam Squad with an further update v 0.371 just released.
I think that there is plenty of room for Great War era games such as this, in a overly populated Second World War gaming universe.
I recommend Steam Squad, even in it's current Beta build, it shows great potential, and whilst Bretwalda Games are a relatively new company on the scene, the quality of their work, and commitment to ensuring that the comunity voice is heard equates to what I hope is a very successful game.
Definately a strategy title to add to the collection at under $10 doleros, if you don't mind putting up with a few annoyances along the beta journey, until release. And help support smaller develop studio's.