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New Game Pass and Steam roguelike nails what the genre needs most

Go Mecha Ball nails what every roguelike game needs before anything else, and it's out now on Steam and Xbox Game Pass for you to enjoy.

Go Mecha ball Game pass Steam: a red angry head in a mecha suit

Go Mecha Ball could easily get lost in the sea of excellent Game Pass releases this month and beyond, but it really shouldn’t. I’ve been playing the fast-paced twin-stick roguelike on and off and can safely say that if you’re a fan of the genre, and especially entries like Hades and Enter the Gungeon, you don’t want to miss this one.

The Go Mecha Ball premise is simple: You’re an anthropomorphic alien whose planet has been ruined by a portal, and you’ve built mecha suits that double as giant metal hamster balls to deal with the problem. It’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim if it was cute. You bounce around the levels in ball form transforming to use your weapons and take out all the enemies before moving on, and it’s one of the best Xbox Game Pass games on the service.

There are weapons to unlock, skills to use, and upgrades to find in typical roguelike game fashion. But as the best games in the genre display, Go Mecha Ball excels in how it feels to play. The simple act of shooting enemies in mecha form, only to then turn into a ball and deny them an attack at speed while you dart around the map, like Super Monkey Ball’s AiAi with a Glock, is wonderfully joyous.

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Go Mecha Ball echoes the days of finding all-time classics on the Xbox Live Arcade; discovering janky, small, and obtuse games that you’d have to sift through Steam to discover otherwise. It’s not perfect, but Go Mecha Ball is still great.

There aren’t as many weapons or abilities as I’d like (I can thank Enter the Gungeon’s endless parade of parody weapons for ruining that), but there are four mechas to choose from, and plenty of variety in the actual moment-to-moment gameplay to keep you coming back. It does feel smaller in scope than the titans of the genre, but not every roguelike needs to be jam-packed with hundreds of hours of possibilities. Sometimes shorter is good.

Go Mecha Ball Game Pass Steam

Go Mecha Ball is fantastic despite all this because of how it nails what every roguelike needs: an excellent game feel. The simple act of transforming between wrecking ball and mecha feels incredible, with the movement being absolutely sublime too. Hitting boost pads, ramming into enemies to deny their attacks, and then briefly transforming into mecha form to shoot and throw a grenade before darting out of danger has a kinetic energy to it that’s unlike anything I’ve experienced in a roguelike before.

If you remember the feeling of going fast and chaining together moves in Mirror’s Edge, you’ll get that same reaction from Go Mecha Ball. Developer Whale Peak Games has nailed why we all play roguelikes in the first place, so you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try it.

Go Mecha Ball is available on Steam and Game Pass as of right now.

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