The shoot-’em-up comes with an inbuilt defense mechanism against haughty dismissal that other twitch-based genres lack. Shooter, shmooter. Racer, shmacer. Shmup, um. You see? Can’t be done.
Mighty Tactical Shooter doesn’t need even that fallback, however, because it’s successfully recast the business of sidelong pew-pewing as a boe-nah-fie-dee intellectual pursuit.
The game employs a simultaneous turn-based system a bit like that of top-down cerebral shooter Frozen Synapse. Each second is a turn, and in the gaps between each you’ll decide on your speed, direction and firepower, preferably in such a way as to avoid taking several missiles to the cockpit. It doesn’t really translate in screenshots, so you’d better watch this:
Planning complex trajectories looks no harder than drawing curves on Photoshop, and the trickiest of situations can be handled with deft use of a gravity field. And there to alleviate the boredom of a few turns spent waiting for enemies to turn up is the promise of tying two of them together with a tractor beams, with catastrophic consequences.
Three AI chums will occupy your ship’s dashboard. Brighton-based developers Sock Thuggery say Gun Buddy, Shield Buddy and Repair Buddy will enjoy distinct personalities and mechanical roles.
Mighty Tactical Shooter is in pre-alpha, and there’s a Kickstarter incoming – but you can already help vote it through Steam Greenlight. The soundtrack might be a tad too chuggy and aimless for my tastes, but I think I’m in. How about you?