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New games: Mad Machines is the heavy metal Rocket League

Think of hockey crossed with Robot Jox, and you get something along the lines of Mad Machines

You can see some pretty insane stuff in Rocket League, no doubt, but ultimately is a friendly game between polite RC cars. Let’s take it up a notch, shall we? Replace the cars with extremely angry robots who want to kick the oily snot out of each other, and make the ball a… okay, it’s still a ball, but now it has spikes and magnets.

That just about gets us to Mad Machines, which recently entered early access on Discord’s newly-launched games store. The description reads like it was dictated by one of the robotic characters: STOP WAITING AND SMASH SOME BALLS, it says at one point.

The basics of what’s going on aren’t hard to understand: this is about putting a ball in your opponents’ goal. You’ve got three robots to choose from at this point – one has an axe, another gets a chainsaw arm, and a third fires missiles. My dad always told me never to bring an axe to a missile fight, but he never believed in robots.

This new trailer provides a pretty good sense of what Mad Machines is all about:

“Not for casuals. Not for mobile. For hardcore Ball busting competitors,” the Discord store description reads. And you know things are serious when the William Tell Overture starts playing.

Normally phrases like “NOT FOR CASUALS” make me roll my eyes, but Mad Machines looks silly enough to get away with it – it’s making a go at being the kind of highly-competitive, tightly-designed game that is tough to master and always fun to watch, but it’s taking a kind of fun, This is Spinal Tap approach to its packaging, and I appreciate that.

Speaking of watching, Mad Machines is taking advantage of Discord’s social features, which provide a spectator mode and easy jump-in capability through the chat client. If you’ve got Discord installed, head to the store if you’re interested in giving Mad Machines a try.