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Steam Marines - All News

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Tuesday - May 01, 2018
Monday - September 29, 2014
Sunday - November 10, 2013
Wednesday - November 06, 2013
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Tuesday - May 01, 2018

Steam Marines 2 - Alpha Launch

by Silver, 12:10

Steam Marines 2 has launched into Alpha according to the latest developer blog.

Steam Marines 2 - Alpha Launch!


Marines, Marines!

It's been a long road to alpha launch. Steam Marines 2 started full time development on 24 September 2014, the day Steam Marines 1 fully released. I'd like to talk a bit about the current state of the game as well as a roadmap toward v1.0.

What is Steam Marines 2?

Like the first game, SM2 is is a single player, turn and squad based roguelike. If you object to the terminology, you can alternately think of it as a squad based procedural death generator! What that word salad means is SM2 has:

  • Permadeath,
  • Procedural Generation,
  • Turn-Based Player and AI Control,
  • and Small Unit Tactics.

Basically if you like sci-fi or steampunk aesthetics and taking control of a squad of marines fighting robots and aliens you're in good company.

The first game was limited to a four marine squad and all gameplay was within the tactical field. This time around there's been some scope creep. Up to six marines in a squad. More gearing and skill options. More level sequence variety in winning the game. The player controls a human steampunk spaceship, the Delhi, and recruits and gears their squad there:

There's a Galaxy Map where the Delhi can approach various objects like planets (the planetary laser shields being the main objectives) as well as derelict ships the player can board and search.

Also portraits. I also regretted not having Neverwinter Nights style portraits in SM1, but this time:

Cool. What does the future hold?

Some features didn't get in, or are what I would consider half-baked. The Galaxy Map, for instance can be extended a lot more broadly, or the Delhi could be made to blast off to other galaxies. Marine relationships are implemented in the game, but have no actual gameplay effects:

There's room for just tons of new content, more enemies, more varied enemy AI, marine weapons and armor, more skills, relationships/romance/more RPG elements, et cetera.

One of the reasons I alpha launched on alone initially is that I wanted a devoted core of players to give me input on what direction they'd like to see Steam Marines 2 go in. I need to be clear here, SM2 will not turn into a full fledged 4x or something in that vein. But there is a lot of room to grow into a more tactically deep game vs. a more strategic one.

As an example early on I did prototype ship combat, although it was real time and not turn-based, which did end up making some people unhappy.

Also marines boarding enemy ships by being fired out in capsules?

I had a bunch of weird ideas like capsule armoring/shielding/weapons and getting shot down before even boarding. Scope creep!

Would you like to know more?

The Windows and Mac alpha is out on The Linux build ran into some technical issues and is delayed until those get hammered out, but I am anticipating full Win/Mac/Lin support for Steam Marines 2.

Even if opt to not purchase now, if you are interested I'd be more than happy to hear your thoughts, especially over on the forums!

I'd also like to mention that the Original Soundtrack is also on Itch - James did a really great job on the music as well as the sound effects!

As always you can reach me at or on Twitter.

PressKit here!


Thanks for reading! And happy robot hunting.

Monday - September 29, 2014

Steam Marines - Finally Released on Steam

by Couchpotato, 05:24

Steam Marines has finally been released on Steam after two years of development. The last time I mentioned the game was where it hit Alpha status.

It's been a long haul, about two and a half years, one of them on Early Access. Windows, Mac, and Linux builds have been pushed with added content, tweaked AI and difficulty levels, and a bevy of bugfixes.

For fun and flavor, two short stories in the universe of Steam Marines have been written! In the "_Stories" folder of the install directory you'll find the following:
  • Orion Hunted - Jourdan Cameron.pdf
  • The Grinding Teeth - Darren Grey.pdf
They give more background information on the events before the player's marines wake up from cryosleep. I hope you enjoy them and happy robot hunting!
You can buy it on IndieGameStand, the Humble Store, Desura, and Steam.

Sunday - November 10, 2013

Steam Marines - Alpha Preview @ IndieRPGs

by Couchpotato, 03:58

IndieRPGs has a new video with his impression on the Alpha build of the Squad-Based Tactical Roguelike Steam Marines.

So: first impressions! Steam Marines is basically what would happen if someone turned Space Hulk into a roguelike, made the Genestealers way slower, and gave the Terminators greater tactical diversity. The cramped spaces and incredibly dire consequences for screwing up are in perfect keeping with roguelike tradition, lending every decision a flavor of risk and an aftertaste of dread.

I didn’t really show the character creation screen much in this video, so you should know that you can actually select the character class of all four of your starting squad members. (Which is good, because if I had this to do over, I would swap out my grenadier for a second shotgun-wielder in a heartbeat.)

I only noticed a few issues during this playthrough, mostly fairly minor ones having to do with missing UI elements. (For instance: the game really ought to provide a visual indication of where a grenade is going to explode before you click it, and a visual indication of which rank your units are currently at on the promotion screen would be welcome.) It probably shouldn’t be possible to spawn directly in the exit to a level, and I question the balance on some of your unit upgrade options (does gaining 0.25 action points actually do anything for you?)

But really? These issues are relatively minor. And considering that the game is still in alpha, I can only assume that these are transitory problems already on Seow’s To-Fix List. In any event, whatever minor complaints I have about this build are far outweighed by the sense of glee I get when a well-conceived series of tactical decisions comes to fruition. Shotgun-blasting enemies into space is a particular delight.

I’m looking forward to the final release of this game. Until then, if you want to try it for yourself, you can snag the alpha for yourself for $7.99 right here.

Wednesday - November 06, 2013

Steam Marines - Review @ Strategy Informer

by Couchpotato, 00:51

Strategy Informer  reviews Steam Marines and gives the game a 6/10. I mentioned the game a few months back it's a Squad-Based Tactical Roguelike.

You can purchase a copy on Steam or the games website.

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. It’s far from Fire Emblem, but for an indie effort it does a decent job of capturing that turn-by-turn tension which tactical games are known for.

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.

Information about

Steam Marines

Developer: Worthless Bums

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Roguelike
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released: 2013-09-04
· Publisher: Worthless Bums