Today, I’m taking a look at Jupiter Moons: Mecha‘s demo! I played this quite a while ago already but haven’t written about it yet… Honestly, it’s a great game. Do you like Slay the Spire? Do you like Robots? Well, strap on for a mix of both… kinda! I mean, at its core, Jupiter Moons: Mecha is a roguelike deckbuilding game but with the twist that your “deck” is actually a mech with different areas. Your mech has two legs, arms, as well as a torso and a head. Each come with their own slots for weaponry, heatsinks, armour and various systems. Those parts basically dictate stats and your deck! Repairing and refitting your mech costs spare parts that you earn through combat. After each combat, you earn some spare parts (to repair/refit your mech), parts (to equip your mech) and credits (for the shop that isn’t implemented in the demo yet).
Combat itself places you against at least one enemy. To cast abilities you need “AP”. You start off with 3 AP at the beginning but can increase it later with extra parts. Most abilities increase your heat, though, so you also need to watch your heat production or else you may end up shutting yourself down. Based on your equipped parts, the heat actually disperses over time but you’ll most likely end up using utility cards such as the Feedback Sink to remove heat from your mech. The heating system is quite interesting actually as it not only makes sense but it also limits how powerful you can get. Stronger attacks that can deal HUGE amounts of damage come with the drawback of your mech getting quite hot. When your heat reaches 75%, you start to overheat, resulting in your mech taking damage directly to one of your part’s health (ignoring the armour) whenever it creates more heat. At 100% heat, your mech shuts down, losing 3 AP immediately and at the start of your turn until you’re below the 100% threshold.
I find the heating system interesting, especially as it affects different parts of your mech. The legs, arms, torso and head actually harbour your “cards”. So, if you take a lot of hits to one of these parts or when you overheat, it may seal off some of your cards, making combat harder and harder. Combat becomes rather versatile and strategic because of this, making this an interesting roguelike-deck builder in the process!
What I absolutely love about the game is not only the possibilities that these systems may allow you… but also the aesthetic and soundtrack. The art style is somewhat simplistic with colourful mechs and you sitting in the cockpit of your giant robot while you fight against other giant robots. You know the drill! The soundtrack is wonderfully electronic and fitting. It has this kind of epic choir in the background and it was rather fitting for the combat, albeit not memorable.
What I didn’t like about the game so far, though, is the fact that none of this knowledge that I just conveyed to you is actually explained in the game. I mean, the game tells you what certain stats do when you hover over them but the demo doesn’t seem to have any sort of tutorial in store just yet. Hopefully, the final game does have something along those lines. Another issue I saw was the lack of an aiming system. I feel like aiming would make the game even more strategic and complex, resulting in an even better experience! It seems as if you also damage different parts of the enemy mechs, sealing off/disabling some of their weaponry, but those hits are based on some random chance, it seems. Similarly, you have a health and an armour bar. Enemies are the same in that regard. What I didn’t get at all was why the attacks sometimes went through the shield and sometimes weren’t penetrating it, getting blocked in the process… I feel as if that is not exactly clear and if it’s really pure RNG, I’d be a bit disappointed. Having different weapon types and being able to penetrate shields faster using different attacks could be amazing, too!
In the end, though, a demo is a demo and if you want to play this one yourself, you can check it out for yourself over here on Steam! Make sure to check Jupiter Moons: Mecha out for yourself! You can also wishlist it and support the developers that way while also making sure that you get notified on release!