Steel Empire Review (3DS eShop)

Steel Empire is a 2D bullet hell game for the 3DS eShop, the game has no physical release.  The game takes place in the late 19th century of a different world.  All of the ships in the game are very low-tech, including biplanes, zeppelins, and miscellaneous other planes.  The game has a very steam-punk aesthetic to it mostly because everything is supposed to be powered by steam.  In this alternate world it is said that all of the worlds resources were depleted and we were forced to regress back to steam power.  Every car, plane and ship is armed for war with huge weapons and armor.

Your character is a pilot for the Silverhead Republic, the good guys in this game.  The enemy of the game is the Steel Empire or the Motorhead Empire because of their steel emblem that shoots steam  The Motorhead Empire has enslaved most of the world.  One group in the world remains free, the Silverhead Republic is located far from the reach of the Motorhead Empire in the center of Antarctica where some of the greatest minds in the world have fled.  They’ve perfected great scientific feats such as sustainable energy, geothermal energy, and even cold fusion.  If the rest of the world were to learn about these new types of energy then they would no longer be ruled by the tyranny of the Motorhead Empire.

large (2)The combat in Steel Empire is pretty similar to every other plane based shoot em’ up that you’ve played in the past.  It is made easier by the fact that you have a health bar and you don’t die in a single hit.  One difference in this game is that it has a sort of level up system.  Every three power-ups you get will increase your firepower by one level up to a max of level 20.  The designer of the game Yoshinori Satake said that it was implemented to favor unskilled players.  He originally planned to make the level cap at 40 but his superior pointed out that the game could be beaten before then and most players would never reach that level.  The power-ups are very similar to other games, including more power,  larger and wider spread, and combinations of them as well as tiny floating ships that follow you and shoot.  There is also a screen clearing bomb that you have a limited supply of called the lightning bomb which pretty much kills any normal enemy and does a good amount of damage to the bosses.

There are two different ships that you can use in the game and they both play differently.  The Striker is the basic plane that you can choose, it has lower armor but more maneuverability and it’s a smaller target.  The Striker can also attack ground and air units but isn’t particularly good at either one.  The other ship you can choose is the Z-01, a zeppelin with more armor and firepower but it is a bigger target ansteel-empire-3ds-3d moves slower.  The Zeppelin also doesn’t have the ability to attack ground targets as easily, but it has a bigger ammo capacity allowing it to hold spinning bombs and bouncing bombs.

Steel empire is a fun game if not a bit simple, but it has a sort of charm to it that keeps me playing.  This game started on the Megadrive and Genesis back in 1992 and was ported to the Gameboy Advance 2004, the game is now on the 3DS eShop.  The game is very fun and one that you can pick up and play anytime but for $30 I would say you should wait for a sale.  This game is worth $15 at most, but I would recommend it at $10.  Unless you are a hardcore shoot em’ up fan and you really want this game, then you should avoid it at $30 price point.  I give Steel Empire a 7/10.

Steel Empire Review (3DS eShop)
Art Style8
  • Great gameplay
  • Pleasing art style
  • Music gets repetitive
  • Powerups are generic
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

PR/Game Reviewer

A general tech geek, he spends his time playing video games and working on computers. Watch out ladies.