I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for isometric games. Maybe it’s because a large portion of my childhood occurred in the 16-bit era within the Genesis camp, and isometric perspective was often the closest games got to three dimensional perspective. It was a powerful substitute; I can think of at least one game that had the balls to stick “3D” in its title just because the camera was in a 3/4 overhead position.
Isometrics were also firmly solidified in the PC world, arguably mostly because of the Diablo series, though plenty of less popular RPG titles utilized the perspective technique beforehand. That type of presentation is now nearly enough for an observer to dub a title “Diablo-esque”.
And although no longer necessary to simulate an unfettered viewpoint and being most recently relegated to fantasy RPG titles, the gaming public’s collective love affair with the catty-corner camera hasn’t ended with the advent of actual 3D perspective, as is evidenced by such excellent recent iso games as Satellite Reign and Assault Android Cactus.
Let’s raise our isometric awareness and take a moment to reserve a space in our brain for these three developing titles.
I already covered this game briefly for the PAX Indie feature earlier this year, but it bears repeating now that the game has entered Early Access as of mid-October. Now everyone can head over to Steam and watch the game grow, and take part in the evolution of this Desert Strike spiritual successor.
There has been an impressive lineage of these fantasy themed “room” games over the years, but their ilk has not made a significant appearance in quite some time. Enter Lumo, by the cleverly-named developer “Triple Eh?”. Believe it or not, they are not based in Canada.
I’m sure there’s literally dozens of better and more well-known examples, but when I see Lumo, I think of an old Apogee published PC game called Mystic Towers. I had a lot of fun with the shareware episode of Mystic Towers back in the day, and look forward to a modern take on the fantasy iso experience. Furthermore, the gameplay video below portrays a game with a technically competent execution and sharp art style, making it appealing for those who are not old and frail enough to partake in the nostalgia.
I honestly don’t know as much as I would like to about RK3000, though I’d like to find out more. The game’s website touts it as being “a Megazord and Godzilla inspired 3D action game about being a huge robot destroying a colorful and stylized city together with up to four players”. It appears to be under development by a one-person team.
If the cubist florescent pastel art style wasn’t enough to differentiate it from the other iso mech game on this list, it also seems that the focus appears to be more on the destruction of the environment than on mission objectives. While weapons are available, they seem to manifest more as secondary power ups, lending the destruction of a building via bare-robot-fist a more personal, “fuck you” quality.