Futurlab is turning its attention to virtual reality once again, following up from the studio’s previous VR game Tiny Trax, although this time with Mini Mech Mayhem, a tactical based board game which seems to be more about luck than skill.
As you begin Mini Mech Mayhem, you are introduced to your avatar, which stands behind the game table and is used as the vehicle for your hands. You are also introduced to your mech, a small robotic creature which will take its place on the table and represent you on the battlefield. Both your avatar and mech are customizable with a variety of skins and colours, while more cosmetic items unlock as you progress throughout the game.
The game itself is based in a town full of bright colours, although you’ll spend all of your time playing on a table slap bang in the middle of it. If you’ve ever been into a Games Workshop then you’ll get the idea.
There is no single player story in Mech Mayhem, instead, you’ll work your way through a series of tutorials and then be met with either the option to play matches against up to either three humans in multiplayer or hone your skills against three AI opponents. Obviously playing against humans will be slightly more fun.
The aim of the game is to get the coin which spawns in random areas of the board. The first to three wins the match. Each mech has three turns and can use a mix of moves and attacks to win the round. You can’t move in the same direction more than once and you need to use at least one attack or move per match as well as having to use all three turns up.
I said Mini Mech Mayhem is more about luck and this is because you choose all three turns at the beginning of the game, so you’ll have to anticipate what your opponent is going to do, which of course won’t always work out.
If things do work out then there may be all manner of reasons. For instance, should you be walking towards an opponent then your momentum can carry them into a trap. You could also guess correctly and hit them with the gunfire you’d previously planned for that direction and since you can decide in advance whether you’ll try to aim for the head (which knocks opponents back a space) or another part of the body (which also has consequences), this may give you an advantage.
Speaking of gunfire, you have three life’s over the three rounds, so it’s probably best to try and avoid getting hit.
One further twist is that you have power cards, which offer up special moves. Power cards can be used at certain points after moves have been chosen and when the action is playing out, so at least help mix things up a little. For instance, you can add a +1 move to an opponent and providing they don’t counter with a -1 move, you can walk them straight into a trap. There is also a special move which shuffles the player positions on the board, which is particularly annoying if you were about to win – but at least this offers up some humour as all the mechs don ballet dresses and dance around the board to their new positions.
Mini Mech Mayhem is a decent looking and well made game, however, once the novelty wears off you will likely not turn it on all that much. Other than the odd multiplayer game now and again there doesn’t seem much incentive to return, which is a shame really.
If you love tactical board games then Mini Mech Mayhem does offer something different, so perhaps it’ll find its niche, but to be honest I’m ready to move on.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*