Where To Get It: Steam
Way back when it entered Early Access, Besiege was a darling of streamers who loved contraption games. In a sense, I can see why they liked it. In another, it’s… Not the friendliest of games. But I can definitely see the appeal.
Okay, so, the unfriendliness is a good start, because, honestly, this is going to be the biggest turn off. UX wise, the menu options are tiny. And, apparently, UI scaling was at its biggest level when I ran it, so… Yeah, that needs a rework, folks. You can do bigger than that. Indeed, only by zooming into the planet menu was I able to see where the heck I was meant to go for the first world. Secondly… Building, and the tutorialisation thereof.
I get that it’s a toolbox to play with, and that experimenting is at least some of the fun, really I do. But how, pray tell, do I stop a bomb exploding instead of launching it? I don’t know. How do I aim a rocket well? I don’t know. How do I give my poor siege engine four wheel drive? This, I had to look up. Turns out you can rebind keys on individual parts. It ain’t the friendliest. You need boomy things to kersplode rock or brick. This, at least, I got.
And I will admit that finding an unexpected solution to an early puzzle was amusing and interesting. You can see it pictured below. Well, the aftermath, anyway. Basically, bomb on top, what was meant to be a hinged holder for the bomb, with a piston to launch said bomb toward the obelisk I was meant to destroy. On the downside, the hinge tilted back, as it was meant to… And the entire machine exploded. On the upside, the machine did not, in this particular case, have to survive to do the job, as the burning, flying parts of my machine formed a giant, impromptu shotgun blast, and blew the obelisk to smithereens.
I don’t really see it catching on, though. Bit of an expensive solution for a medieval civilisation, that.
But I’ll also admit that some levels were just plain fun. Kill 70% of a group of knights and archers? Well, I added a few saw blades to the sides of my poorly steering machine (remember how I said I wanted to know how to 4WD that puppy? Well, I hadn’t learned it by that point. By the end of the fight, one of my wheels had fallen off, but the knights foolishly leapt forward, and were torn to shreds. The archers had been eviscerated just as they managed to shoot off one of my wheels. Somehow. With arrows.
Aesthetically, its low poly look is appealing, as is the calm, relaxing, and ambient tunes that form the background of… Well, blowing shit up, stealing things with grabbers, building improbable machines, and generally causing objective based chaos. But it’s very much a niche sort of game, and the unfriendliness of it isn’t… Well, it isn’t making a friend of me, for sure. Still, it’s relatively cheap, it’s got a lot of levels to it, and you can, if you really work at it, make some utterly ridiculous machines. So it’s got that going for it.
The Mad Welshman, honestly, just wants to see his machines burn. That’s the best part.