I get a chance to take the beta of new game MEEPLE FORCE for a spin and loved it!
Having seen the photo’s and some of the Work in Progress I was pretty excited to get my hands on the Beta of Meeple force and get talked through the opening couple of scenarios by co-creator Ian Courtney of Wartorn Games.
I’ll start by saying that Meeple Force is more akin in my mind to a Dungeon explore format with some unique skirmish aspects all overlaid with a healthy 1980’s arcade game aesthetic- think Heroquest meets Duke Nukem. And it’s an absolute blast.
The main premise is a team of 4 heroes all with bespoke stats and playstyles vs an alien menace of DNA harvesting Cyber Snakemen, each scenario has a thematic mission objective that force a change in play style. The biggest deferential is that instead of dice and matrix tables- players shoot and move by flicking the pieces similar to football sim Saboteo. I was unsure of the mechanic until I played it- now I’m hooked.
Mission 1 required the heroes to shut down a Portal gate to stop the snakes gaining a foothold. After a quick look through the stats (and a couple of mis- fires caused by poor finger dexterity) I punted the burley Rocket launcher tooting Chad Thunderguns down the left flank and turned the portal to rubble with a couple of flicks on the now warmed up index finger.
The missions then escalated through several scenarios to a boss level, the whole time feeling like a 3D computer game in flow and game play, The play style is fast but tactics are required for getting the most out of your Heroes. The Boss mission I played involved trying to take out 3 giant hydras that split into 2 medium sized mini bosses when killed, whilst at the same time taking out a portal gate spawning more snakehead foot soldiers. With a genuine sense of urgency, I pushed my fast moving cyber wolf and ninja down the right flank to try and close the portal whilst getting into a decent firing position on the left with my heavy hitters.
The firing mechanism and live ricochet rules are great, and trying to punt your hero out of harms way is hugely enjoyable- the collectable loot crates and in game upgrades continue to make each level a new experience. This game should hugely appeal to group play both kids and older hobby enthusiast wanting to play in a social format. Great game- look forward to playing the finished product.