Thailand based Orbital Speed Studio recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for DUAL GEAR, a turn based strategy game with giant mecha. The developers fully admit their inspiration from Japanese pop culture as you can see hints of Metal Gear Solid and Neon Genesis Evangelion in the giant robot designs. It’s a nice change of pace to see mecha take the spotlight rather than cute anime girls or brooding, sword bearing protagonists.

Even though this is a studios first game, DUAL GEAR has been in development for at least six months and even had a showing at the Tokyo Game Show last September. The game is currently being made in Unreal 4 and the screenshots look quite impressive. It looks even better in action as there is a lot of gameplay footage and animated gifs plus a playable demo you can download right now if your PC is powerful enough. They’ve also been approved through Steam’s greenlight program so Orbital Speed Studio has done a lot of groundwork before this crowdfunding campaign.

Big, complicated and grey… what’s not to love?

In this universe, giant mecha are used to work in space to create the Gaia Belt; a series of microwave receivers to encircle the Earth. However, early in the operation a terrorist attack destroys the belt and neighboring satellites causing a mechanical maelstrom that causes a global catastrophe. From the ashes of a scorched planet, the nefarious TEC company decides to use these giant robots for military applications. The campaign takes place during this post-apocalyptic struggle for mecha supremacy.

The turn based action in DUAL GEAR looks engaging and multifaceted. You move your mecha around industrial terrain and then select from an option ring of weapons to attack with. There are multiple elements to keep track of during combat like accuracy, action points and generator output (which sounds like the energy gauge that’s depleted with weapon usage). Each attack is accompanied by a slick animation and dynamic camera angles.

Weapon ring… orbital ring… Gaia Belt… I see what you did there.

The game isn’t limited to just to combat as there seems to be a lot of customization and side missions you can tackle. Both the mecha and the pilots can be uniquely tailored to your tastes; you can change the weapons and colors of your giant robot and you can individual level up different crew members and give them unique abilities. You’ll also be whisked around the world to complete the main story and side stories with apparent multiple ways to tackle your objectives.

This… is my boomstick… arm… thingy…

Orbital Speed Studio is looking to raise $60,000 USD to fund DUAL GEAR. With 3 weeks left they’ve raised over a sixth of their goal and have been updating often. However, since this is Indigogo, the devs have opted for flexible funding which means all money will be collected regardless if they reach 60K or not. This is even more reason to be smart about your funding and do some research; once you’ve donated you’re locked in as a backer. As a warning, the English on the campaign page is not the greatest and can be difficult to navigate at times but a lot of the visuals speak for themselves.

DUAL GEAR is looking to release on the PC, MAC, PS4 and Xbox One in the first quarter of 2017.

Leif Conti-Groome
Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.