​PAX East 2015: Mayan Death Robots Preview

by Marcus Jones on March 17, 2015

For most, the Worms franchise is a well-established and well liked turn-based strategy series. It has all the charm and quirk that gives it the feel and flavor of a lasting series, but some believe it has become stale in recent years. Thankfully for those players, Mayan Death Robots steps in and throws the formula on its head with pure abandon.

Mayan Death Robots, from developer Sileni Studios, continues with the similar strategy genre made famous by Worms and Scorched Earth, but with some awesome twists. Players take control of giant, Mayan death robots, aliens from other worlds, and watch them as they duke it out against each other. Turns are handled with both players picking and choosing their moves and then executing them simultaneously, meaning no waiting for the other players to see what's happening. It's fast-paced and hectic.

The point of every match is to destroy the other's power cores, which are large blocks full of pulsating energy, but in the process players can build and destroy the map as they please. Destroying the power cores, however, effectively ends the match, more so than the full destruction of your opponent. Simply destroying the enemy death robot leads to a missed turn and a respawn, as a new one is sent down from the alien overlords themselves. To this end, each death robot is uniquely styled and comes equipped with their own set of attacks and abilities.

Some examples include a robotic monkey slinging bananas, a brute launching nukes, and even a thunder god launching electricity from the skies. Each death robot is worshipped by Mayans (hence, you know, Mayan death robot), which spend the entirety of the matches running around. They can help defend against the enemy robot if they encroach on your territory, but they also help repair and build small structures around your side of the map. There are some cases as well, during special events, where they may build other things, like snowmen.

The game is styled as a competitive multiplayer game with a one on one approach currently, but there are some special circumstances that may pop up. I did not experience it during my time with the game, but the developers mentioned the possibility of the actual Mayan gods attacking. Look, you're usurping their power and worship, of course they're pissed. When these events occur, it's up to both players to take down the god and ensure their continued overlording of the populace.

The game is expected to release in August 2015 on Steam for both Mac and PC, with the potential for a later console release. The game will release with a campaign (which is fully playable with others) and will feature a narrative for players to experience. This will include fighting against other ancient cultures, and even against the invading Spanish Conquistadors. For those who love playing as giant death robots and blowing things up with a friend, this may be the game for you.

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