You find remarkable games in the strangest places
sometimes. I found Carbon Games’ AirMech while browsing the Chrome web store
for apps to tack onto my browser. The Robotech fan in me pricked its ears up at
the idea of taking control of a vehicle that can shift from high-flying combat
jet to a walking tank with the press of a button. AirMech promises that and so
AirMech is a test to how well you can manage an army
while simultaneously battling in air and ground in a transforming
jet. It feels like a cross between Command and Conquer and Raiden with a little
bit of League of Legends thrown in. If you think that sounds chaotic, it is.
Before you even begin a match, you’ll want to
take a second to finely craft your army’s roster to fit your playstyle. The
game offers you eight slots to pick-and-choose which units will be available to
build in-game, much like building a deck in a card game. Besides your eight
unit types there are several different airmechs and pilots to choose from, with
each providing their own unique pros and cons. All of these need to be unlocked
using either in-game currency or real money, making that ideal build an investment
in time, effort, and money.
The airmechs available in the game vary from the iconic
combat jet, to bombers, helicopters, and even flying saucers. Your airmech
essentially functions as your hero on the battlefield, with each having a
unique set of abilities and stats to suit varying playstyles. While the
aircrafts in AirMech are all pretty familiar, it’s fun to see the different
mechs that they turn into. For instance, the classic v-shaped stealth bomber
drops down into a vicious mech, its wings essentially turned into swords where
its forearms should be.
This makes for more than just a change in aesthetic, as
each airmech functions differently in the air and on the ground. While the
bomber is a slow beast in the air, dropping bombs without mercy, on the ground
it becomes a hacking-and-slashing nightmare, hell bent on making your enemy run
in terror. Some airmechs are going to be better suited to aerial combat and
others ground, depending on your playstyle. This adds a much appreciated
diversity to the game, with each airmech bringing a whole new game to the
Once you’ve got your army set up you’re going to find
six different game modes available in AirMech, with each mode being a test in
just how well you can manage an army while simultaneously leveling up your
airmech. From its standard PvP mode, which is essentially a tug-of-war between
two teams trying to get their army to the enemy’s fortress while defending
their own, to the four-player Survival co-op mode in which players struggle to
keep their fortress safe from encroaching waves of enemies, AirMech is hectic
in that satisfying “Did I really just pull that off?” kind of way.
Currently, the game’s open beta is available for free
from the Google Chrome web store, as well as for PC download off of Carbon’s
website. While the game will be free on Steam in the future, the Steam client
is presently in a closed beta while Carbon works on polishing the game up for
the inevitable influx of players that will accompany AirMech’s Steam release.
You can get access to the closed beta, as well as a bunch of other in-game
goodies, by purchasing the AirMech Beta Bundle from the Steam store. Have I
said Steam enough yet? Good. Let’s move on.
Blending genres is always a difficult thing to pull off.
You run the risk of going too far in one direction and causing certain features
to feel tacked on and boring. AirMech manages to pull it off by having a
consistent theme and quality. You are the pilot of an advanced piece of
weaponry and its up to you to lead your army to victory, or defeat. I suggest
you get started now, because it’s not going to be easy.