‘SteamWorld Heist’

The unique twist of this Nintendo 3DS strategy gem is that all of the action takes place in a 2D side-scrolling view. Surprisingly, this system works fairly well. The game follows a space-faring smuggler named Piper Faraday and her crew of steam-powered robots as they journey through space, board enemy pirate ships and make off with armfuls of mechanical loot. Missions play out in a series of turn-based shootouts where you manage your crew’s specialized set of skills to disassemble rival robotic crews. Your characters level up after combat and slowly unlock a series of new skills that turn them into a fiercer fighting team. I recommend making space on your 3DS for this charming title.

Ben Reeves, Game Informer