Warhammer 40k Mechanicus is a dungeon crawler with turn based strategy mechanics for combat. I appreciate that Mechanicus streamlines a lot of the tedious mechanics usually found in both dungeon crawlers and turn based strategy games. This makes the game a lot more accessible to gamers as there are less hurdles to enjoying the core game play loop.
Although the Warhammer universe is notoriously dark, the mood and atmosphere in Mechanicus is less so. Instead, it surprisingly had a lot of witty satire and cultural references hidden in the dialogue. The game’s plot revolves around the conflict between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Necrons.
The core game play loop consists of exploring dungeons. The more time you spend exploring the dungeon, the more the enemy becomes aware of your presence. This translates into enemy encounters being more difficult by increasing the number of the enemy units, their initiative speed, their reanimation speed, and so forth. The benefit to exploring more of the dungeon is that you come out with more equipment and upgrade currency so players can take a greater risk for a greater reward.
The combat phase is pretty standard turn based strategy fare with some of the mechanics similar to other games of the genre such as opportunity attacks. The way that Mechanicus differs, is in the usage of cognition points, or the game’s version of action points. Instead of gaining action points every turn, you must take actions to obtain cognition points. Basic movement and weak attacks do not cost cognition points but anything beyond that will. This creates an interesting ebb and flow to the combat as you have to keep track of how many cognition points you have, whether or not to take action to earn cognition points, and where to spend them.
Once you complete a mission, you earn blackstones and equipment to take back to your main base of operations. From there, you can upgrade skill trees to your units and change out equipment.
Overall, Warhammer 40k Mechanicus is a fun and engaging dungeon crawling, turn based strategy game. It takes away a lot of the frustration caused by tedium and let’s the player get to the core of the game play loop more quickly. The game has the perfect difficulty level as well, where every battle doesn’t take countless attempts to win but still offers a challenge. The writing is surprisingly more lighthearted, witty, and satirical in nature as well. Fans of turn based strategy and dungeon crawlers have another solid title to look forward to.