The Strategy Genre Gets a Steamy Upgrade with Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. for Nintendo 3DS

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, June 12, 2014

Yesterday Nintendo announced Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. for 3DS. The game is a turn based action strategy title from Intelligent Systems, the same developer that has worked on Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. Nintendo says it was inspired by third person shooters and lets players move freely during their turn. Characters have steam powered boilers on their backs and each movement or action uses up that steam, which determines how far and what actions you can do during each turn.

The game has a steampunk aesthetic and in the roundtable interview below the art director mentioned an H.P. Lovecraft influence. Plus, the basis of the story is that you’re part of an elite fighting force assembled by Abraham Lincoln to take out an alien threat! It sounds totally off the wall not only for Intelligent Systems but for Nintendo, and so far the gameplay does look solid. What I’m interested in is whether the game is a strategy title where you’re only in combat or whether it will offer some RPG elements as well. Additional details are below.

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new adventure unlike anything Nintendo has done before will join the ever-expanding Nintendo universe in 2015. At a developer roundtable event on June 11 during the E3 video game conference, Nintendo announced Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. The new turn-based action strategy game comes from Intelligent Systems, the developer of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a new take on strategy games inspired by third-person shooters. Like the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars games before it, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. tasks players with planning out strategic moves using a team of soldiers to do battle with enemy forces. But this game throws a wrench into many of the conventions familiar to the genre.

For starters, the game takes place in a vibrant steampunk world, weaving its globe-spanning tale in the art style of a classic comic book. The title refers to an elite team of steam-powered special-forces soldiers composed of absolutely wild and wholly unexpected characters who must battle an extraterrestrial menace. To establish a connection to the main playable characters and to emphasize the verticality and depth of the level design, the perspective of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. uses a behind-the-shoulder perspective at the level of the players’ squad. Players outflank and outshoot the enemy in a fully 3D battlefield with a customizable four-member team. To defeat aliens, they have to take cover, set up ambushes and unleash crossfires and counter-attacks. For every move taken or action performed, a steam gauge is slowly depleted, forcing players to use strategy to achieve their objectives. Along the way, players will acquire new items and weapons that give them more strategic options and firepower.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will launch exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2015. For more information about Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and to keep an eye on all of Nintendo’s activities during E3, visit

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