“ Manufacturer: Zoo Digital / Publisher: ZOO Digital Publishing / Genre: Shooter / PEGI Age Rating: Age 3+ / Max. Number Of Players: 1 / Release Date: April, 2004 „
"Steel Empire" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2005 by Zoo Digital publishing. It is an action game based on an earlier release for the Sega Megadrive. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
The gameplay of this title handles very similarly to a popular 1980s arcade game. In it, players control what is known as the Z-01 Zeppelin flying ship and navigate from left to right while blasting all enemies which oppose it. The story states that a hostile terrorist organization has enslaved the world and it is up to the player, representing "The Republic", to save it. The flying ship itself is equipped with numerous weapons which include a standard forward facing blaster and air-to-land missiles. The player will make considerable use of both weapons as he or she will be confronted by machines that occupy both land and air. The game is generally easy to play and requires little effort on behalf of the player. I found that many enemy ships would follow a similar path so it became very predictable as to where the next "wave" of enemies would appear.
The graphics are presented from a side scrolling perspective which focuses on the Z-01 Zeppelin. The graphics retain much of their allure as seen on the Megadrive release with smooth, well animated sprites floating gently through the harsh skies. The colour palette seems to be minimal and only reflects a typical post-apocalyptic war scenario with many shades of yellow, red, brown and gray. The soundtrack is also good but appears to have suffered from some loss in the game's conversion to the Advance system. I found some of the musical compositions to be "screechy" in their playback.
Overall, Steel Empire is a game which I would recommend to prospective buyers. While it is easy in terms of difficulty it remains an enjoyable play for extended durations.