Review: Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

Hello people,

I will be reviewing one of Nintendo’s most recent Nintendo 3DS releases: Code Name Steam.

Code Name Steam is a game made by Intelligent Systems which is famous for its amazing strategy games. I’m just going to say right off the bat that I am pleased with the strategy in this game. It’s nice to play a game that actually requires some thought before you make a move. I think Code Name Steam does that well!

You can control up to 4 units in a level, each with different weapons, special moves, and advantages. Some units like Tiger Lily can be both a healer and an offensive unit while other units like Lion have the ability to jump on top of obstacles (which is actually pretty handy). Everything that you do in Code Name Steam will require steam (the fuel). This includes moving, attacking, jumping, and pretty much everything else. The map is divided into hundreds of little squares where each square will drain one puff of steam from your unit’s steam tank. What’s nice about it is that if you’re controlling a unit and decide you didn’t like where you just moved and want to undo what you just did, you can backtrack through the squares you traveled and regain all the steam you just used. It doesn’t work if you decided to attack somebody after moving but if moving is all you did, it’s something to take advantage of.

There are also quite a few different weapons and steam tanks you can customize your units with. Some of these weapons make a lot more sense than others… There’s a gun that shoots banana peels, a gun that shoots out giant metal paralyzing PUMPKINS, a gun with a chicken on it…even though it’s supposed to be a phoenix… Big difference there guys… and a gun that shoots out healing bullets. I really like this variety because you can choose which weapons will better suit your needs.


Your enemy in this game would be these weird insect-like alien guys. There’s quite a large assortment of them too which is pretty nice…but, that’s all that’s nice about them. All the aliens, bosses included, will have glowing pink spots on their bodies that mark their weak points. If you can get your unit in the ideal position to hit the alien at this glowing spot, it can greatly affect the outcome of the level as it does a hefty amount more damage than a regular shot aimed anywhere else.


I’m sure most of you have heard about how long the wait times for enemy turns are in this game. The whole time when I was thinking of picking up this game I was asking myself, “Is it really going to be that bad?” Reading various reviews from professional review sites I wondered, “Are they just being harsh?” So I decided, I’m going to pick this game up and see for myself. I was also pretty pleased with the demo so…That would be another big factor.

In general, I feel like I’m somebody who has a little bit more tolerance for this kind of thing than others. So for me I didn’t feel like it was really as bad as people made it sound. If you’re on the fence about buying this game because of the stories you heard about long wait times, I would try and evaluate if you’re somebody who tends to like games more than the reviews say you will or if you’re somebody who tends to agree with the reviews and may lack some patience for something like this. I think it really depends on the player.

With all honesty I think there are some benefits that can come out of the wait time. With my personal experience, I was sometimes able to see (although my view was limited) what the aliens were doing. Those guys are programmed to actually be pretty smart so you can watch as they try and do the same as you and hide behind a corner or in some other blind spot. It’s beneficial in the sense that now you know where they’re hiding so your units won’t get attacked by them when it can otherwise be avoided. Unfortunately, if your unit happens to be behind a box or facing some object this doesn’t really apply but, I find that at least some of your units can see a little bit of what’s going on. Something that can help would be switching from unit to unit which is allowed when you’re waiting for the enemy to finish their turn. If Lion is behind a box and can’t see maybe Henry can. If Henry can’t, how about John? It would also help if you ended your turn with your units actually facing the direction that would benefit you. So while there is definitely the need of a fast forward option there are also ways that the player can try and take advantage of this free time (other than just watching TV).

I would also like to note that I played this game using my Nintendo 3DS XL so I did not try it out using the New 3DS. Because of this, I have also not been able to try out playing the game with any of the compatible amiibo. Sorry Ike, back on the shelf you go.

Overall, I think my experience with Code Name STEAM was pretty positive. There are definitely some steep climbs in difficulty specifically toward the end levels which left me frustrated but, for those who enjoy a nice challenge as well as strategy shooter type games, I’d say this game is for you. Please try the free demo available in the Nintendo 3DS eShop to check on your tolerance for the enemy wait times. If you have a hard time with those wait times imagine a whole game filled with them. In my opinion, the wait times do not get too much worse than what’d you see in the demo but, it won’t get better. I didn’t have problems with them but a lot of people did which is unfortunate because Code Name STEAM is pretty solid in every other way. Hopefully, if a sequel comes out, Intelligent Systems will fix that problem. I would give this game an 8/10.


Thanks for reading guys! Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of weeks but, I hope to get more blogging done soon! I have recently picked up Story of Seasons for Nintendo 3DS (it came out today, March 31st) and will be indulging myself in hours of farming. Probably not a game for everybody BUT, if you are a fellow lover of Harvest Moon (or rather, what it used to be) please stay tuned. I will be writing a review on Story of Seasons as soon as I can get a good feel of the game.

Again, thanks for reading!


P.S. For those of you who are reading this the day I posted it…There’s a Nintendo Direct tomorrow (April 1st, 2015) at 3pm P.T.! It will be followed by a Nintendo Treehouse event which will be featuring one of its upcoming spring releases. We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see exactly which one it’ll be!

Sources: Feature Image || Characters Image || Gameplay Shot || Clakka Clakka Image


2 thoughts on “Review: Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

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