If you were to ask me what the single best way to improve the concept of a medieval steampunk turn-based tactical RPG would be, I would have to say "mechs". Luckily, Acaratus from Nodbrim Interactive, has that particular niche filled perfectly. With lots of customization options for your battle suits, this steampunk-themed game is heading to Steam Early Access in February 2016.

Taking the role of Adina, a former slave trader turned rebellion leader, you will customize steam-powered mech suits and take them into tactical battles against the forces of the emperor Helios. You'll have to focus on managing your suit's abilities which are chosen from a variety of cards which you can select to fit your playstyle, as well as constructing the suits themselves through a wide selection of modular parts.

The overworld map itself promises to have randomly generated paths, to keep the gameplay varied and interesting, and I hope this means that the game will retain some PvE replay value. In addition to this, there is slated to be a PvP element, where you can take your customized squads online to compete against other players in arena-style battles.

Combat is expected to be quick but varied thanks to the deck building mechanic. Each round you'll have Action Points and Card Points to spend to move and attack, with the Card Points allowing for both basic attacks or more advanced commands to be used. This looks like it should add an additional layer of strategy to the game without adding unnecessary complexity.

In February, the game will launch with the first of three acts, which is expected to have roughly four or five hours of gameplay to it on average. The remaining acts will be released as they are ready, and the entire three act game will be available in a single package without microtransactions.

I am admittedly someone who is immediately interested in a game that has even one of Acaratus' hooks to it. Steampunk, tactical RPGs, customization and card mechanics, it all appeals to me. And from the looks of the alpha trailer, Nodbrim seems to have a very solid grasp on how to make these mechanics work for them. I think anybody who is at all into the steampunk aesthetic is going to want to follow this, and I have a feeling fans of tactical RPGs should be doing so too. So far I genuinely am excited about Acaratus, and I look forward to hearing more about it in the coming months.