Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

This is the strangest, most wilful game Intelligent Systems has ever made - and that's part of its greatness.

Key events

Unsung games of 2015: Code Name: STEAM

The dangers of a game that could have been made for you.

As we wind down towards the end of the year, we get in a reflective mood and inevitably start thinking back to some of the best games of 2015. Eurogamer will be running through its favourite games of 2015 shortly, but before then we thought we'd highlight some of the more interesting games you may have missed this year.

GTA 5 physical sales pass 5m mark in UK

GTA 5 physical sales pass 5m mark in UK

Rockstar's astonishing success continues.

The Grand Theft Auto 5 sales behemoth knows no end: Rockstar's epic has now sold over five million copies in the UK alone.

Official figures from Chart-Track, which do not include download sales, reveal GTA 5's latest milestone.

GTA 5 is one of the most successful games of all time. Three days after release it made $1bn, securing its place as the fastest-selling entertainment product in history. As of 31st December 2014, the game had shipped an astonishing 45m copies to retailers.

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Code Name: STEAM review

RecommendedCode Name: STEAM review

America the shootiful.

Given its antic plundering of creaky old books, it should not be surprising that Code Name: STEAM finds its soul in a library. And not just any library. This is the great library at Miskatonic University, the starting point for so many excursions into the weird, the deathless, the unthinkable. More on that stuff in a bit. What's important is that the library is a wonderfully unusual map, and one that brings out the best in a wonderfully unusual - and often infuriating - game. Code Name: STEAM is a squad-based tactics affair (more Valkyria Chronicles than XCOM due to the granularity of its action points variant) and the library level starts by encouraging you to split your team of four into two teams of two. You're on the back foot from the end of the first turn.

The mission here seems pretty simple: simultaneously activate two switches at opposite ends of the map, and then beat it downstairs to the huge metal gate that the switches have opened for you - a gate that houses your goal and a couple of real beasts called Berzerkers who are standing in front of it. As is often the case with this sort of game, things got good for me only when things got bad. One of my teams ran into serious trouble - sniper and grenade aliens waiting just beyond the first of the switches, taking out Henry Fleming, of the Red Badge of Courage, and all but crippling the Scarecrow (who only wanted a brain). The gate was open, the last save point was used up and these guys were a mess - so getting to the goal depended on the other team.

There were dozens of ways that things could play out. I should know: I tried most of them. Code Name: STEAM is a weird, rather ornery game, with its claustrophobic levels, its endless enemy reinforcements, and the fact that, in a direct contradiction to the approaches of most strategy titles, you're not given any kind of overhead view of the terrain. Other strategy games might ration ammo or special moves: in Code Name: STEAM, information is the most valuable resource, and it's also the hardest to come by. Some people find this insanely annoying as they hunt, endlessly, for a map screen that simply isn't there, or wait out enemy turns staring at the back of a pillar. I genuinely understand their pain. But in the library, that lack of intel came together with tight spaces, tricksy vertical pathways and a range of strongly-defined characters to create the very thing that all strategy games aspire to being: a laboratory of tactics, a place where you muddle about with your inputs until you achieve the output you're after - or something even better.

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Code Name: STEAM update speeds up enemy turn times

Code Name: STEAM update speeds up enemy turn times

Even faster if you have a New 3DS.

Nintendo has issued an update for turn-based 3DS strategy Code Name: STEAM which allows you to speed up the game's lengthy enemy turn times.

Those playing on a traditional 3DS or 3DS XL will be able to increase enemy turns by double their standard amount.

But those with a New 3DS or New 3DS XL can speed through enemy turns at triple speed - almost 200cc.

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Star Trek's Wil Wheaton joins 3DS exclusive Code Name: STEAM

Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton will lend his vocal talents to 3DS-exclusive strategy title Code Name: STEAM.

Wheaton plays the role of US president Abraham Lincoln, the founder of Unit STEAM (short for Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace).

A turn-based strategy title set in an alternate universe steampunk version of London, Code Name: STEAM is due to launch in Europe on 15th May.

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Stick with the Code Name: STEAM demo that's currently available on the 3DS eStore. It's a slow burner, which is to say that this is a Valkyria Chronicles-style squad-controlling game, and you'll have to play for the best part of an hour before you have much of a squad to control. The early minutes belabour the simple business of explaining turn-based movement and blowing enemies to pieces, and the whole first mission leaves you with just two team members to think about. Don't worry: a full team is coming. The lion is coming.

Nintendo announces new Smash Bros. and Mario-themed Amiibo waves

Nintendo announces new Smash Bros. and Mario-themed Amiibo waves

Captain Toad, Mario Party 10, Code Name: STEAM support detailed.

Nintendo has announced another two waves of Amiibo figurines for use with 3DS and Wii U.

The figures include a further batch of characters from Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, plus the first set of Amiibo figures not centred around Smash.

20th March will see the launch of new Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser and Toad figurines with red bases (rather than the usual black).

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Code Name: STEAM get new release dates

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Code Name: STEAM get new release dates

Hyrule Warriors Amiibo support detailed, Splatoon single-player shown off.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's UK release date is now 2nd January, Nintendo has revealed, a week sooner than the previously-announced 9th January.

The game will feature more than 70 stages, with extra levels unlocked when you complete fiendish optional objectives.

Code Name: STEAM - the new 3DS strategy title from Fire Emblem and Advance Wars developer Intelligent Systems - will meanwhile launch in May 2015.

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Code Name: STEAM is XCOM by way of HP Lovecraft

With a little Honest Abe in there too.

Nintendo's revealed additional details on Code Name: STEAM, the latest strategy game from Intelligent Systems. That's the outfit that made Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, so new IP from these guys is already good news. It becomes better news, though, when you realise that the studio's created its own spin on the squad-based XCOM formula.

Nintendo announces 3DS game Code Name: STEAM

Nintendo announces 3DS game Code Name: STEAM

Turn-based strategy from Advance Wars developer Intelligent Systems.

Nintendo has announced a new turn-based strategy game for 3DS called Code Name: STEAM, due out in 2015.

(STEAM stands for Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace).

It's developed by Intelligent Systems, maker of the much-loved strategy series Advance Wars, with a team lead by Wario Ware: Smooth Moves' Paul Patrashcu and with art from Takaki Sakai, who previously worked on the Fire Emblem series.

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