Naturally switch between TV fantasy and TV reality
"We're really into the idea of Meta," Behold artist Bruno Briseno told me about his studio's new game, Chroma Squad, using the studio's previous title for an example. Knights of Pen and Paper gave you control over both the players and Dungeon Master as they enjoyed a tabletop RPG to inhabit a liminal space between the game world and the "real world". Chroma Squad tries to mimic that in a new pixelart tactical RPG/management sim featuring your favorite Japanese warriors.
In Chroma Squad the conceit is that rather than being the heroes, you play the people working on a Sentai television show. The title is directly inspired by Japanese shows like Changeman and Flashman though you might be more familiar with the American equivalent in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. You play as the development team behind the costumed-heroes-versus-evil-monsters. Once the game's Kickstarter began to pick up, the developers attracted the ranks of Super Sentai fans who began to lend their deep knowledge to the game. Briseno recommends the pirate themed Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger as one of the better contemporary entries.
After selecting your production crew, battles play out as practiced choreography sessions, and combat features various rubber monster enemies. You work to earn the approval of the audience, which allows you to play the management section of the game where you build up and enhance your television studio budget.
Each part of the game compliments the next. As you progress in combat and have more exciting engagements with enemies, you're allowed better equipment and a better robot (that your five costumed fighters use to battle the giant monster, of course). By winning the heart of the audience, reflected in a progress bar at the top of the screen, your team will prevail in these tactical RPG battles.
Emphasis is placed on character cooperation in combat. Clicking on the large star-shaped icon allows you to instruct different characters to assist each other. In some cases this means launching a character farther than their natural movement would allow or using two characters to flank an enemy for extra damage. If all five characters work together the game allows you to do a special finishing move.
Chroma Squad, a loving tribute to both the Super Sentai and the people who make them, is slated for release in June on Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network.