'Super Senso' Releases This Week: Can Robots And Kaiju Crack The Mobile Market?

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You might not have heard of Super Senso , but you will after the game releases on April 27. I’ve had my eye on the a mobile strategy game featuring robots, dinosaurs and cats in jetpacks, ever since I visited TURBO Studios in December. The smartphone game has changed a lot since then, adding a ton of new UI features, map changes and loot chests, but its developers have still managed to keep the heart of the game intact.

Like last time, I spoke with CEO Yohei Ishii and Design Director Richard Liu, two of the snazziest dressed game creators I know, about all the new features, their hopes and plans for Super Senso and what craziness awaits players willing to battle a Senso.

Super Senso matches are fast-paced but also allow you to be methodical with your play. Each player has a giant robot, reptile or kaiju and five unit cards that can be customized any way they want. Using turn-based combat similar to Advance Wars , you spend resources to summon units and move them around the board, blowing up your opponent’s army and base. Obliterate your opponent’s Senso Gate, which is just a normal portal but branded better, and you win the game.

You can attack the Gate head-on, but Super Senso also allows you to earn up “Combo Strikes” after destroying enemy units. Earn three of these and you unleash a massive laser on the enemy gate; the more units you destroy on the turn the laser fires, the more damage done. The laser used to fill up a gauge in an earlier version of the game, but Liu said that was confusing for players so they reworked it into something simpler.

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Senso Gates hate lasers Photo: TURBO Studios

At launch there will be over 35 different units; Liu isn’t sure if some of the cats in suits of armor will be ready in time. Every unit has a cubey, geometric style that would look perfect shot out of a 3-D printer. Since my last visit, the hard-working people at TURBO Studios have been working tirelessly to make sure each unit looks and feels quirky but unique and useful. There’s no point in having a cool-looking black hole monster if nobody wants to use it.

Ishii said that “notable” characters from other IPs will be making guest appearances in the game, though he wouldn’t say which ones. I saw Shovel Knight, from the wildly successful platformer of the same name, in the background of a castle map last time I visited the studio. They did assure me that Pac-Man will not be one of the Sensos coming to the game, which I think is a major misstep. Pellet eaters can be giant monster to.

There are also seven maps ready for launch, ranging from an icy wasteland to a decimated Nevada desert. Super Senso’s maps used to be twice the size they are now, but the game developers figured out a smaller map makes each game shorter, but still fun. Liu promises there are more maps on the way, they “just need the time to make them.”

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Pick your units and build your army Photo: TURBO Studios

My favorite Super Senso map had to be the zombie apocalypse, filled with flipped over school buses and flaming garbage cans. It was modeled after the area in New York City around TURBO Studios’ office, if World War Z happened tomorrow.

Overall, Super Senso has grown dramatically over the last six months. The graphics look more crisp and vibrant, the menus are easier to navigate and the gameplay has become a lot more streamlined. Ishii assured me the game is still for “mobile game players and strategy game fans” who are looking for another game to play. Turbo Studios doesn't want to make the next Hearthstone , they want to make the first competitive 1v1, turn-based, “robot smacking a giant lizard” game.

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