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Steel Colosseum First Impressions

Steel Colosseum Gameplay

Steel Colosseum is now live on Kickstarter!

In case you haven’t heard, Zatu Games are taking the plunge into the world of publishing for the first time ever with their upcoming Kickstarter Steel Colosseum. Joining them on this venture is Needy Cat Games, the designers of Hellboy: The Board Game, who have designed the title.

Steel Colosseum will be available to back next month. Not only did I get to try out a quick game of Steel Colosseum, but I had the honour of demoing it for Zatu at Airecon back in March. Here are my first impressions.

I first had the pleasure of playing Steel Colosseum over Zoom with James Hewitt, one of the game’s designers, a week before Airecon. I had deliberately gone into this initial teaching without reading too much about it to avoid any expectations or preconceptions. James was both super friendly and the perfect teacher, guiding me through the game from start to finish.

Aside from the technical difficulties (all self-inflicted, of course), everything went without a hitch, and I found myself fully up to speed. Not long after this brief Zoom meeting, I found myself at Airecon presented with the shiny new prototype.

After only seeing digitally rendered tokens and figures, I was blown away seeing the game in real life. The attention to detail from the map to the minis was fantastic and standing over everything I felt like I was watching a miniaturised Robot Wars (just without Craig Charles).

The Buzz Of Steel Colosseum

Each of the robots looked distinct and unique and the board itself popped off the table with its fun colours and funky artwork. Before I could stand and admire the game for too long the convention-goers started pouring in, and there was a near-continuous buzz around the Zatu stand.

Steel Colosseum was the star of the show, and we were constantly talking to customers about it or demoing games. In between bouts with customers, the other Zatu reps and I managed to get in a few games, although I was resoundingly thrashed at each and every turn.

By the end of the convention, I was amazed at how much I had enjoyed Steel Colosseum. For a game I had been playing all day for three days straight, I was still eager to try out new sets of combos and different robots. Even without using any of the extra elements, such as buying upgrades, gameplay still felt fresh and fun.

Every person I played against had found a different way to play from the people who had come before, and I never played the same battle twice. I’m incredibly excited to get back demoing Steel Colosseum at future events and can’t wait to introduce even more people to the game.

Editors note: This blog was originally published on April 21st, 2022. Updated on May 17th, 2022 to improve the information available.