gearhead: Saving the best for last

It wasn’t really planned, but it turned out that half of June was dedicated to console games — the good, the bad and the ugly.

Some of the best games I’ve seen at the command line rely more on storytelling, complexity or just clever design to compensate for a lack of graphic flair.

And no doubt you’d expect that from a terminal-based game.

Personally, over the years, I’ve learned to look for those better games, and hoard them when I could.

And while there are quite a few discarded first-year programming course homework assignments floating around some major repositories, there are some titles which are complex, intricate, detailed, engrossing, captivating … and darned near genius.

I’ve mentioned a few like that in the past — Crawl is a tremendous standout for me, as is Cataclysm and even Taipan in its own way.

Here’s the one I saved to close off the month though: GearHead 2.


That gif is completely unrepresentative of the game though. If you could imagine expanding on what you see by about a hundredfold, you’d have an idea of what goes on in the game.

The home page describes GearHead as “a mecha roguelike roleplaying game.” That’s an exceptionally terse description though, considering the number of plot directions, character interactions, economic influences, quests and combat details.

This is unfortunately one of those games that I have to leave you to discover on your own. If it was as simple as scoring points I could probably give you tips.

But this one is going to require more than just muching dots or solving a number puzzle. Be prepared for a long haul.

P.S.: There is a “GearHead 1.” I discovered that quite a while ago, was immersed for a long while, and managed to resurface a month or two later, wondering what year it was. 🙄 If you’re working with extremely low-end hardware, that first edition might be a better choice. At 150Mhz, I was getting vicious performance hits from the younger version.