Giant robots are cool. Some of the earliest notable works of fiction involving giant mechanised battle suits might have been allegories for the follies of war and nationalism, but when you get down to it… giant robots are cool. A successful piece of mecha media either embraces that gritty war-focused side of the genre, or they lean into the rule of cool and just make giant robots do crazy stuff until your eyes glaze over. War Tech Fighters absolutely leans into the rule of cool, and even if the budget can’t always back it up, the game tries its best to be a pure embodiment of wild space mecha action.
War Tech Fighters is easy to pick up and play, thanks to the simple control scheme. You’ve got a light machine gun attack and a heavy ranged attack that both drain your stamina meter through use. That stamina also feeds into your thrusters, which you can use to zip across the map to avoid incoming attacks or get to mission objectives quicker.
It’s a basic set of tools that, on its own, could quickly get repetitive. Thankfully, there’s a fun execution system that feeds into your toolset and makes things a lot more interesting. When an enemy is low on health, you can fly right up to them and press a button to execute them, restoring some health and bringing your stamina bar back up. It’s a cool system that rewards you for getting up close to your enemies, and keeps your resources topped up so you can be constantly zipping around blasting baddies.
Another fun bonus of the executions is that they trigger a variety of wild animations of your robot brutalizing the enemy. Dynamic camera angles help ensure that you don’t see the exact same attack every time. The quality of the animations can sometimes be a bit stiff or awkward, but I still smiled every time my mech drop kicked an oncoming enemy ship.
These executions add a lot of personality to your robot, but even more personality comes in the form of the robust customisation system War Tech Fighters offers. Every part of your bot, from the shiny chrome head to the big stompin’ feet, can be customised with a range of different variants, colours and paint patterns. You unlock a huge set of different parts as you progress through missions and level up, but while there’s a lot of choice, most of it blends together. There isn’t a lot of visual variety to the parts, so I mostly found myself picking parts based on their stats rather than their looks.
A lack of distinct visual design is an issue across all of War Tech Fighters. From enemy designs to environments, the art design of the game is a bit lacking. Every asset screams generic sci-fi, and there isn’t really any kind of unique design aesthetic that helps the package stand out. Thankfully, though, the cheesy buttrock music present throughout the game adds some much-needed personality to the experience.
Graphical performance, on the other hand, is pretty stellar. The resolution on Switch, even when docked, looks really sharp. Framerate is smooth too, never dipping in my time playing the game. My only performance related issue with the game were the agonisingly long load times between missions and menus.
Still, despite a lack of visual personality, War Tech Fighters is always a blast to pick up and play. The simple gameplay makes it perfect for turning your brain off and just playing a quick afternoon session, and if things become a bit too mindless then the additional difficulty levels help add a bit more challenge to the game. You won’t stick around for the story or art, but you definitely will for the satisfying combat.