Tumbleweed Express
The Dirigiballers, LLC

The Hype: At Boston FiG last weekend, we had the pleasure of talking to Jake from Dirigiballers, who is the Lead Designer for Tumbleweed Express. Their game is part Steampunk Railshooter and part Tower Defense. Players will take on the role of a train conductor who has to fight back against various outlaws and shrewd business tycoons.

The team at Dirigiballers have been working on this title for around three years and currently have a Kickstarter campaign where they’re looking to raise funds for various expenses like software licensing, taxes, travel, etc. The basic structure of Tumbleweed Express is to complete missions and use the reward money to purchase upgrades. Various items can be purchased in-game to make your steam-train a true force on the rails.

In Reality: Tumbleweed Express might be a little rough around the edges as the game is still in Alpha. But there is promise here for gamers to have a fun gaming experience. We enjoyed upgrading our train with various attributes such as armor, turrets, extra box cars, and the essential Marshalls and Engineers. These guys will keep your train running and with any luck take out a few enemies as well.

Gameplay: Due to the fact the game is literally on-rails, the controls are very streamlined. The train will move on its own but you’re responsible for targeting the enemies and firing upon them while maintaining some semblance of order with your box cars. You’ll be responsible for assigning how many engineers will be in each car as well as what turrets to use and whom best to unleash upon.

Conclusion: Tumbleweed Express is a fun albeit simple experience. The team at The Dirigiballers are putting an interesting twist on the tower defense genre by mixing in their brand of on-rails steampunk action. We’re curious to see how the game turns out with more development time. There are some kinks to iron out but they do have an interesting premise. We look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

For those who wish to hear more about Tumbleweed Express, you can press play on the player below to hear an interview we conducted recently with Jake from The Dirigiballers. And once again, please check out their Kickstarter page.