Mad Machines looks like Rocket League with massive armored robots instead of cars

The competitive multiplayer game Mad Machines sounds a lot like hockey—if hockey was played by "panzer-plated robot gladiators" using a giant, magnetic ball made of spikes instead of a slab of frozen rubber. Developed by Danish studio Hero Blocks, it features 3v3 action with a heavy emphasis on teamwork, and no small amount of bloodlust. (Yup, that's hockey.) 

Three models of gladiator will be playable in Mad Machines—the quick, agile Chopper, the massive, hard-hitting Viking, and the balanced, adaptable Ship—each of them protected by armor that can be damaged or destroyed during matches. As the individual armor plates fall off, the "puny stickman" inside the hulking behemoth will be exposed, enabling the competitor to be knocked out of the game—permanently.   

The similarity to Rocket League is obvious, but the ability to shred your opponent's armor and take them out of the game promises to add a fun layer of strategy: Do you play the puck or the man? Except in this case, instead of throwing a hip check at the blue line you basically have to punch out Megatron, which may or may not be the thing to do if everyone else is going for quality shots on goal.

Also interesting is that Mad Machines will debut as a "First on Discord" game. Announced earlier this month, First on Discord is part of the chat platform's move into game sales that grants it a 90-day exclusivity period prior to release on Steam, GOG, and other platforms. Given the importance of in-game communication, Hero Blocks said official Discord server has been built into Mad Machines as its "primary community hub."

Mad Machines is currently in closed alpha testing and undergoing a graphical overhaul, and is expected to make an early access release—First on Discord, remember—later this year. Check out a couple of new in-game screens down below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.