Metal Waltz, also known as Panzer Waltz in Japan is a game developed by Shanghai JingCai Computer Software Development Co., Ltd. and was originally released on iOS and Android devices with a Steam PC release which can be found here.
Oddly enough, the splash screen states What’s Up Labs as the developers, so I wonder if this game was brought out by another company to keep it alive? Let me quote the game’s official Steam store page:
Military Strategy + RPG + Collection + Story. This is a story of the war between mankind and the tank monsters. The hope of the human relies on the girls, whose bodies have been rebuilt and combined with armor parts. All the girls are under your command. Lead your army, won the war!
“Lead your army, won the war”… yep, that’s definitely Engrish right there. Should be win the war, but well, have we already won the war by leading our army into combat? Let’s take a look…
Starting over as a commander, again…
While I don’t have any screenshots of this process so you’ll just have to take my word for it, I downloaded the game via Steam and launched it after it downloaded.
It wanted me to register, which I did. However, there is a bug in the email validation logic and wouldn’t accept any emails with things like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Apple’s Hide My Email service had generated one email address for me that had a hyphen and a period in it, which apparently was enough for the game to reject that email address.
As an unintended side effect, it also seemed to have banned the username I attempted to register. So it was time to pick another, I guess.
Once that was all said and done, it was time to proceed. Note that in this post I won’t be going into the details or inner workings too deeply, this is more a summary focused entry and sharing my thoughts.
Let’s start with the top and go clockwise. Well, before that, in the middle of the screen, that’s the secretary who is one member of your squad.
Her name is “Dorothy Kunnich” who is a Grille Ausf. K SPG from the German/Axis Tech Tree. She’s always sleepy, reminding me of Reizei Mako from Girls und Panzer.
However some of the character designs are questionable in art quality and some are Live2D animated which reveal some nice knockers – just take a look at one of Russian Heavy Tanks you get at the start of the game.
The Top “Status Bar” Row
Tapping the CMDR text will show your combat records. At time of screenshot, I was Level 6 and 7% away from levelling up to Level 7.
This is important since the game uses your commander level to dictate what you can and can’t do. For example, you might think you have access to a certain feature but nope – it’s locked away until you get to a certain level.
Next to the text area is your Silver (in-game currency), Gold (paid currency), Codon which is used for researching things and a button that would toggle the UI off, allowing you to have your secretary be there without menu overlays.
Unfortunately, that’s not available until I’m higher level.
Right side Column
From top to bottom, you have S&T which seems to be related to upgrades and shell items (High Explosive, AP Composite Rigid, etc).
Following this, R&D which basically is research and development tech trees for the Metal Maidens. The Depot is where it shows your resources.
Below that you have the shopping basket which is where you spend your real world cash for in-game items. Or you could just use the gold the game gives you from time to time. Taking a little look at the shop reveals some categories:
Bottom / Screen Edge Row
At the bottom of the screen, you have the big Sortie! button on the left which takes you into combat mode selection. More on that in a bit.
The base allows you to interact with different things in the base (get credits, mine resources, etc.) like as follows:
ORG, short for “Organize” allows you to do what it says: organize your squad…
…and OBJ, short for “Objectives” allows you to reap rewards from completed objectives.
Seeing the text abbreviated is a little weird but eh, it’ll do I guess. The “Refresh” arrows icon button changes the character you have as your secretary.
Last but not least: Left Side Column
- Your commander name
- Your rank which is 100 at the start of the game
- Information about the game’s latest updates
- In-game Guide (basically help menu)
- Chat system (which is dead mostly)
- Config which allows you to change game settings
- And lucky last, Correction is basically proof-reading mode for you to help the developers make the translation better.
Some screenshots of these options:
Let’s get onto the next topic… Combat!
You get a shell, I get a shell, everyone gets a shell. Give ’em hell!
Clicking Sortie will take you to the first menu where you’ll be asked to select one of three modes. Off the bat, you’ll only have access to two of them: Story and Clash.
Story Mode is well, as it says, story mode battles. You get some dialogue and then you have a battle sequence.
When entering battle, you’ll have mostly three different stages depending on the chapter and who you have in your squad. In my case, it was Shelling, Combat, and then Close Quarter Battle (CQB). Here’s what that looks like:
Unfortunately, that battle didn’t get to the CQB phase, but here’s a screenshot of another one and what the CQB thing looks like. Note the Apes and Raccoons.
Clash mode was not played, apparently it’s just fighting for zone control or something uninteresting.
And for whatever reason, the developers decided to have enemy Monkeys, Crocodiles and Lizards just to name a few as their enemy roster. What on earth were they thinking…?
At the end of combat, you’ll gain experience on the screen that tallies up the damage you caused at the enemy and the enemy’s inflicted damage against your girls.
If you are lucky enough to get a drop, the new Metal Maiden will greet you.
The next story chapter would then be unlocked, etc.
I know there’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t cover in this review as I’m already at around
1200 1410 1490 – screw it, I’ve stopped counting – words but as much as I find the characters attractive and appealing, I feel this game is a last-hope port to PC in an attempt to save it from becoming EoS (End of Service)/EoL (End of Life). The terms are interchangeable.
Some of the voice acting is rather repetitive like the attacking voice clips, but that’s to be expected from a game with probably limited resources. The game also apparently has Chinese, Japanese and Korean voice packs for the characters, so there’s that – probably budget constraints.
There are also some UI bugs and things that require multiple button clicks to confirm actions. The engine running the game seems to be a homebrew game engine, and the game has a working name of “Sherman” (which is the games’ executable name).
Overall, if you’re a fan of Mecha girls (or at least girls having the ability to wield weapons from WW1/WW2), then gives this game a shot in either it’s original Mobile or Steam port.
However, just keep in mind the mobile version can be a little difficult to find on the App Store. Look for Panzermaiden or Metal Waltz and you should be able to find it. It may also be region locked on mobile, and require the use of APKPure or QooApp on Android to grab it.
For me, I think I’ll give this another week and then put it back on the shelf. Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.