Considering that one of the first 'proper' games I made featured waves of pink/purple robots, and indeed given the name of the site, it would be remiss of me not to feature Chroma Squad just for the giant mecha you get to control and customize in some missions. Aside from that, it's a wonderfully fun little tactical RPG with a sense of fun and colour.
Lots of games go for a sense of humour with jokey one-liners and slapstick, but Chroma Squad is built around a fun concept that permeates the whole game (it does jokes and such too, which made me smile now and then, but no more than most games). You play a team of stunt men and women who start their own Power Rangers type TV show. As the player, you are in charge of first picking your five person team, equipping them, and then guiding them through turn-based battles that will make up a season of the show. The first and last episodes in each season are special extra-detailed missions, while the other episodes can be done in whatever order you like in between.
You operate on a shoe-string budget, and will be making much of your equipment yourself from such staples as silver tape, glitter, and cardboard (while store bought items may have better base stats, crafted items get a random bonus stat which makes every craft you do fun, and can give you some interesting choices about how to equip your team). This includes the mecha itself. In the same way, your missions often revolve around trying to film episodes cheaply, though there's more to the plot than the business itself.
I haven't played a huge amount yet, having completed a few seasons on normal difficulty (which I've found a good balance of tough enough to make me think a bit, but easy enough to not have to redo missions or get frustrated - for a real challenge, I think hard mode is the way to go). I especially like the Director's Instructions in each mission - they are basically extra challenges about how you fight the battles which increase your audience if achieved. The concept isn't new, but it works perfectly here, with some of the instructions tying in nicely with the plot of the episode - e.g. someone has been captured, so one of the Director's Instructions is to reach them with any character in a set number of turns. But they're behind a chain-link fence - you could run through a hole in the side, but it would make more sense to use the super boosting ability on your Assault class to let someone else leap straight over.
Teamwork is awesome, and the game is all about it. There's a big shiny button to activate teamwork, which stops the current team member in place and sets them up to help out others. What this means is that they will join in any attack on an enemy adjacent to them, but also that other team members can use them as a launch pad to jump a bunch of tiles! I've had more joy out of using my Assault class to send other parts of Chroma Squad flying around the map than from punching things. But it also works well as a tactical device, since as soon as a squad member is part of a team attack, they no longer serve as a launch pad, but until then there's no limit on how many people they can launch.
Naturally you can customize your team colours, names, and even catch phrases. This is what I mean by fun - and it all ties in nicely with the actual gameplay. In every mission, you start in your normal regular human forms. Activating your Chroma Power (or whatever you've decided to call it - Chromatize, in my case) will heal all your squad members, reorganize them into a close formation around whoever called for Chroma Power, and switch them to high power versions of themselves with special abilities. But, once you've switched, you can't change back, so choosing when to make the switch becomes important.
I might write more about the actual gameplay and campaign when I've finished it, but so far I've had a blast with Chroma Squad. I certainly wouldn't mind other people ripping off the concept, maybe going more in-depth on the management side, or allowing players to design their own episodes and such. It doesn't take itself too seriously, it isn't a huge undertaking to play a single episode (though you tend to end up playing several and losing track of time, of course), and I can't think of anything else quite like it right now.
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.