Badlands Crew is a post-apocalyptic sim in the vein of Runner Duck’s Bomber Crew and Space Crew. Think of it as a cheeky Mad Max-’em-up.
The Mad Max-’em-up is a hazily-defined genre, largely because we just made it up. Or rather, British developer Rubber Duck has made it up, as it announces Badlands Crew – the latest in its Crew series of enjoyably stressful strategy-management sim hybrids.
Like Mad Max – in particular, the 2015 sequel Mad Max: Fury Road – Badlands Crew is set in a dusty post-apocalyptic world. More specifically, it’s about driving cobbled-together vehicles around in the desert, avoiding sandstorms, repairing and improving your battle wagons, and defeating rival factions in tyre-shredding combat.
Runner Duck’s previous games were all about constantly managing and planning your way through various crises, whether as the commander of a WWII bomber (in Bomber Crew) or as the Shatner-esque captain of an interstellar craft (Space Crew). Badlands Crew looks like a brilliantly logical continuation of the formula, with the vehicle management extended to a hulking battle wagon and its motley crew of drivers and warriors.
“We’ve taken everything we’ve learnt from Bomber Crew and Space Crew and are working on all new and improved features, which hugely increase the ways players can approach the game,” Runner Duck co-founder Jon Wingrove said in a press release. “With gnarly vehicle combat and its post-apocalyptic setting, we’re aiming to make Badlands Crew the most exciting and successful game in the franchise.”
The previous games’ antic sense of humour is present and correct, with the insistent nods to the Mad Max movies joined by a surprise appearance from those big worm-like things from Dune (or is it Tremors?). The trailer above also hints at some more detail combat/destruction physics than we saw in the earlier Crew games.
Badlands Crew is due for release on PC in 2024. Here’s hoping it’ll also get console ports in due course.
Read more: Stress and success | The Runner Duck story