We just don’t have enough old-timey arcade shooters on the market these days, especially none based on early 20th-century parlour game cabinets. Fortunately, Tribetoy and Beep Games are gearing up for a release of Bartlow’s Dread Machine on Xbox One and PC, which should tick the boxes for all of the above. Better yet, the launch is merely a few weeks away.

That’s right, Bartlow’s Dread Machine is cranking up the hype ahead of a 29th September release on Xbox One and PC. Set entirely within the confines of this titular relic from the dawn of the Electric Age, Bartlow’s Dread Machine places one to two players in the roles of government agents as they begin a series of escapades through New York, San Francisco, and all across the continent. Ultimately they seek to rescue the kidnapped President Roosevelt from the clutches of evil, but beware, because some truly sinister forces are at work here! 

The agents are mere metal figurines roving around on rails, bound to the clockwork gizmos running this contraption. These aren’t any ordinary tin toys though, as they have free rein on how to navigate these forking networks of tracks. Imagine Pac-Man if he were made of metal, wore a cool peacoat, and was packing some serious heat. Numerous sets made of wood and tin will unfold around you in real-time as you navigate this immersive puppet show. Prepare to encounter a cast of improbable monsters and historical characters as you traverse the high seas and beyond using trains, ships and even a fancy automobile!

Bartlow's Dread Machine gameplay

In the build up to the launch, the Early Access version of Bartlow’s Dread Machine on Steam has received an update, which features a new chapter of the pulp adventure and two more unlockable characters. The Canal Zone is the penultimate world, offering players another unforgettable scenario for our intrepid adventurer. You’ll get to embark on a journey through dense Central American jungles to reach Teddy Roosevelt’s pet project: the as-yet unfinished Panama Canal. There, our agent discovers that the excavation has uncovered a mysterious structure, containing untold horrors and dark magic. The main villain is waiting and serves up his most dreadful creations yet as our hero contends with both monsters and a series of disturbing visions!

“Working up to the climax of our adventure in Bartlow’s Dread Machine, The Canal Zone really brings the heat,” said  Matthew Hoseterey Co-Founder and Director of Design at Tribetoy. “This chapter of the story really throws all sorts of twists and turns at the player both from a story, visual and gameplay perspective. Expect the unexpected.”

The final game will feature a wealth of content including six worlds, 52 guns, and all manner of outfits to deck out your gumshoe. Get ready to unlock unique spins on historical characters, like Zombie General Custer and Annie Oakley too. You’ll also be able to drop in and out of couch co-op, which scales the difficulty per player to ensure a challenge is to be had. Luckily there isn’t much longer to wait as Bartlow’s Dread Machine arrives on 29th September for Xbox One and PC.

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