In this game, firearms are all the magic you’ll need

At first glance of Aegis Defenders, with its robed teen hero and wizened old man duo, you may think, “Wow, what a beautiful 16-bit fantasy game!”

On one account, you’d be right. This game has an undeniably gorgeous, hand painted art style that redefines what 16-bit is capable of. But on the other you’d be dead wrong, because Aegis Defenders is much closer to a post-apocalyptic tale than anything fantastical. In fact, the only “magic” you’ll be wielding here are turrets and drones left over from an ancient civilization (spoiler alert: it’s probably us).

After humanity suffered some unspecified calamity, the world has returned to the dark ages in Aegis Defenders. Now, microwaves are considered dark magic and robots reign as demi-gods. You play as two Ruinhunters, seeking a legendary weapon called the Aegis, in order to save your new home from Shem (one of those aforementioned artificial intelligence demi-gods.)

The main thrust of gameplay features tactical, single-player co-op tower defense. The player must switch between multiple characters of unique classes, such as Clu the Hunter and her (yes, she’s a girl) grandfather Bart the Engineer. GUTS, the studio creating Aegis Defenders, plans to add an option for local co-op if they reach their first stretch goal on Kickstarter. Then all our postapocalyptic Secret of Mana dreams will have come true.