by Lily Leach
Steampunk… It’s difficult to define yet, when you see it in the media, you immediately know what it is – there is that feeling, that inkling, that this story, this film, this book is all about a post-apocalyptic future that imagines an alternative to the Victorian age, or even the American Wild West of the 1880s.
And steampunk is gaining in popularity. Although still a fairly niche kind of market, steampunk is growing – so much so that mainstream media is now taking hold of it and using it to their (and our) advantage. What was once the preserve only of a small number of fans is now reaching out across the world, and that means more and more films and games.
Where can you find steampunk in the media today?
Steampunk isn’t one genre exactly; it’s a number of them combined to create an entirely new idea. So mixing steampunk and horror makes sense – a lot of sense. So much sense, in fact, that there are now entire films dedicated to exactly that. One of these is the 2015 movie Crimson Peak. This ghost story is a beautifully depicted struggle of the mind versus the ‘real world’ and is a must-see for all fans of Gothic horror and steampunk.
Victor Frankenstein (2015) stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, and is told from Igor’s (Radcliffe) perspective. It is a frightening insight into how a monster is literally made, and that madness that came with it.
Another fantastically realised movie that has many steampunk as well as horror elements is ARQ. This was released in 2016, and revolves around a pair of scientists who find themselves caught in a time loop. Will the couple be able to save humanity as they battle against time itself?
As well as movies, gaming has really taken steampunk to its heart. One new and exciting game is the online slot Steam Punk Heroes. There are lots of different characters and plenty of gadgets and gizmos to utilize here as you enjoy the possibility of winning a hefty jackpot. It’s an impressive looking game, and the playing power itself has it all – interesting graphics, fantastic bonus games (triggered by finding three of more ‘steam punked’ symbols on the reels), and the chance to activate two enormous steampunk themed gears every chance you get. If you like the sound of that, you can try new online slot machines here.
Alternatively (very apt when discussing steampunk), there is Machinarium. This is a game all about a little steampunk looking robot, who needs your help finding his missing body parts; he woke up in a junkyard without them. It’s a fun game to play with lots of twists and turns making what might seem like an easy concept into something much more challenging.
Finally, there is Bioshock Infinite. It’s completely in the steampunk genre, meaning that the city of Columbia is now floating, but it is coupled with Victorian fashions, steam-powered machines, and murderers lurking around every corner. Fast and frantic, this one will keep you on your toes.