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The skies are populated by zeppelins, large battleships and flying fortresses. In this age of steel, the Motorhead Empire has conquered and enslaved almost the entire planet. The last free nation, the Republic of Silverhead, tries to bring the Motorhead Empire down using its newly developed weapon, the lightning bomb.

Apart from its unusual Steampunk setting, Steel Empire is a fairly traditional side-scrolling shooter. At the beginning of every level, the player gets to choose between a striker plane and a zeppelin. While the plane is faster, the zeppelin has a longer life bar and can therefore sustain more damage. Both ships use the same standard weapon, which can be fired forwards or backwards, as well as bombs that are released automatically while firing. Also available is a limited number of lightning bombs that damage or destroy all enemies on screen.

Defeated enemies often drop power-ups, including hearts that replenish health, lightning bombs, bonus points, 1-UPs, options and experience points.

Options are small "drones" that fly alongside the player's ship and mimic its behaviour.

Experience points can be collected to level up the ships' weapons (up to level 20) and thereby increase their fire power.


The Steel Empire Game Boy Advance Piston boss
The Steel Empire Genesis Using a lightning bomb
The Steel Empire Game Boy Advance Level 2 - Start
The Steel Empire Genesis Title screen

Promo Images

The Steel Empire Concept Art Original unaltered airbrush rendering by Marc Ericksen used for Western cover art.
The Steel Empire Screenshot
The Steel Empire Screenshot
The Steel Empire Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "鋼鉄帝国" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Kōtetsu Teikoku" -- Japanese title
  • "Empire of Steel" -- European title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Genesis May, 1992 90 out of 100 90
GamesCollection Genesis Sep 21, 2010 8.5 out of 10 85
The Video Game Critic Genesis Jan 08, 2001 B 75 Genesis Sep 26, 2012 15 out of 20 75
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Genesis Jun, 1992 9 out of 12 75
Joystick (French) Genesis Apr, 1992 72 out of 100 72
Video Games Genesis May, 1992 63 out of 100 63
FNintendo Nintendo 3DS Jan 06, 2016 6 out of 10 60
Power Play Genesis Jun, 1992 56 out of 100 56
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) Game Boy Advance Aug 29, 2005 5 out of 10 50


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Title block

Marc Ericksen, the illustrator who did the cover art for Sega Genesis Steel Empire, also did the title block, spelling out 'Steel Empire' in scarred and pitted steel letters, embedded on a metal base with a turn screw apparatus on the leading edge. The title block was used on the package and in point of purchase applications as well as on a poster for Steel Empire.
Contributed to by Harmony♡ (20372), Mobygamesisreanimated (11180), Ms. Tea (7248) and Macs Black (80156)