Nintendo has done a lot of trading on its established characters, with plentiful games starring Mario, Link, Kirby and their ilk. It's even done pretty well from putting them together in the likes of Smash Bros. A brand new idea from Ninty is a bit harder to come by, though.
With Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., however, Nintendo has really gone all in. The game stars a cast of literary and historical all-stars, ranging from a mech-piloting Abraham Lincoln to the lion from The Wizard of Oz to Moby Dicks Queequeg. To make matters weirder, they're tasked with repelling an invading army of Cthulu-esque aliens. To put another twist on it, the whole thing is styled in a manner not dissimilar to the art of the late comics powerhouse Jack Kirby, one of the founding fathers of Marvel's superheroes.
The game also twists some genre conventions on their head. It blends third-person action mechanics with strategy elements. But, where in a strategy game you'd normally be looking down on the battlefield with a commander's-eye-view, here you're peeking over the shoulder of one of the characters. This limited view makes knowledge a vital commodity, and you'll need to deploy your weapons (such as explosive penguins or pumpkin mines) with care.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is, it's safe to say, quite bonkers. It's also generous and very, very fresh!