A time traveler from the future was stranded in Victorian England, and his knowledge of yet unknown technological inventions was passed to the Royal Society, headed by Baron Fortesque. With the help of this knowledge, Fortesque managed to construct an immensely complex artificial intelligence known as the Chaos Engine. However, creation rebelled against its creator, assimilated its mind, and turned Britain into a war zone populated by mad machines. Mercenaries are willing to enter this dangerous place and put an end to the chaos, hoping for an appropriate reward.
Chaos Engine (Soldiers of Fortune in the US) is a run-and-gun overhead shooter. Sixteen levels (in four groups of four) await the players in the game. The basic gameplay is similar to Gauntlet, but in an open air setting, with bridges across rivers and other features in the maps. The visuals are in the 'metallic and blue' style Bitmap Brothers appeared to favor.
There are six characters available in the game, each with different strengths and weaknesses, and different starting prices. In two-player mode each player chooses a character and plays co-operatively, but in one-player games the player also chooses a character for the computer to control, with its artificial intelligence allowing it to open doors, pick up power-ups and take on enemies away from the ones occupying the player-controlled character.