Tag Archives: real-time strategy

rymdkapsel [Android] – Review

Currently available for a variety of mobile platforms, rymdkapsel is a minimalist RTS.
Currently available for a variety of mobile platforms, rymdkapsel is a minimalist RTS.

The third game from the Humble Mobile Bundle 3 that really clicked with me was rymdkapsel. I enjoyed SpellTower and Ridiculous Fishing a great deal, but I was engrossed with this game – more so than those two. I found the minimalistic design philosophies behind each aspect of the game to be quite interesting and executed wonderfully. As was the case with Ridiculous Fishing, I have had my fill of the game currently, but I imagine I’ll return to rymdkapsel before I return to Ridiculous Fishing.

Confrontation was simple, but I had to plan my approach out before things got to serious.
Confrontation was simple, but I had to plan my approach out before things got to serious.

rymdkapsel is a real-time strategy game with few elements. Initially, I started off on a miniscule space station with two minions and a handful of the game’s three resource types. I commanded the minions and expanded the space station using an intuitive and simple user interface. I dragged and dropped the tetromino rooms and hallways, aiming to develop the space station as efficiently as possible. Enemies attacked in increasingly larger waves as I attempted to complete the game’s three distinct objectives. Success was defined as researching all four monoliths, doing so in less than 45 minutes, and surviving 28 waves.

The different colored rooms indicated their purpose. The green outline is a room being built.
The different colored rooms indicated their purpose. The green outline is a room being built.

My gameplay sessions lasted forty minutes to an hour and it took me a few to even accomplish one objective. Now, as I discussed earlier this year, I’m not the most strategically inclined, so others mileage with rymdkapsel may vary. That said, when I failed I wasn’t distraught. I took my experience into the next session and applied a concept that made itself apparent to me or increased my management efficiency. Of the three games I’ve discussed recently, this was my favorite. The accolades it’s earning from Apple and Google are well-deserved.

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Eufloria – Demo Impressions

Peach Nehi is pretty good.

Originally released on the PC in 2009, Eufloria is a real-time strategy video game developed by Alex May and Rudolf Kremers, with Brian Grainger composing the soundtrack. I’m writing about it now because it was published on PSN earlier in the month by Omni Systems Limited. Eufloria’s visuals and soundtrack are minimalist and relaxing, contrasting the seemingly violent nature of the gameplay. I controlled seedlings and moved them from asteroid to asteroid conquering them and any enemies in my way. After a little research however (see: Wikipedia) I found out the game is based on a scientific theory of planting trees in space.

A broad look at a stage.

I played the demo for Eufloria and was immediately struck by the art design. All that was noticeable was a few round asteroids populated by small red flying seedlings and a tree or two. This was all set on fluorescent light bulb-like background, not space. The soundtrack gelled with the art design; it was sparse and calming with an occasional pickup in tempo and volume.

There were a handful of stages in the demo and I always began with at least one asteroid under my control already. My objective was to branch out and spread my seedlings far and wide. To get more seedlings I planted trees on the asteroids, which required ten seedlings, but these trees produced seedlings. These stages contained at most about ten asteroids so it wasn’t tough work, I’d just amass a large cadre of seedlings and move them around.

I did encounter enemies in the form of diseases. They looked just like my seedlings, only gray. They operated the same way so they had asteroids under their control to. To overcome my enemies I’d gather a large group of seedlings and overwhelm them by sheer number. This was a simple solution but it didn’t require much strategy. The final stage in the demo was tougher and led me to believe I wouldn’t always be able to win by numbers. Something I didn’t consider was the stats of each asteroid. They had unique strengths revolving around energy, strength, and speed.

This asteroid has a lot of activity.

It wasn’t hard to grasp what I needed to do in Eufloria so I was dismayed by how slowly the game moved, even with the speedup button enabled. Then again, I didn’t implement much strategy, opting to steamroll my enemies. That probably wouldn’t be a viable solution for the entirety of Eufloria, hopefully at least. I was impressed with the relaxed nature of the visuals and the soundtrack, and I enjoyed the simple strategy gameplay, but I’ve had my fill of Eufloria.

Links:

Eufloria
Rudolf Kremers
Omni Systems Limited

Toy Soldiers: Cold War – Demo Impressions

Is that Rambo?

Developed by Signal Studios and published by Microsoft Studios, Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a charming real-time strategy game for Xbox Live Arcade.

As the title suggests, I oversaw an army of toy soldiers fighting it out against the Soviets. I was tasked with protecting my army’s toy box from the enemy army. To do so I set a variety of weapon emplacements in predefined locations. As the oncoming army would march towards my toy box, my emplacements would take them out. If you’ve played a tower defense game before, you know what’s in store. I had to plan and often times think on my feet when picking out a weapon. Did I want a machine gun effective against infantry, or an anti-tank emplacement, etc?

I could also jump into one of these emplacements and control them directly, gaining bonuses as I got kills. At one point I was able to control a Rambo-inspired soldier who wielded a machine gun and a rocket launcher simultaneously as he spouted off one-liners. I was enamored with the management aspects of the battle however and didn’t take direct control often.

I liked the scenery around the battlefield.

I had a blast picking out emplacements and watching the enemy army advance on my position, only to fall to my army; this was rewarding. Being able to fight as individual units, such as the helicopter, was fun as well, but it didn’t compare to watching a plan come together as I hovered above the battlefield. Besides the gameplay, I just liked the concept of the game. Fighting on top of a table and seeing the room around me created a realistic sense of scale.

I really liked Toy Soldiers: Cold War. That said, some might find the game to be too simple, but I think it’s a great entry for someone who hasn’t played many strategy games. It was also easy, but the demo was set to the easiest difficulty. Besides those gripes, I really liked Toy Soldiers: Cold War and highly recommend it.