Day 509: Astralia

Posted: 2012/04/02 in Indie Games

Holy crap, this game is awesome. Where has it been all my life? “Astralia” is a top-down shooter, but with squad-based strategy elements. Think Asteroids meets Brothers in Arms and/or Full Spectrum Warrior. With a story that’s actually decent. I know, right?

You have a large scrolling playfield, and a squadron of ships at your beck and call. Arrange and re-arrange them to your heart’s content, depending on what the moment demands. You have to monitor your health and the offensive and defensive situation as you would expect, but you also have to monitor your “materia”, the energy source that powers both you and your enemies. Here’s where it gets kinky: you can mine asteroids for materia, but this is rather hard (though not impossible) to do in combat. This transforms combat from the traditional “mash the fire button mercilessly” to something more akin to the real world, where you have to watch ammo/fuel carefully. Getting that balance correct is the key to victory, and differentiates this game further from its peers. Hard to pass up an innovative 80 Microsoft Point game that also looks as good as this. I certainly couldn’t.

Here’s what the developer (Astroboid Games) has to say about the game:

“Astralia is “A Real-time Strategy Shooter Experiment”, a top down space shooter with RTS elements; in addition to your own ship you control a squad of drone fighters with multiple formations and weapons. You also get to manage a couple of capital ships that can be moved around to attack the enemy and can build other things like weapon platforms and bombs.”

  1. Astralia has been on my radar for a while, but in classic Writings of Mass Deduction fashion it didn’t sound half as appealing until you described it! Now I have to give it more serious attention.

    Are you aware of Project Delta? It’s kind of a top-down Elite. I haven’t played it enough to say how well it stands up to that comparison, but it interests me.

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