Day 762: VideoWars

Posted: 2012/12/10 in Indie Games

To most developers, “retro” refers only to the gameplay and the aesthetic. There might be tweaks and additions to a time worn formula, sure, but the gist of it would generally be recognisable to someone if you took your game back in time 30 years. “VideoWars” does something a bit different. It brings gameplay to the table that’s definitely newer than 30 years old, yet themes the game with retro elements. Let me explain.

The game is a real time strategy game, but with several differences. There’s no micromanagement of units here, you play the general and give orders on what to create, but from there your interaction with individual units is at an end. Because, you know, real-life generals don’t have time to tell an individual unit where to go. If the area they’re built in is under attack, they’ll defend. Otherwise they’ll go on the attack. It all feels organic and real, and let’s you focus on the overarching strategy rather than spending all your time madly clicking on tiny units and telling them to go grab resources.

What’s the retro element, then? The different factions (and, by RTS standards, there are a lot of them) are mostly themed after classic games of about 30 years old (give or take a couple of years). There are factions inspired by Defender, by classic Tank games, by Robotron, by the ghosts from Pac Man, and more. Only the zombies faction feels like a nod to modern gaming. Arenas also have taken inspiration from classic titles three decades ago, such as one that looks like an enemy from Space Invaders.

This game is definitely trying to attract a breed of gamer who likes streamlined, not to mention fast and furious, gameplay. Definitely more Halo Wars than Starcraft, though Halo Wars did sell 2 million copies so there’s undeniably a market for this kind of game, “VideoWars” is an easy recommendation for 80 Microsoft Points.

Here’s what the developer (Baaad Dad) has to say about the game:

“VideoWars is Arcade Real-Time Strategy – it’s fast-paced and easy to pick up and play so you can get right into the battle. It’s got smart units that you don’t have to micromanage. And it’s got lots and lots of nuclear combat, with all of the style of the arcade classics. Try awesome arcade strategy today, with VideoWars!”

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