Day 1057: Astral

Posted: 2013/10/02 in Indie Games

There is a genre of strategy game out there (it doesn’t have a fancy name, that I’m aware of) where you move your forces around trying to conquer a map. The game may be turn-based, and your forces represented by numbers on a hex grid, like “Proximity 2”, or it might be real-time and you moving troops around a map like in “Strategic Warfare: Conflict”. I’ve also played a Windows 8 game called “Roman Empire” that plays similarly. In the final analysis, though, the core idea is the same; move your numbers around from base to base, trying to take their bases, and trying to second-guess opponent moves so that you don’t leave a base nearly empty and vulnerable.

That brings us to today’s game, “Astral”. It’s the only one on the list that has several factions, and is real-time. Proximity has multiple factions, but it’s turn-based. The mix of real-time play, and multiple factions, changes it up more than you might expect. Instead of numbers, or marching soldiers, “Astral” presents planets with satellites orbiting them, and you launch your satellites on attack missions. Every satellite not orbiting a planet makes that planet a little more vulnerable, so you have to pay attention to enemy satellite movements to anticipate attacks. The graphics look good, the animation is smooth, the idea of planets launching satellites at each other is clever, and it’s easily worth $1 (or equivalent) if you’ve enjoyed a game like this in the past, or if you’re new to the (nameless) genre but interested in trying it out.

Here’s what the developer (FFT Studios) has to say about the game:

“Astral is a conquer-all strategy casual and ambient game. Enter this atmospheric journey through time and space. Trial version lets you play the first five levels.”

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