Friday, January 21, 2011
Aurora is a little RTS released a few days ago. At the time, and for 24 hours afterwards, it was free, but now costs $5 for the full version. Which is an interesting way to promote a game, though I am not sure if it is a good way. My first though was that being featured on the indie games blog, while still free, might actually doom the game to low sales. As who, interested in indies games, does not check that blog a few times a day? Personally I do not understand why anyone would not, but then I do not think that most people follow over 100 (mostly indie game related) feeds, so what do I know about what the average gamer does.
Anyways, back to the review. By little I mean simple and short, it should only take about one hour to beat all the levels and from the start all of them are available. It is separated into three difficulty levels, though I could not tell the difference between them. And each can be played both in Speed Mode and normal (quite slow) mode. All levels are simply an arrangement of stars with you, and two AI enemies, starting with a single un-upgraded star.
The gameplay is extremely simple: you win when you are the only surviving player, you attack by moving troops to occupy the same space as the enemy, and you produce troops by controlling stars. All stars start un-upgraded, but many can be upgraded (to produce troops faster) by sacrificing troops to it them. These upgraded stars are the only real strategy point of the entire game, as they produce troops faster, but take the same number of troops to take (which reduces the star back to level 1) making hit and run tactics a good strategy. Overall it is not too unique of a game, and is very similar to game such as Phage Wars with the main difference being the complete open world where you can send your troops anywhere (if only the AI would do this, or even just respond to this strategy).
I am rather divided on how to rate this game. While I ended up enjoying it quite a lot and finding it surprisingly addicting it is really overly simplified in my opinion. It is very low on content and is not very strategy oriented; What you see in the very first level is pretty much the entire experience.