Monday, 2 September 2013

Preview - Conquer Mars

Do you remember the days before the Web? When after a long hard day in the computer lab, using a piece of sophisticated equipment like a Silicon Graphics Iris workstation, programming with Iris GL (the precursor to Open GL), you wanted to go home and have little computer gaming fun? No? Sit down kids. Let me tell you a story.

After such a long day of programming graphic primitives, all you wanted to do is relax. You'd pull up a favorite like Command and Conquer and build a nice little base. Your own little world. The AI might start to amass its weaponry and feebly attack. It might not. Then one day you decide to have a LAN party.  A few guys bring over their computers, you put down your roll-playing dice, roll up your sleeves for a little head-to-head action, and like usual, you start building your little base. Bam! Wait a minute? You're attacking me? With everything at once? You're supposed to give me time to build my little base! Your buddy has played multiplayer before, and he knows how to win. He's rushed you. You've just been taken to multiplayer RTS school, and your buddy just gave you a wedgie and took your lunch money.  It's a new day in the world of gaming.  And... It... Is... AWESOME.

Maybe you remember those days, maybe not, either way, Conquer Mars presents this rush EVERY TIME YOU PLAY. This is no sit-around-and-admire-your-fort RTS for your grandfather. This is an action RTS.   Sure, there's a mode for lightweights when you play against the AI.  You can call "time out" to build your units before attacking, but even then, once you do, you had better get your W-A-S-D hand ready.  This is not your grandfather's RTS.  

The game play is simple enough for casual players and intense enough for veteran gamers.  You have a base.  You have a handful of units with different abilities and costs.  You build units as fast as possible.  You attack the other bases in order to occupy them.  It's simple, and yet, there may be a few strategies yet to be learned through trial and error.   
There are a few negatives.  If you're looking for more contemplative game-play, this is not your game.  This is not a simulation, adventure, or crafting game.  This is not a fort building game.  There are no intricate dependency trees.  You can upgrade, which means, "buy more death for your enemies."  So, unless you're in the mood for pulse-pounding unit-building mayhem and insanity, you might want to try another game.  For adrenaline junkies with a strategic bent however, this could be just your thing.

The Alpha is already polished enough for some great game-play.   Check out their Fundraiser for more information.  Their funding campaign hasn't exactly taken off yet but hopefully it will.

Preview by The Bit Priest.

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