Gratuitous Space Battles Review
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Gratuitous Space Battles Review

Our Review by Dan Lee on April 16th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STELLAR
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A space strategy game that favours action over base-building.

Developer: Red Marble Games
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 1.56.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Gratuitous Space Battles is a spaced-based strategy game that puts the player in charge of not only controlling their fleet, but designing it too. The gameplay is fantastic, but the overall experience is marred somewhat by an unintuitive user interface, unresponsive controls and frequent game crashing.

Gratuitous Space Battles is aiming to up the pace when it comes to strategy games. Rather than building bases and mining for materials, the game very much focuses on full-scale galactic warfare.

The first thing the player will want to do when starting a game is design their own ships. Ships come in three basic forms – Fighter, Frigate and Cruiser – and can be customized in a large variety of ways when it comes to weapons, defences, power generation and crew number. It’s possible to spend an unhealthy amount of time creating the perfect (or so the player might think) fleet.

After this it’s time to head into battle. Each level has an overall budget that can be spent, and a restriction on how many pilots are available. It’s down to the player to choose a good range of ships while staying inside of the set criteria.

Tapping the start icon will see both the player’s fleet and the enemy fleet come to life and battle. The player is a mere spectator at this point; watching as the scene unfolds. If the player wins they will be given honor points which can be spent on new upgrades.

It’s fantastic, addictive stuff, and I have no problems with the gameplay. However, the game’s PC roots are clear as the user interface is very much geared towards pointing and clicking with a mouse.

The player will get used to it, but some icons are tiny and can be very unresponsive when tapped, and the whole layout just doesn’t suit an iOS device. The game would also crash for me after every victory.

Despite these issues I still had a lot of fun playing Gratuitous Space Battles. The gameplay manages to be deep yet accessible, and will draw the player in for hours.


iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Gratuitous Space Battles screenshot 1 Gratuitous Space Battles screenshot 2 Gratuitous Space Battles screenshot 3 Gratuitous Space Battles screenshot 4 Gratuitous Space Battles screenshot 5
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