Gratuitous Space Battles Game Review by Matt Bird
Game Rating = 3/5 Balls
You have to admire a game like Gratuitous Space Battles that doesn’t bother to sugar coat its premise with a fancy name. Players know exactly what they’re getting the moment they load up the demo.
Gratuitous Space Battles is the story of a galaxy in turmoil. Several factions are battling against each other for domination of known space, and… well, that’s about it, really. There isn’t an ENORMOUS back story, and what exists is pretty stereotypical of the genre. Given the game’s sense of humor, however, you wouldn’t expect much else.
Gratuitous Space Battles is more about the battles anyway. Who cares WHY these races are fighting so long as they ARE fighting? All that matters by the end of each battle is that your ships outnumber theirs. Pretty simple math.
At first Gratuitous Space Battles looks like a real time strategy game, and to an extent it is. You’re given money to deploy ships, you choose ships according to your personal strategy – they range from small, fighter-type things to massive cruisers – and, after you give them orders, you send them out to slag the enemy. Unlike most RTS games, however, you don’t control the ships during combat. They react according to your orders before the battle. All you can do is sit back and watch the fireworks.
It’s not a horrible idea. But at the end of the day, despite all the ship customization you can do and the missions you can play, Gratuitous Space Battles is just a massive screen saver. There’s far too much watching and far too little interaction to make the game really fun, let alone a worthy purchase. Even a slight amount of control during the battles would greatly bolster this title’s credibility, but as it is Gratuitous Space Battles isn’t really a game.
If nothing else it looks nice. The graphics, displayed on an overhead zooming map, are gorgeous for a program of this size. The battles are lots of fun to watch as the ships are all neat looking, and despite the amount of activity on the screen there’s seldom any slowdown. It’s also chock-full of humorous moments as your pilots bemoan their dead in combat, usually in the most inappropriate ways possible. You’ll often pay more attention to the dialogue at the top of the screen than the actual combat.
A worthy idea, yes. A game, though? Not really. Gratuitous Space Battles is fun to watch, but only for a little while – and when you get tired of not participating you’ll wonder why you spent the $23. Toss in a teensy bit of control and this score will skyrocket.
You should get this game if:
– You like Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Wars or any other space dramas
– You like explosions
– You’re a lazy gamer
You shouldn’t get this game if:
– You want control
– You detest sitting back and watching
– You’re looking for a quick-paced challenge
Positech Games, a one man operation, created Gratuitous Space Battles.