Genre: Turn-Based Strategy / X4
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Absolutely Yes
Disclaimer: Game is in early access, so lots of things are going to change.
About the game
Space Tyrant is an interesting mix of 4x strategy game and roguelite. Your aim is to conquer the galaxy: you move your ships through the universe to capture the planets, combat enemies and encounter all sorts of random events as you keep capturing new bases.
The game process is the following: right now, you get to choose a side, then you have the “universe” map shown: you can assault one of three galaxies, while the fourth one is being locked away. Then, you are moved towards the galaxy where you have to complete a specific objective: capturing planets, acquiring wealth, researching new technologies. You choose a commander which determines what kind of a special ability your ship is going to have. It also gives you some mini-objectives for the mission that can influence your play style: completing them makes you stronger, you can get a special powerful cards that can be used on the galaxy map. You direct your fleets through “paths” between planets, and if they encounter another fleet – the battle starts.
The battle itself is pretty simple: two fleets stay opposite to each other and exchange fire. The targets are chosen randomly. Each of your ships has a special ability that they can use on the click. . (each side has only 4 purchasable ships (+ a few bonus stronger ones), but those 4 get upgraded as you play, adding stats / improving their abilities). The chosen hero also has a special ability like meteor strike or thorn wall that influences the battle. In addition to that, you get an active special effect of your choice at the start of the battle (think of it as a random mutator, like small ships deal 2x damage, destroy all fighters, and so on). So yes, while this sounds simple, there’s plenty of space for decision making.
If you got confused by that – that’s totally cool. In fact, this is what makes the game interesting. The mix of different things that you can do. What makes it even more impressive is the fact how tutorials are made: those are the sequences of small videos that gradually introduce you into the game as you play. Instead of reading walls of text, you’ll be watching small videos that introduce you to the game.
Only a few things hurt my experience: At the moment of writing this review, there’s no difference between clicking with left / right button. So when you pick an ability (i.e. death ray) and want to cancel using it – right click will actually trigger it the same way as left click.
Another thing is lack of battle targeting: sure, you influence the way the abilities are being used, but it’s frustrating not to be able to pick targets. I’ve lost one game 6v2 when 2 enemies didn’t do much damage, but kept regenerating shields and my fighters picked targets in worst possible way: 3 were firing at one ship, 3 – at another. The shield regeneration outlived my fighters so I had nothing else to do but slowly watch their demise knowing full well that I could win this had I been given a chance to rearrange targeting.
Every mission playthrough takes from somewhere around half an hour for smaller maps to an hour and a half for bigger scenarios. Overall, Space Tyrant is one of those “I’ll play 5 more minutes” games that eats your time at tremendous rate because it’s so engaging. Plenty of unlockable content and events even in the current early access state, I can confidently recommend the game for its gameplay to those of you who want to experience cosmic strategies but don’t have days to waste on a single battle scenario.
Feature Image taken from the game store page, here