10 Min Space Strategy (2011 game) review…

10 Min Space Strategy (2011 game) review after the break…

10 Min Space Strategy (2011 game) review…

Sometimes, the highest praise that I can give to a game is to delete it off of my hard drive. The reason, though, is fairly logical – If I continued playing that game, I would inevitably die from deep vein thrombosis or any of the other myriad of conditions one would develop upon sitting down for hours on end. At the very least, the degradation of my physical condition would be akin to those “before and after” photographs police departments take of crystal meth addicts.

Only a few games have ever been deleted off of my hard drive for this reason. One such game was called “Spaceward Ho!,” an older space-themed turn-based strategy game that satirized both the strategy, space opera and western genres all in one fell swoop. It was a “casual” game back when such games were called “beer and pretzel” games and the designation is warranted – Unlike typical turn-based strategies at the time that required entire manuals to learn, “Spaceward Ho!” had the player conquering planets and building fleets of comically-shaped spaceships within moments of starting the game.

“10 Min Space Strategy” is a 2011 freeware game made by “The Goblin Lunatics,” a game developer from Hungary. The version reviewed was v1.02.

“10 Min Space Strategy” might not name “Spaceward Ho!” as an influence but one can’t help but think of the game as a spiritual successor, albeit a straight-faced one that dismisses the comical antics of it’s predecessor. In the game, you start off as a race of some variety. Each race has different advantages and disadvantages – Some start off with more ships, others can create special structures. To augment these initial advantages, you can spend points on a variety of additional traits that can help your race out even more – Perhaps they are fanatically loyal and will die to the last being or they gain knowledge from destroying space monsters on uninhabited planets. Once the customization period is complete, the game begins.

In “10 Min Space Strategy,” fighter ships are king.They can fly over asteroid fields and other galactic phenomenon in order to help your race and can destroy fighter ships from other races. So long as you can produce enough fighter ships, you’ve still got a chance to win any particular game. Bombers can clear a planet of a hostile population once the fighters are done wiping out the military and colonizer ships can repopulate a hostile planet or populate an uninhabited one.

The bigger the planet, the better – Large planets have four “slots” that various facilities can be built into. Want a massive population? Build four cities. Need a lot of fighters? Build factories. Want better technology? That’s what research facilities are for. Can’t wait to expand your empire traditionally? Build a support facility. Depending on your race, certain types of planets are better then others – There are water planets, lava planets, desert planets and others. You can inhabit all of them from the start but just like a native American forced to eat native African food or a native Russian forced to live in South America, it may take some effort to prosper.

The game makes no quarrels that the net result of your actions is the obliteration of your enemy – Peaceful co-existence only exists because the two of you haven’t engaged in combat on any particular turn.

Having played the game a few times, v1.02 might benefit from a few additional adjustments, such as:

  • Larger Playing Fields – Even the largest playing field really isn’t large, especially when loading up on all of the opponents. While it’s possible to increase the planet density, planet density changes the game play considerably.
  • More Planetary Names – I have found, on a few occasions, that planetary names were often repeated for more then one planet in the same game. Even if such an occurrence never happened, there doesn’t seem to be a wide variety of names to begin with.
  • Comparison with other Opponents – I know how my side is doing but what about others? While it’s a game play mechanic not to know much about your opponent until you meet them, I found that I missed knowing whether or not I was more technologically advanced then other races or if I held more planets or if I had more fighters then another race.

“10 Min Space Strategy” is a compelling title to play, not just because it evokes the memory of an earlier exceptional game but because it is an exceptional game in it’s own right. The graphics are adequate for the genre – While 3D graphics would make it more impressive, they simply are not needed here.

“10 Min Space Strategy” is not “Spaceward Ho!” but, to use an analogy – They are both ice cream, they are both delicious but they are made by different vendors and have different flavors.

I certainly hope that “The Goblin Lunatics” continues to develop and refine this game further and I certainly would encourage anyone who enjoys the turn-based space strategy game genre to give this game a try.

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