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Anyone else pick up this surprise "and it's available right now!" game?
Honestly, I bought it without realizing it was a procedurally generated roguelike, which is usually not my thing, so I probably wouldn't have bought it had I known, but I'm enjoying this one?
Basically it is a roguelike strategy game on tight little maps with a limited amount of turns. Each battle only really takes like 5 minutes or so. You're mostly just trying to survive and keep enemies from attacking the power grid (which does not replenish in between battles and when you zero it out you lose, though there are ways to get it back up), but each area has some bonus objectives too, and completing them is important for the upgrade system and, well, ultimately staying alive basically. You work your way through 2-4 islands (about 5 battles per island?) and then fight the main boss. Of course if you lose, you have to do it all over, but as long as one of your pilots survives, you can keep your upgrades.
It's interesting. Not sure if it is going to change my mind on roguelikes but I'm liking it so far.
GOSH DARN IT I LOST ALL OF MY PILOTS AGAIN. I need to be better at keeping track of which pilots are actually alive so I know which units to keep alive when things are getting iffy (when a pilot dies you get the unit back next battle, but with an AI in it.)
As far as I can tell when all of your pilots die and you lose you basically start from scratch. Though you do unlock new unit types sometimes, which I imagine are a bit better than the default ones? And those stay unlocked no matter what, so you can always start a run with the newest units that you have.
I've been playing on easy, which is hard enough. Though I did get to the final battle after a few failed runs. But it destroyed me.
The weird thing is you can go to the final battle after completing 2, 3 or 4 islands... but it says it scales, so there is really no benefit in doing more than 2 islands other than a high score. Well... that's not totally true, because the more islands you do the more upgrades you can get, which wouldn't help if it scales, but would help if you lose and start over with all of those upgrades. Maybe? Unless it scales based on how many upgrades you have and how many runs you have done and such, but it doesn't say anything like that, just that it scales based on how many islands you did. HMMMMMMMMMM. I'm not totally sure how scoring works considering you can keep looping through things but build your upgrades up more and more, which would presumably make it easier to get the higher scores.
Also it just dawned on me that in some cases it might actually be smart to take out the power grid yourself and lose before all of your pilots die, so you get to keep the upgrades...
I have 28 hors of it on PC and played with a lot of the different crews. The game is really fun but lacks variety after a certain point. And I wouldn't call it much of a roguelite, its more of a puzzle game where the puzzles are randomish every time. Its also fairly forgiving with the fact that once you beat an island you unlock that island and the next to start from when you die.
I'm a little confused about what unlocking the islands really does for the player. Is it just to add some variety, or would there be any real strategy to choosing any island besides doing the easiest one first? I guess it helps you practice the harder islands to just be able to go to them right away.
I'd definitely say it is a rogue of a sort, it's pretty tough (though probably not impossible) to beat it without losing and doing the time loop thing while keeping your upgrades for the next run. Add in the procedurally generated content and that fits.
Played through it about a month ago, and loved it, though as Pokefreak mentions, it's as much puzzle game as it is a tactics game.
I didn't struggle as much as you did, Andrew. I started on Normal difficulty, and my 3rd or 4th playthrough was successful (2 island victory).
It really helps to think of it as a puzzle game. You're really trying to find the optimal move each time. If each battle is 5 minutes long for you, you may be going too fast: I often think for more than 5 minutes before making a single move.
Before doing anything, you always gotta ask yourself a ton of questions. Like, an enemy will hit a building: can I kill it before that happens? Can I move him so the attack misses or, better, can I move him so the attack hits his friend? If not, should I get in the way of the attack? Can I push him to prevent an enemy from spawning on that tile next turn? Is this unit that I'm about to use to do this, the only one who can thwart some other enemy on the map? Etc.
Generally, you want your units not just to hit, but to accomplish 2 or more goals at once. Hit an enemy AND push him into his buddy, killing both. Get in the way of an attack to save a building AND where the splash damage will hit other enemies.
All this while making sure your pilots don't die. And accomplishing all the secondary objectives.
It can be done. You just have to spend the time to play out all the different scenarios in your head before committing to a move.