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Review: Eufloria

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the growing-on-you dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 121

eldavojohn writes "Eufloria is a strategy game made by independent game company Dyson. I bought it on the Steam service this weekend for $20 and was impressed that it is a visually and aurally pleasing game. It's a real-time strategy game, but isn't a rehashed Civilization or Age of Empires — it employs a different kind of mechanic to conquer. Like a lot of games that rely on novel game mechanics (Braid & Spore come to mind), part of the game's experience relies on you learning as you progress through the 25 or so levels. They will definitely push you to utilize different strategies and tactics, so don't read this review if you're already planning to play this game, as it'll most likely be filled with spoilers about developing a strategy. I give the game an average 6 out of 10 and would like to say that with titles like Braid and Eufloria out there, 'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'" Read on for the rest of his thoughts.

  • Title: Eufloria
  • Developers: Alex May, Rudolf Kremers
  • Publisher: Omni Systems
  • System: Windows
  • Reviewer: eldavojohn
  • Score: 6/10

The game's graphics and soundtrack are seemingly procedurally generated. If you find things like OS X and the Wii simple and aesthetically pleasing, then this game's for you. The very first thing I noticed was zooming. This game makes you feel as if you're staring at a petri dish, and you're capable of watching from 30,000 feet with little bugs flying around asteroids or you can zoom in and observe the battles the bugs are having. The music is very ambient and strangely soothing. Not only do your seedlings grow procedurally (depending on when you click the plant button) but the music seems to react to your movements and the commands sent to your guys. It's really an enjoyable experience that can make the hours melt away as you listen and enjoy the organic movement and music.

The gameplay is reminiscent to that of Risk ... except vastly simpler. The early levels basically run themselves, and it becomes increasingly complicated and more difficult. Multiple enemies, different kinds of weapons and decreased odds of winning slowly stack more and more against you. In this respect, patience is often a virtue as you grow more seedlings or wait for two enemies to attack each other, giving you a chance to win. Several times, however, my territory served as a battle area for the AI, destroying any chance I had. The early strategies being simple, I found myself employing a scout and move strategy to stay alive in later levels.

For what this game tries to be, it succeeds. The downsides of the game are more the additional features than a shortcoming in the design or the gameplay. As levels grew larger and more complex, I found myself staying at the highest possible view of my seedlings and conquered asteroids. It became a numbers game, with the strategy focusing on where to set up defense and where to set up offense. This becomes necessary to be aware of everything going on around you, but it reduces the graphics of the procedurally-generated trees and flights of your seedlings to blurry dots on the screen. While aiding you, it removes you from the things that make this game beautiful. An unfortunate side effect, for me.

Another flaw of the game is a pretty weak storyline. With trees and seedlings as your "actors," there's not a whole lot of human emotion and therefore the storyline (while containing a twist) seems weak and tacked on. Along with that, the game is short. You could squeeze perhaps 20 hours out of this game ... depending on how much patience you have. If you start doing bad at a level, you can always just start over and wait for the computer AI to slip up. The AI is not the best in this game. Several times the computer could have wiped me off the map ... but for some unknown, humanitarian reason chose not to. While that made it much easier for me, it sure destroyed my sense of accomplishment. All too often I got away with being very poorly defended.

The last complaint is a common one: no online mode. I imagine all my strategies would be revolutionized were I pitted against other players. When you play this game, you'll realize that it has a lot of player-versus-player potential, like the majority of RTS games rely on. And yet, there is no online or even LAN capabilities. Unfortunately, multi-player is not in the plans for Dyson's future.

Eufloria is a beautiful game and is priced reasonably. If you're an RTS fan, this game's for you. If you're a gamer who'd rather be planting bullets than trees, or a gamer who needs multi-player online play then this game isn't for you ... but it might be a nice break to steal away every now and then for a few moments of ambient music and procedurally-generated beauty.

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Dyson. (1, Insightful)

UseTheSource (66510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203148)

I bet this game never loses 'suction'! :)

Re:Dyson. (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203866)

That's why they changed the name. :) It's based on the Dyson Tree [wikipedia.org] concept, but they didn't want confusion with the vacuum cleaners.

Looking over how gameplay works, it kind of makes me think of "Masters of Orion", but, realtime, and with trees. Now they just need to make the enemies demand a tribute of negative money and create fleets of MAXINT or negative numbers of seedlings, then they'll be all set! ;)

For the record... (5, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203150)

Civ is NOT real-time strategy. Why should I take the rest of your review seriously??

Re:For the record... (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203226)

Mmm. Bear in mind we're talking about a regular Slashdot article contributor who can't even score a job as an editor, and that's on a site where the criteria for employment appears to be "Must not be beyond all reasonable doubt a small shell script".

Re:For the record... (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204474)

Mmm. Bear in mind we're talking about a regular Slashdot article contributor who can't even score a job as an editor

That's not really my goal ... do you assume every time you read "<someone> writes" that <someone> is trying to 'score a job as an editor'?

, and that's on a site where the criteria for employment appears to be "Must not be beyond all reasonable doubt a small shell script".

I assure you, sir, that I am twice the shell script you are! :-D

It all makes sense now. Why Zonk moved on to do something else. Why Soulskill rarely posts a game review (four or five in a whole year?). You'd have to be insane to write reviews for games on this site. So far the discussion has been about me labeling Civ as an RTS -- I'm sorry, my mistake! It's turn based! Or about how it's a review of my experience of the game (what more can a review be than the reviewer's own experience?). Or a discussion about my rating system (I thought I said 'average' before '6 out of 10'). No one's actually talking about the game. I hope that merely means not a lot of people have played it ... I did not realize I wrote such an uninformative atrocious crime-against-humanity review.

So much for casually writing game reviews!

Re:For the record... (2, Insightful)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204820)

The reason nobody talks about the game, is that you did not describe the game at all. And you describe it as "risk but simpler". How the hell can it be simpler then risk? What are the main gameplay points and what the hell is the game about.

Oh and what platforms does it run on. This one is importent. For all the jokes about "Does it run linux" the answer is (According to their faq) that Yes it does run on Linux. (And maybe on Os X too, but the faq is a bit unclear about that).

Re:For the record... (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203234)

Maybe he meant a real-time-consuming strategy game. Both of those games (CIV and AOE) have consumed more of my life than I'd care to admit.

Re:For the record... (4, Insightful)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203238)

Depends how you approach it. One would say that a pizza is a turn-based strategy game because its sliced in to pieces and you usually approach it one slice at a time, making turns for every slice. But what happens when you put two slices together? Or go wild and round the whole pizza as a tortilla? Turn-based strategy game turns in to a real time strategy game.

Just saying, there are multiple ways to approach a problem.

Re:For the record... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203586)

I think the only way your analogy could be worse would be if you added moral disgust to total absurdity by comparing gang rape to a turn based arcade game.

Re:For the record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203678)

Trying to play Risk is like being gang raped by a pack of rabid capuchin monkeys?

Speaking of Civ (1)

MaraDNS (1629201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203308)

Speaking of Civ...what's your favorite Civ variant. Right now, I'm having a lot of fun with the open-source [1] C-evo [c-evo.org]. It's a tiny Civ clone; the base game is 1.4megs 7zip compressed (without sound). Yes, this game fits on a single floppy. You'll need a second floppy disk to fit the sounds (about 900k). [1] The game is public domain with source code available, but the game is written in the proprietary language Delphi. No, it won't compile in Lazarus without work done on it; we've tried.

Re:Speaking of Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203534)

we've tried.

gollum, is that you?

Re:Speaking of Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203848)

What's a floppy disk?

Floppies (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204658)

Little square boxes or folders that hold round thingamabobs that holds them bits-n-bytes. Although they mostly *lose* the bytes they're meant to hold. I have a whole crate full at home. I even use them from time to time. I hope my bits are still in there, I want to play Master of Orion and Darklands (all 8 disks!) tonight.
[grumpy old man mode] Now get off my lawn! [/grumpy]
Whew, almost forgot to turn off grumpy mode. That would've been bad.

Re:Speaking of Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205788)

What's a floppy? And can you play this game from a flash drive?

Re:For the record... (5, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203602)

The review is not a review of the game, it's a review of the reviewer's experience with the game. Other than it being a real-time strategy game, he tells absolutely nothing about the game itself.

I can tell you about the game (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204008)

It sucks.

Need to know anything more? :D

More specifically the controls are awkward, and the game really doesn't seem to have very much to it. You just drag connections to circles. There is very little to do.

Re:I can tell you about the game (4, Interesting)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204528)

Terrible summary. You don't mention a SINGLE mechanic of the game. I thoroughly enjoyed Eufloria and its various interacting features: asteroids with attributes affecting difficulty of capture, distances that the asteroids can send your troops if you route through it, attributes the asteroids confer upon troops that each one grows, defensive trees, offensive (standard troop generating trees) producing eventual flowers that can be sent to ay asteroid you own to turn defense trees into bomb producers and offense trees into super troop producers, fog of war that is revealed through scouting.

You and the reviewer should be ashamed at how useless your contributions are.

Re:I can tell you about the game (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30207248)

You seem to be the right person to ask in the thread then...

What is the objective of the game/each level? Somehow, amongst all of the complaints/defending of the game/review, that still doesn't seem to be mentioned.

Re:I can tell you about the game (2, Informative)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30208654)

The game's standard campaign (contrasted with user-generated levels which I have not played around with yet, though there is a community of mission makers on the official forums) generally picks one of two criteria for winning. Depending on the mission, you must either:
1. Colonize every asteroid in the map.
2. Eradicate those species that are not your own.

You start off each level owning a particular asteroid, and you may have some seedling-generating trees and/or some seedlings with which to spread your colony, and perhaps you will have some defense trees as well. You start off with a fog of war that prevents viewing the particular objects on other asteroids as well as asteroids that are too far from territory you own. Up to an asteroid's total capacity of trees, you may spend ten seedlings and either sprout a tree to generate more seedlings or a tree that protects that one asteroid with homing missiles.

Given a single seedling, you may scout any other asteroid within range (one of the planet's attributes) of one of your owned asteroids in order to lift the fog of war, displaying all activity that occurs near the previously-undiscovered asteroid. Any number of seedlings may be commanded to take a journey through your claimed territory, and if they happen upon an empty asteroid, you can plant ten of them on it and one of either kind of tree that you may create is sufficient to claim the asteroid. If the asteroid is already inhabited, a battle will ensue. Your seedlings will now attack their trees and their seedlings! You may not use this asteroid to jump to another directly because you do not own it, but you may retreat, recalling your seedlings to an asteroid you own. If you succeed in destroying an enemy tree, your seedlings start infiltrating the root system of the planet, attacking its gradually-replenishing core energy. If enough seedlings are allowed to infiltrate to reduce the core energy to zero, you immediately gain ownership of the asteroid; the destroyed tree is now a seedling of a seedling-generator tree and all of the remaining trees change ownership to you.

The rest of the gameplay mechanics are smaller details: old seedling-generator trees will eventually produce a flower which can be used to upgrade any tree you own to make it produce super-seedlings or an exploding battleship of sorts, depending on which type of tree you upgraded. There is a cap to how many seedlings an asteroid will generate if left ignored. Attributes of the asteroid confer better speed or strength or infiltration efficiency to the seedlings generated by that asteroid. That's mostly it, though. I hope this is a good summary; the user manual is huge but I feel playing the demo and reading this summary should be enough to understand the game!

Re:I can tell you about the game (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30208724)

Sounds entertaining.

It really is a shame that this game isn't planned to be multiplayer, as it sounds like it has potential. That said, one of my roommates has been playing Mushroom Wars (I believe it is called), which is a PSN title that is an interesting take on the RTS genre as well, but we both feel that the game promotes defensive play way too much, which would make multiplayer absolutely terrible. So maybe it's for the best, or maybe Eufloria may not suffer from that, and something cool with multiplayer could happen.

Re:I can tell you about the game (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30209152)

Plenty worth the $20 for me because this is the first RTS game I've ever really enjoyed :) I would love to play a multiplayer version if ever one was developed; the concept of a "zerg rush" is foreign to this game off the bat due to the requirement of colonization of intermediate asteroids before being able to reach enemies that are not neighbors. The balance between defense and offense feels good; even a planet full of grown defensive trees will fall almost instantly to a large enough swarm of enemy seedlings, so you must have a defensive force of seedlings available in order to have a defense at all once the levels progress and colony sizes grow.

Re:I can tell you about the game (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30209256)

Sounds unique enough to be worth experiencing, at least. As a game designer, I'm certainly interested.

Thanks for all of the insight, by the way.

Re:I can tell you about the game (1)

mantis2009 (1557343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204858)

I played this game frequently for about a month. The reviewer clearly hasn't played the game for very long. While there are a lot of things to like about this game, it gets quite quite repetitive. Also, the AI is not very good. Once you figure out some basic strategy, the AI is no match for you. If the game had multiplayer, it be worth the $20. It's just too too repetitive to actually play for very long against the computer.

Re:For the record... (1)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203682)

How did the parent get modded up to five for such a rude, lazy comment? The line rodrigoandrade objects to is entirely incidental to the review and strictly speaking incorrect because the original article doesn't actually say that Civ is an RTS.

Re:For the record... (2, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203952)

How did the parent get modded up to five for such a rude, lazy comment?

Because pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes is not trolling.

The line rodrigoandrade objects to is entirely incidental to the review and strictly speaking incorrect because the original article doesn't actually say that Civ is an RTS.

The line heavily implies that Civ is an RTS, which is flat out incorrect; this, in turn, heavily implies that the reviewer has no idea what he's talking about. Add the fact that Civilization is one of the most famous video games of all time, and it becomes likely that the reviewer is completely ignorant of video games in general or strategy games in particular, and is thus completely unqualified to review a presumably strategic video game. Furthermore, comparing the game you're supposedly reviewing to a game you've obviously never played in your life is misleading at best and flat-out lying at worst.

Of course, there's also the fact that this whole article is a slashvertisement, but let's not go there...

Re:For the record... (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204014)

Read it again. He says Eufloria is a real-time strategy game. Then he says the Eufloria game mechanics are not in the style of Civilization. Those two statements do not imply that Civilization is a real-time strategy game. He later says Eufloria reminds him of Risk. Would you say then that he is implying that Spore is a board game?

Re:For the record... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204568)

You idiot! Spore is *NOT* a board game!

(Sorry, somebody had to follow the vaudevillian gag through to its logical conclusion.)

Re:For the record... (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30207994)

I'm more confused why he's trying to convince me to play a game that he rated a 6/10...

ANYTHING that I recommend to others, be it games or anime, usually is an 8/10 or higher. 6/10 is for the bargain bin games that weren't entertaining at all and only for the niche crowds that love X-style game.

Re:For the record... (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30208220)

Because his knowledge and impressions of Eufloria are not dependent on his knowledge of the Civ franchise?

OS X and Wii (4, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203178)

If you find things like OS X and the Wii simple and aesthetically pleasing, then this game's for you.

As long as you don't, you know, expect to actually run it using OS X or Wii...

Vastly simpler than risk ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203184)

"gameplay is reminiscent to that of Risk ... except vastly simpler."

Then it most probably ... vastly sucks.

"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'""... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203194)

...but 6 out of 10 equates to sucks, in my opinion :)

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203274)

Then you're part of the reason why every gaming website score system out there now range from 6 to 10 ... While anyone who understand basic maths get that 6 means "a little higher/better than average", people like you turned 6 into "rock bottom suckiness". You, sir, are an idiot.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203476)

No really - 60% is a D or an F. Not very damn good. If they mean some other scale, where 6 is "provides hours of fun, delightful to play and very engaging" then they should probably put text labels with them such that:

1 = this game is a shart
2 = this game is almost a shart, but the smell isn't as bad
3 = Not too bad, but the game only lasts about 20 minutes for your $60.
4 = This one is better, but the constant "loading" and bad video isn't the best
5 = Wow, this has great video and audio and lasts awhile but the game play is clunky
6 = This isn't rock bottom suckiness. We like it.
10 = ultra orgasmatronic or something.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203660)

0 is as bad as it gets.
10 is as good as it gets.
5 should be precisely halfway between the best and the worst, half of all games produced are better, and half are worse. I.e., average (or median for all you pedantic statistics geeks).

I guess it's a fool's errand to try to stop everyone from messing up scoring systems with absurd use of superlatives like "ultraorgasmic".

Perhaps we can start rating games like people rate eBay sellers:
"Great game! Would definitely play again! A+++++++++++++++++++!!!"

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203844)

That's the problem with providing a score (e.g. between 0 and 10) but not an explanation of what they mean. It's probably not reasonable to use the median because there are a lot of crappy games out there. So much so that it would probably inflate the scores of any reasonably hyped, passable game up to the 8 or 9 range.

Furthermore, the median only makes sense at a particular point in time. As an exercise, suppose that I release a large number of really crappy games--a number so large as to equal the total number of games in existence. All of these games are rated below 3. According to your metric, that would push up all of the rest of the games to higher-than-average scores. But no one's going to go back and review those game scores to correct them, and it doesn't change the fact that the games were still crappy to begin with.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204422)

Only if you assume a linear scale. Which, if you have any experience with game reviews, you must realize isn't true regardless of the claim.

From experience, game reviews are scored on a logarithmic scale with the baseline. Which ironically also actually fits how many of our senses work.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (2, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203782)

I thought it was 10-[rating] price drops before it's worth buying. So something rated a 1 would need 9 price drops before it's worth buying. Of course, most stores wouldn't keep inventory around that long, so you don't have to worry about buying those. It's the 4's and 5's (6 and 5 price drops) that you eventually spend $5 bucks on when you are drunk, bored, and broke just to have a new game to play.

And strangely enough, being drunk and bored is enough to make the game enjoyable.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204368)

You can't equate the scoring to school.

Letter Grades are how much you SHOULD be learning, and are completely independent on averages. An easy class means 90% easy, the average is higher. A tougher class means that getting 70% is tougher, and the average is lower.

Many Engineering students drop out because of how tough the classes are. A friend of mine, wrote his first exam in Engineering, and got a 35% on it. After the Prof Curved the grade, he got an A-.

In other words - when someone gives you a 1 - 10 scale, assume that the very center is average, and that each unit of difference is equal to each other (the difference between 6 and 7 is the same as 4 to 5 and so on). Don't go arbitrarily adding Letter grade reference points because those were designed for the very specific reason of grading students, and NOT video game reviews.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204996)

Mod parent up. As an engineering graduate, i can attest that i've taken exams where 20% was a passing grade.

if ( 5 == average ) ... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203798)

Even if the middle score (5, assuming you allow the full range of 0-10) means that the game is 'average', then 6 would be 'slightly above average'.

Which technically, isn't 'completely sucks', but when you have to decide between games that are near average, and those that are actually 'good' or 'excellent', it comes down to giving the average games a pass.

So, as both 'slightly above average' and 'suck' to me means 'not worth my time to play' and/or 'not worth buying', then yes, '6' and 'rock bottom suckiness' are the same.

(and it's not basic math, it's economics -- specifically, 'opportunity cost'.)

Re:if ( 5 == average ) ... (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204754)

5.5 would be average.

But it's a video game, everyone knows that video game reviews use the following scale:

1/10: Dear god, my eyes, it burns, and is made by a small company.
2/10: It burns, but they did give me the game.
3/10: It burns, but they did include some trinkets.
4/10: It burns, but they included cash money.
5/10: It burns, but it's a big company and I want them to send me more games to review later.
6/10: Game Sucks
7/10: Game is Below average
8/10: Game is Average
9/10: Who cares about the game, the hype is great.
10/10: Look at all the hype and advertising, this game must rule.

Re:"'independent' no longer equates to 'sucks.'"". (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204020)

Yeah, just like in school, where a 50 was right in the middle of the C range.

Oh, wait, no, 50-60 was a completely failing grade for the vast majority of my classes from kindergarten to grad school, except for a few anal-retentive types only half-educated in statistics who thought that the normal distribution was the only one in existence.

Euflooria (3, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203216)

I will always know "euflooria" term as a winner in the monthly neologism contest run by Washington, DC columnist Bob Levey. It refers to the sensation of being on the Beltway in free-flowing traffic when the other side is at a standstill in a traffic jam.

Re:Euflooria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204118)

ROFLMAO. Yes, I would agree with that... It is quite a gloatfull senesation.

Videos (4, Informative)

snarfies (115214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203228)

The images on the official website aren't loading (probably slashdotted already), but even if they were, I don't think I'd have had a very good sense of what this game looks like without a video.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBXpNpwDFzw [youtube.com]
Gameplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EneQefAchHQ [youtube.com]

Reminds me a little of another recent independent game, Osmos. Check it out at http://www.hemispheregames.com/osmos/ [hemispheregames.com]

Re:Videos (0)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203686)

Reminds me a little of another recent independent game, Osmos.

Hey, I just played the demo of that yesterday! Pretty neat concept and execution.

Re:Videos (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203762)

This review is worth it just for the link to Osmos. That looks like awesome, can't wait to get away from the desk.

Re:Videos (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204428)

"Osmos" looks like a modern variation of the old favorite, "Asteroids"; but at the cellular level.

"Eufloria" looks like a "Star Wars" version of single cell life at a pond.

They both look interesting to play, but my heart still thinks "Empire" is the measure. My settings on CIV4 are set to only one way to win, "By Conquest".

A cool abstract open-source game: Cultivation (2, Informative)

MaraDNS (1629201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203244)

For people who like abstract open-source games, Cultivation [sourceforge.net] is a very interesting tiny (400k, 300k 7-zip compressed) game. You need to grow a garden, mate, and have children to win the game.

Re:A cool abstract open-source game: Cultivation (4, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203428)

You need to grow a garden, mate, and have children to win the game.

Sorry, I am a slashdotter who prefers SOME plausilibity in my strategy games.

Re:A cool abstract open-source game: Cultivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203986)

abstract open-source fantasy game, how's that then?

Re:A cool abstract open-source game: Cultivation (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203734)

You need to grow a garden, mate, and have children to win the game.

Good thing that it is open source, because I would need to patch it a bit to fit my "need to's."

Steal the drugs from the neighbor's garden, non-committal promiscuous sex, and avoid pregnancies and venereal diseases.

I guess I could fork it, and call it something like "Defoliation."

Re:A cool abstract open-source game: Cultivation (4, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204912)

You need to grow a garden, mate, and have children to win the game.

It took me a few goes before I realised that was a verb. I was reading it in an Australian accent for some reason.

Civilization is not an RTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203326)

Civilization is turn based strategy, not real time strategy. Thank got, 'cause I had real time strategy.

Re:Civilization is not an RTS (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203962)

The difference between real time strategy and turn based strategy is the amount of time you are given to take your turn before it is skipped.

A turn based strategy gives you large or infinite time to plot each turn, while a real time strategy game may give you a fraction of a second. However they are, fundamentally the same at their core.

Learn to write... (1)

snkboarder (1364487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203504)

A) Create a logical thought process B) Why unnecessarily confuse readers? C) When did Slashdot become a place for crackpot game reviews? Isn't this supposed to be a news (or something approximating it) site? D) I'm trying to figure out what you mean half the time with all your squinting modifiers... E) Why bring up OSX, which this game won't run on, or conjure up the Wii, which focuses on hand gestures when this game does not, and is an unsuitable platform for RTS...?

Re:Learn to write... (1)

rainmaestro (996549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204612)

A) Okay, I created one. Now what?
B) Would it be better if he necessarily confused them?
C) A game review about a potentially up-and-coming game seems appropriate. Is this any different than reviewing a book? Besides, no one made you read it, and I'm sure some gamers out there found it useful.
D)Go back and read your post. Do you *really* want to be a pedant about sentence composition?
E) Did you miss the part about finding them "aesthetically pleasing"? He was clearly referring to the "clean" style of graphics found in Wii games and the OSX GUI. Oh, and BTW, the Wii console has had RTS games for at least two years now (one example: Battalion Wars 2).

May I suggest a follow-up post entitled "Learn to read..."? I'll even help get you started:
A) Read the entire sentence, instead of cherry-picking fragments.
B) Research helps you form valid opinions, and makes you look like less of a tool when you state them.

So... (1)

themightythor (673485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203506)

I'm not quite sure based on the review, but is anything procedurally generated in this game?

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204314)

Hi, we generate all of the art (font excepted) and pretty much all of the levels procedurally. Cheers! - Alex

WINE is not a VM (1)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203522)

From the demo download page: "You may have some luck running the Windows version in a VM like Wine." I would have thought that a game developer might be able to do a bit better than that.

Re:WINE is not a VM (2, Insightful)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203744)

Being a game developer doesn't necessarily mean they know anything about Linux, Wine, or the free software world in general. In fact, I'd say most game developers don't know or don't care about their game running in *nix. And for the few that do care, I forgive them little mistakes like the above.

Re:WINE is not a VM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204216)

Hi, we've now updated the download page to correct this line. Cheers. - Alex

"Spore's novel game mechanics"? Hah. (2, Insightful)

MORB (793798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203540)

The article lost any credibility to me when it mentioned the "novel game mechanics" of Spore, which is nothing more a collection of boring mini-games that are all simplistic and non-challenging versions of actual games, along with a glorified avatar customization system.

Re:"Spore's novel game mechanics"? Hah. (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203716)

The novelty of Spore's game mechanics is not the fairly simplistic action and strategy levels, but rather the creation of your own species and civilization and the automatic downloading of user-created content from all across the internet (massively singleplayer). The game is about being creative, sharing those creations, and having just enough fun to keep at it. I'm afraid you missed the point.

Re:"Spore's novel game mechanics"? Hah. (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205220)

Yeah but nobody would be complaining if they had actually CALLED it 'The Sims: in SPACE'.

When this game was in its early stages (1)

Grimnir512 (1449641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203572)

There was a Linux version available. Here's hoping that they make a release for the final version :)

DRM-Free Digital Downloads? (3, Interesting)

outlander78 (527836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203598)

Lately, I have become enamoured with legal, DRM-free digital download content providers such as gog.com (for games) and filmbaby.com (for indie movies). There are many similar sites, but they come burdened with DRM, which I am not interested in supporting or being bogged down by. Given the slashdot community's general dislike for DRM, and hopefully support for indie developers of content, I am hoping you folks can suggest other such sites. So - care to share any favourites?

Other games. (3, Informative)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203614)

Go get your googles:
  - Galcon, better version of the Stars! idea.
  - Gratitous Space Battles. strategic shop design
  - Mount & Blade. Medieval sandbox withouth termination date (infinite gameplay) with a awesome community (YES, there are a LOTR and German and Star Wars mods)
  - Plants and Zombies (there are zombies on your lawn)
  - Puzzle Quest

And If you want FPS arcade:
  - Tremulous (gloom like gameplay)
  - OpenArena (quake3 like gameplay)

Re:Other games. (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205710)

You made me vaguely excited when you said that Galcon is a "better version of the Stars! idea". Pity it isn't - after trying Galcon, I have to say that statement is equivalent to saying Risk is a better version of the Warhammer 40k idea. They're entirely different in terms of simulation scope and detail.

Honestly, it seems like Galcon is basically the same game as Eufloria, with a different skin.

Re:Other games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30207548)

That's Plants vs. Zombies.

And it's a fun little game. No DRM (not even a CD check!), no hassle, nice graphics, fun game play. It doesn't last very long, but it was $20 and you can get it from Wal-Mart, Target or wherever. I liked it.

"The Greening of the Galaxy" (3, Insightful)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203750)

This appears to be based on Freeman Dyson's essay "The Greening of the Galaxy," published in the autobiographic essay collection Disturbing the Universe.

He implies that the whole paradigm of current-model humans settling on Earthlike worlds is rather unlikely, suggesting instead tailoring life of all sorts -- including trees -- to live on comets and Oort cloud bodies.

(!sucks) == 6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203830)

So the overall score is a 6, indicating a barely passing grade or even a fail, depending on what standard you'd like to apply, but indie games don't suck? Mixed message much?

LGPL clone with Multiplayer exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203880)

There's an LGPL clone of this available, called Quantum [apistudios.com], which is written in Java and has working multiplayer.
Although I haven't actually played Eufloria, myself, it would appear that Quantum is pretty much the same.

Review Summary's Advie (2, Interesting)

Esteban (54212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203924)

Wait -- I'm not supposed to read the review if I'm planning to play the game?

What if I'm not sure if I'll like the game - wouldn't reading the review be a natural way to figure out whether I should try it?
I guess if I'm undecided, I am not yet *planning* to play the game, so I should read the review. Shoot, what if I read the review and it sounds perfect for me? I will have at the same time ruined the game by exposing myself to all the spoilers.

Dyson? (1)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204000)

Wasn't this one of the more popular free games around? I've played this for hours and it was totally free to download and play all the levels. It was super fun, and I'd have donated a few bucks if there had been someplace to do that... but 20 bucks? I don't think so.

Boobees? (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204234)

I'm confused, where are the pointless buxom three-dee graphics with realistic jiggle effects!? I can't see how this game could ever attract gamers!?

Uh what? (3, Insightful)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204540)

Reading that review was kind of like reading and reviews or something, I give it a 5 out of A. If you like games then the review. But it was good.

Age of Empires? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204578)

Didn't you mean "isn't a rehashed Warcraft" or Starcraft? These are the games that "defined" the genre, not AoE.

Re:Age of Empires? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205892)

Actually that term should go to DuneII, pretty much everything else has been a rehash.

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