Jul 11, 2012

[Games] Strikefleet Omega (Android)

I was surprised to come across this game recently on the Google Play Store as one of the recommended free apps. But the promise of managing a small fleet of capital spaceships and support fighters seemed too good a deal to pass. Plus it was free, hello!

Not many free games preoccupy a lot of my time. More often than not I try a game for a few minutes or maybe an hour but then if it doesn't hook me I move on. Strikefleet Omega is one of those games that has managed to capture a LOT of my attention and I keep going back to it - including trying to replay earlier missions in order to win more stars.

But more on that in the review proper.

This game totally surprised me and I'm curious to see what other games the developer may come up with. Plus there's the consideration that sooner or later clones of the game are bound to come along, as is often the case for popular games like this.

Okay, I don't necessarily know if it's actually popular, but I liked it! Tough!

Strikefleet Omega is a mobile game developed for several platforms including Android. It remains free on the Google Play Store as the time of this posting.

You're an admiral in charge of the remnants of humanity's defenders - Strikefleet Omega. With the world destroyed by the Hive Queen and her Brood, the fleet is pretty much on its own together with the scattered survivor's of Earth. Thus you travel from system to system in search of the Hive Queen in order to stop her attacks and save the rest of the human colonies.

To this aim you start with a single ship - your flagship, equipped with a number of support fighters to defend it. As you continue your travels, you'll gain the ability warp in additional ships that can provide a variety of attack options. Your most basic carriers provide you with additional fighters to fight off enemy vessels. More advanced vessels provide alternate support vessels like interceptors and bombers or provide mining vessels that allow you to harvest additional resources so you can warp in more vessels.

In this regard the game reminded me a lot of the old PC game Homeworld with the whole survive against an overwhelming horde of enemies with limited resources. the rich variety of ships and the various options that each one provides makes for a very interesting play experience that sort of boils down to your basic rock-paper-scissors concept.

Controls are simple enough when you get down to it. Using your mobile device's touch screen, you select the ship you want to command (or its assets) and trace the flight path for the fighters or bombers to get to where they need to go. Should they encounter enemy forces along the way, they will engage those units until they are defeated and then continue on their way. You can revise your orders as you go along as more enemy forces arrive and you need to reallocate resources in the battle.

The game distinctly feels like shows like Battlestar Galactica or even big movie franchises like Star Wars. You have an interesting mix of capital ships and the unique smaller ships that they carry into the battle. Fighters are good against other enemy fighters and yet aren't as effective against enemy capital vessels. Some ships are best dealt with using unique fighters while others need to be weakened by artillery fire. The nice mix of these combinations and various ways to defeat the enemy makes for compelling strategic gameplay that provides for a lot of replay value.

You can also upgrade your ships using alloy points awarded at the end of the battle (but this is different from the alloy points that you harvest during the missions). These points are limited and are only earned as you are awarded additional stars representing your mission performance - a maximum of three per mission. That adds a decent way to limit the upgrades of your ships to scale with the enemies and it forces you to re-play missions in order to gain all stars and maximize your alloy earning. And you will reach a point that the enemies are just too tough and the upgraded ships will really come in handy.

The game also has game-specific currency to just purchase upgrades and advanced ships that you cannot purchase otherwise. This is one of the first times that I'm actually tempted to invest money in a game if only to get the advantage of those additional vessels. And since I'm stuck on one of the missions, well, the temptation is growing! And in this case, that just speaks of the quality of the game.

Strikefleet Omega is one of the most compelling strategy games that I've come across in a long while, and not just with respect to the Android system. It stands pretty solid on its own and is totally worth the time for playing. Thus I happily rate the game 5 waves of enemy vessels out of a possible 5.
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  1. nice review, on my way to my tablet :D

  2. Too bad I no longer play any other game aside from Ragnarok Online :(

  3. I think you might like Gratuitous Space Battles. Not free, though.

  4. I've created a new addict! LOL

  5. Um, well that's your choice. =P

  6. I'll look it up - thanks for the recommendation!

  7. I recently finished my efforts to complete the entire campaign with 3 stars in each mission. Now I'm trying to get the cheevos that come from survival mode. I would like to purchase more of the ships that require Mega-Creds but I am not willing to buy them so it means farming from saucer heavy missions. Can anyone remember the mission where the saucer was introduced?

  8. I'm pretty sure saucers started to appear around the Ripley System (1.8), however in my repeat plays I don't think the saucers span anymore. =(

  9. Game sucks!! How dare you label ships weak/fast and strong/slow then ask me if I want to pay for the fast/strong one?? What kind of terrorism is this!? I also wanted to farm megacreds however slow it may have been but they do not reappear.. :'(

  10. I agree that it's a neat little game. Look forward to the story continuing....was a bit disappointed at the lack of a showdown at the end of the campaign. Survival mode keeps interest going though.

  11. Definitely a strong core-concept. I'd like to see more from the developers in time.