Planet wars is the kind of game you just need to have if you’re a tactics junkie. It seriously makes you feel like that tyrant you always wanted to be when playing games like Masters of Orion and EVE minus the depth and capital ships. Still, the style suits itself. The game is actually pretty damn cute for what it is. The main goal here is to defend and lash out against other neighboring planets in your system. There really is no peace option, if you try that route you are pretty much missing the point. This Planet Wars is not to be confused with Planet Wars or hell, Planet Wars both of which are probably better, or not. It’s a good thing non of them are popular, because think about it like this, can you imagine having more than one Angry Birds game? Oh wait.
This game is pretty fulfilling once you get past the whole “this AI is an impossible to defeat, ever-evolving enemy” phase that comes around as soon as you start maxing out the number of enemy factions or civilizations or whatever the hell, you want to take on. What’s really important is the controls for games like this and thankfully they are responsive. Planet Wars operates on real-time which means you are going to get your ass handed to you pretty often from the get go until you fall into rhythm. The problem with this game is exactly that though, it eventually gets systematic leaving you with only that sick satisfaction of easy conquest by the time you’ve had your fill. On the upside, the battles can be pretty intense if you have enough ships to throw around. There’s no outstanding indication of ship strength unless you manually check by selecting that particular set or model which will look the same as the rest. The reason this sucks is because the game is not turn-based and nobody has time to kick ass and be analytical over something that barely matters (you kill them with numbers) unless you’re some Sun Tzu space age prodigy.
The graphics definitely hit the standard and the animations are on point even though the little people aren’t that big on the screen. Planetary conquest is always nice but resources vary between small worlds, medium sized and larger ones. Obviously you really ant to snag a larger one, they take longer to orbit and attack continuously but the pay off is an increased amount of building space. The battles are literally just hurling ships at planets in large numbers while defending your own at the same time. You want to build fortresses to produce and maintain more ships while also leaving room for homes for increasing population, which in turn effects the amount of troops your empire can afford.
With a little bit of imagination this game goes a long way. Definitely worth it if you like a good challenge. Overall the game performs smoothly. There is a campaign but you might find it to be too tame. I would recommend the Lite version to get the feel for it before dishing out the two bucks. If only it let you hurl meteors instead, I suppose pilots that look like infants and planetary annihilation don’t mix very well.