An intriguing strategy game – enjoyable and ambient, but it feels rather simple, despite all its options.
Eufloria HD Review
by on January 3, 2013
It’s a strange kind of strategy game that insists that you kick back, relax and try not to feel too much pressure, but then there’s a lot about Eufloria that’s unusual. It’s a game where you control plants that grow on asteroids in space (with little regard for the basics of photosynthesis, seemingly), and have to defeat opposing plant armies. Your forces are made up of Seedlings, which grow on Dyson Trees. The Seedlings grow on Dyson Trees over time, but are also the resource used to plant the trees in the first place, meaning that early on in levels, you’re constantly judging whether to sacrifice 10 Seedlings to add another tree, or whether to keep them around for attack and defence.
As you progress further through Eufloria, there’s a constant flow of new things to learn and abilities to use, which are introduced at a perfect pace, meaning you’ll never feel overwhelmed. However, although you’ll be confident in how to use all of the options provided for you, whether you actually need to use them is a different matter. For example, it’s possible to only send certain kinds of Seedlings to an asteroid, here the idea being that in order to take out an enemy’s Defensive Trees, you might want to just use your most potent attackers. But we never found it necessary to do this – simply hurling all our forces at once always seemed to be the most effective way of doing things. The further you get into Eufloria, the more it starts to feel like a game of spamming – even that delicate balance of whether to plant trees or save your Seedlings feels less important, since you’ll often be taking several asteroids within the first minute of a level, or you’ll find it too difficult to get a foothold later. In addition, the actual difficulty curve can feel a bit off at times, with some levels seeming like a huge step up from the previous one, while some presented little extra challenge at all. However, this could be contributed by the fact that parts of the game are procedurally generated.
It’s to Eufloria’s credit that it still had appeal, even after overwhelming force became our tactic of choice. The art style really is beautiful, and only becomes more striking as the game goes on. It’s a smooth and mesmerising game to watch (which can lead to your downfall, if you’re not paying attention), regardless of whether you’re playing the easier ‘Relaxed’ mode, or if you go with the hardcore option. But then we discovered that waiting, as well as actually playing, became an equally important part of the game. Building up the forces for an attack means a lot of jabbing the fast-forward button, and waiting to see Seedlings build up around your asteroids. Of course, the fun part comes after the waiting, as you rampage, bursting enemy Seedlings in flowery puffs. But, for us, it meant that at certain points the game felt like too much of a time investment.
As an ambient game that still presents some difficulty, Eufloria is a great: sink into a sofa, stick a film on and start invading asteroids. But as a strategy game, we think it involves a little too much waiting for a very simple payoff – even if that payoff is fun.
Download this app: Eufloria HD for iPad
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Review courtesy of Tap!