Ever wonder if there is other life out there in the cosmos? Perhaps some civilizations are exploring the vast reaches of space, or even at war with one another. What if, during such a war, an errant shot from a planet’s defences missed its target and hurled itself out into space? Perhaps that very shot is coming into our own solar system, hurtling towards Earth, with us unaware of our impending danger. At least, that is what I was thinking when I made a huge miscalculation while playing the pre-alpha build of Interplanetary by Finnish based studio Team Jolly Roger Games.
Interplanetary is a hard science fiction, turn-based strategy game where you use artillery weapons from your own planet in order to blow up a rival planet. If you have ever played Tanks or Scorched Earth back in the day, it is very much like that, but on a much larger and complex scale. In this game, you must first build up your forces before you are able to begin chucking warheads across the solar system. There is strategy involved as you must manage a multitude of things such as building material, power, planet defences, planet armaments, and of course, your population. Your “life” comes in the form of cities; you must protect them at all costs while at the same time attempting to bombard your opponent’s cities into a smouldering crater. Do that, and you win. Simple right? Nope!
While attempting to destroy that one pesky planet, you must account for things such as planetary orbit, gravity wells, travel time, and other planets and planetoids as well as their respective orbits and gravity. While you do get a guide showing you how your shot will travel, it only takes into account the current state of the system. You must predict how your aim will be affected by other planets and the gravity of the local sun in order to get a shot to land perfectly. Science! Ballistics! Math! …My head hurts.
The pre-alpha version only comes with multiplayer at the moment, and AI opponents are not integrated yet to my knowledge, but it is planned for a future release. I loaded up the hot seat multiplayer and began playing a solo game. Although LAN and online support is there, I have yet to try them out.
Playing both planets did little to stifle my “strategy” since fired rounds may behave in unpredictable ways due to planetary influences. So due to this, playing both sides on a solo game still made things a little challenging. Before I knew it, hours had flown by, and I was still in the midst of a great war, firing shells, missiles, and even laser beams. This reminded me a lot of Scorched Earth where my aim, or lack thereof, can make games last quite a long time.
I am extremely impressed with this, considering it is only a pre-alpha build; it has quite a lot of gameplay and core mechanics already down pat. It is already a strong build in its current state – more than enough to convince any fans of artillery-type games or science fiction buffs. Team Jolly Roger have many plans for the future of Interplanetary, and I for one am looking forward to future builds and releases. Definitely keep an eye on this title in the future, and one in the sky for one of my off-the-mark artillery shots.
I may not be able to hit the planet next to me, but I guarantee the neighbouring solar systems have fear in their hearts whenever they hear my name.
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