I seem to be doing a lot of video game reviews lately. I suppose that's all right because I've come across some great games. Add another to the list: Eufloria, yet another indie game that I acquired through Steam.
The concept is fairly simple: you are in charge of a group of seedlings that also double as mini starfighters. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. You use these seedlings to plant what are called "Dyson Trees" on asteroids. These trees come in two varieties. One type produces more seedlings. The other deploys mines that destroy enemy seedlings. You are defending your little patch of . . . well, I guess an asteroid field from an invading sickness called the "Grays." You must wipe them out so the Growers can one day return to the field.
In terms of graphics and sound, this game gets by on very little. The asteroids are basically circles. The seedlings are simple, as are the different trees. Each level looks very much like the one before it. The sound consisted of trippy music, generated at random by some factor I never did figure out.
In terms of gameplay, things stay relatively basic. There is some variety in terms of what kind of seedlings your asteroids will produce (differing in terms of power, strength, and speed). I suppose there's a deeper strategy at work in these levels, but often it came down to sheer numbers. I would simply get a large fleet of seedlings together and crush my enemies under my . . . roots? I'm not sure how to make that metaphor work for giant space trees.
The "story," if it can be called that, isn't anything special. It seemed more like someone at the studio sat down and said, "Quick! Come up with something to tie all these levels together!"
All of that being said, this game is incredible enjoyable. There was something fun about watching the different seedlings zip from one asteroid to another, deploying their wings as they came into orbit. While simple, the game draws you in and keeps you playing.
My one gripe, and it is fairly significant, is the lack of a mid-level saving function. Once you start a mission, you can't quit it without losing all of your progress. None of the levels were all that long, but there were a few times when I had to give up halfway through a near win because I had to go do something in the real world. Being able to save my progress might have been nice.
So this is a fun game, a simple game, but a game that's worth checking out.