Android App of the Week: Strikefleet Omega

Often games for mobile devices feel like bad ports from other systems or consoles. Take platformers for example; I don’t think platformers translate well to touch screen controls.

However, every now and then, you play a game which brings a fresh mechanic to mobile gaming. Sometimes that mechanic is so fresh, you’re not entirely sure what to call the style of gameplay.

So, let’s take a look at Strikefleet Omega, my all time favorite space-fighter-strategy-command-sim.

The story is instantly familiar. Humanity has been ambushed by evil bug aliens, most of the fleet has been destroyed, and you’re the commander of the last fleet. Humanity’s final hope. It’s pretty much the love child of Starship Troopers and Battlestar Galactica.

While the story might feel a bit trite, the gameplay is not. Borrowing elements from real time strategy and tower defense games, Strikefleet Omega capably makes use of touch controls on tablets and phones.

Each carrier-grade ship in your fleet has “abilities,” either firing¬†artillery or carrying fighters. As bugs attack your fleet, you draw paths for your fighters to intercept, and tap on where you want fire artillery.

As more aliens swarm, you’ll be adding capitol ships to your fleet and managing more and more groups of ¬†fighters. It’s an insane combination of airport management sims and RTS games like Galcon.

At the completion of each level, you’re awarded XP and earn credits that you can use to purchase new ships–or to upgrade the ships you already own. You’re also awarded Xbox-style achievements for the completion of certain tasks.

Gameplay is super smooth on dual core devices and the art style is clean–reminiscent of WWII era propaganda posters, art-deco design, and classic sci-fi influences. In a game where the amount of visual information might become overwhelming, the clean art style helps keep different units¬†identifiable.

Of course, as this game is a “Freemium” title, you can also purchase credits to upgrade faster, and there’s some controversy over a recent update to the game making it more difficult to accrue wealth without spending real world dollars.

On the whole, however, I’d recommend giving this app a download just to try out the gameplay mechanic alone. It’s a great example of touchscreen gaming–and while familiar in some repsects, is unlike any other title I’ve played on Android.

Strikefleet Omega on Google Play

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