Real time strategy has been an issue for tablets. Building defenses, building units, controlling groups– it’s difficult to develop a touch screen interface that can adequately interact with all of that activity.
Until a developer can solve those issues, RTS will remain a simplified affair for most gamers. That’s not to say though, that simple can’t be beautiful.
Auralux takes a graceful approach to galactic combat.
At its core, Auralux is very similar to one of my other favorite Android games: Galcon. There’s only one type of unit, and you control planets. Each planet produces more units for you to fight with. You can use your units to attack the enemy or to capture new planets.
While Galcon strives for an aggressive tempo and matches tend to take less than a minute to play, Auralux takes its time.
The entire game floats. Units move slowly to their destination, and everything seems to be tied to a subtle, minimal, ambient music bed. When units collide and fight, musical twinkles alert you to their progress. The entire battle pulses with color, sound, and haptic vibration. It’s like an RTS on trance music, and matches can take 20 minutes to play through.
The game employs a very detailed particle animation for units, and the app is currently only available to Tegra devices. It plays gorgeously on both the Transformer Infinity and the Nexus 7.
Really my only complaint is the lack of a multi-player mode. This could be a really interesting RTS to take head-to-head against human opponents.
I’ve played several variations on this game mechanic, and Auralux has the most original tone.