Game recommendation: Auralux, an interesting RTS.

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by Adama D. Brown, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    So a few days ago, I happened on a game in Google Play that I hadn't seen before: Auralux, which is a kind of real time strategy game. Except that it's unlike any RTS you've ever seen before, being more like an RTS meets a puzzle game. Since I generally love strategy games, I downloaded it. And my own jaded self is pretty damn impressed.

    You start off in control of one "star," like a sun. It produces a single mote of light--there's no other real way to describe it--per second. These are both your resources, and your units. Like I said, it's not like other RTS games. Your points of light can be used to capture neutral or enemy stars, upgrade your own stars to produce more motes (if possible), or eliminate enemy motes--all of which results in the mote's destruction. Hence, the puzzle-like aspect.

    The trick is choosing your timing, and your targets. Usually you have two other enemies, so if you can wait until they've just had a major battle, you can advance with less resistance. But depending on what positions you occupy on the map, they may prefer to attack you, instead of each other. It's a surprisingly tricky game. I've managed to beat all the levels in the free version, and I--hater of in-game purchases and upselling--am giving serious thought to paying the $3 to buy a few more map packs.

    On top of that, there's the sound--a strangely melodic mix of the actual soundtrack, and the fact that the "motes" make musical notes when they attack, resulting in something surprisingly pleasant to the ear. So all around, something that I thought was worthwhile enough to mention to anyone like me who was starving for good strategy-related games. It's available on Android and iOS, but it's probably best used on a tablet.
     
  2. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Thanks for the head's up; I'm always looking for quality games on Android. I'll check this one out.
     
  3. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    No problem. If you find any good strategy games, give me a heads up in return.
     
  4. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Ever played Eufloria? It's one of my favorite new strategy finds. I'm kinda done with it, but I had a lot of fun with it while it lasted.
     
  5. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    I tried Eufloria, but it didn't exactly do much to push my buttons. Maybe I just didn't get into it far enough, but the premise seemed kind of complex without exactly being as deep as I would like out of that.
     
  6. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Auralux has finally made it to the top of my queue, and I like it so far. Good thread, thanks for writing it up, Adama :newpalm:

    Eufloria is slightly more complex than auralux, but only slightly, they even cite it and galcon as inspirations. Eufloria came across to me as a wonderfully streamlined RTS, and Auralux obviously takes some of those same streamlines and goes even farther. I actually like complex RTS, but you know, not really on my phone. Half the time I play mobile games while I'm watching the news or waiting in line somewhere. A simpler game makes multitasking a little easier.

    It has so-called IAPs as you noted, but it doesn't look like that cheap nickle and diming stuff where you pay for 10 different kinds of in game resources and they try to turn your phone into an arcade machine for a quarter per play. It looks like mostly new maps, actual content. More in the tradition of paid DLC (downloadable content).* The difference is not subtle. When you design a game to work on IAPs, priority #1 is to pester people to make regular IAPs (in app purchases), mostly by creating so called core loops where players necessarily exhaust a resource and must replenish it either by grinding the game monotonously or paying to get more resources (imaginary numbers instead of content) instantly. In a game where actual content is being sold, priority #1 is to make the game awesome so people will want more content, and that makes better games IMO.

    Since the base game of Auralux is free, I've already bought a combo pack just to be supportive. IAPs are far and away the primary (and most annoying) type of mobile game monetization these days. I like strategy games especially and I'd just as soon pay up front whatever they're worth with a free demo version so I can be sure they're my cup of tea before shelling out. So when any developer bucks the normal IAP core loop trend, I'm eager to throw some money their way. This is a pretty generous free demo.

    *highlight to read footnote ->technically, DLC or downloadable content, is usually an in app purchase, or IAP, but culturally the two describe different systems of monetization and certainly not all IAPs are also downloadable content. The most popular/profitable IAP 'model' gives away content, new levels or minigames or whatever, and sells the resources needed to play/win the free DLC, things like gold, gems, plays, upgrades, powerups etc etc. Games that monetize on true DLC, in my experience, tend to be better, smarter and more rewarding games while the IAP games are annoying pesterfests that survive by trying to OD you on addictive little flashes and bursts and bonuses et al. The best IAP games are addictive like a pure caffeine energy drink and the best non IAP games are 'addictive' like a rich dark chocolate that I actually can get enough of in very modest amounts, but want more later.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2015
  7. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wardrumstudios.auralux2&hl=en

    The sequel to this game, Auralux Constellations is now out. I bought all but one of the level packs in the previous game and I'll probably do the same here. It's been a while since I spotted a mobile game I wanted to buy. This is a welcome sight.

    The graphics have been 'upgraded', though I think I prefer the older more minimal graphics. Gameplay seems to be built upon with a few new things added on top available in later levels, but to start off, the basic gameplay appears to be unchanged. And if it's your thing, there's online multiplayer too so you can play against people instead of

    Monetization hasn't changed. 1 free 'constellation' (which is about 10 levels, a decent demo), then it looks like they charge between $1 and $2 per constellation after that (though I think the first level of each constellation may also be a freebie). This is my preferred way of buying, as you can read above. Much less annoying than the majority of mobile games these days. Not exactly cheap, didn't look at the price for each level, but depending on how many are $1 vs $2, around $15-$20 total, though you obviously don't have buy all of them. If you buy all the constellations at once, it's $10 in a discounted bundle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    RickAgresta likes this.

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