Developer: Mecha Weka Publisher: Mecha Weka
Platform: PC Release Date: Feb 4th 2021
All hands to battle stations and return fire, sink that ship
I really love these small bit size gaming experiences that you just keep going back time and time again on a harder difficulties. I spent way to many hours playing games like Carrier Deck and Train Valley 2 then I would like to admit. Battlecruisers joins that group of trying to get 4 stars on every one of its 25 levels and that a good thing.
The story is set in the 22nd century, when Earth is flooded by rising sea levels and foes compete for receding spits of land. .The gameplay loop is pretty simple. Each side starts with an empty Battlecruiser that you have to build onto in order to defend yourself and launch attacks to destroy your opponents cruiser. Upon defeating the enemy you unlock a new piece of equipment or vessel design. Over the 25 levels the game features 7 boss fights. I have to say that I never noticed the difference between a boss fight vs a normal level. Maybe it could have been designed to give each boss a unique ability or one off ship design with much more firepower. Super Large Vessel that just build aircraft to defeat?
The equipment your rewarded with falls into five category's; factories, Defense, Offense, Tactical and Ultras. You start off every level with a empty ship and 2 builders and all equipment has a minimum number of builders to start construction. Most games start off with a made rush to get as many builders into play as possible to build multiple things quickly and repair damage.
The first level is a tutorial that quickly and efficiently introduces you to all you need to know. It holds your hand through the first encounter showing you camera controls and the starting equipment. Before long you are deflecting incoming rockets while launching ship and air raids on your opponent.
The reason future cruisers are important is that each design has a limited number of construction points for different equipment. You are limited to one ship construction port, two to three ultra or factory spots, couple of antenna spots, several builder spots and a mix of weapon spots. This leads to a good progression through the improving vessels and upgrades, you feel rewarded in some way for every level you complete. Eventually you will unlock all the ships and upgrades making earlier designs rather useless as the final cruiser as you may have guessed has the most build slots!
Lets break down the equipment a bit more:
Factories - Ability to Build Units
Ship Factory - Allows you to launch waves of attack vessels. Starting with a fast boat to longer range destroyers and man of war.
Aircraft Factory - Construction of bombers to target the enemy ship, fighter planes to patrol the skies, and anti ship aircraft.
Builder Bays - Used to increase the number of builders on the vessel. Some construction requires a minimum number of builders
Defense - Defend Against Enemy Units
Anti Ship Turrets - For attacking close range vessels
Anti Ship Mortars - For larger vessels that have the longer attack ranges
Anti Air Cannons - First unlock of air defense
SAM Battery - Longer range and more powerful air defense
Tesla Coil - The coil tries to hit incoming rockets from the other cruiser
Offense - Direct Attacks on Enemy Battlecruiser
Artillery - There is no defense to this weapon but the accuracy can vary
Laser Cannon - Fires a Direct beam destroying anything on the front end of the ship
Rocket launcher - Very powerful long range attack, but can be stopped with Tesla Coil
Tactical - Varied Equipment to benefit your vessel
Shield - Creates a shield dome around itself that covers about 50% of the vessel if placed correctly. Has limited life but recharges
Booster - Increase the build speed and fire rate of nearby equipment
Stealth Generator - Cloaks your vessel so the enemy can't see what your building
Spy Satellite - Gives you ability to see through cloak
Control Tower - Increases aircraft flight speed
Ultra - Best Equipment in the game with long build times
Deathstar Launcher - Launches a satellite in high orbit that can't be attack, requires destruction of the platform
Nuke Launcher - Once launched this is an unstoppable weapon and instant win
Ultralisk - Give you 10 builders at cost of large platform
Kamikaze Tower - Tells all aircraft in the sky to perform a kamikaze run
Broadsides - 3 Artillery in one unit
For the most part all the equipment is very well balanced as you progress through the levels. There is a meta that forms leading to at harder difficulties you have to build the correct equipment to counter the enemy. Is the enemy sending mostly aircraft? Then I need lots of anti air defense. The best strategy seems to be a strong defense is basis of a strong offense. On Normal difficulty you can out build and strike early in some of the levels. On hard you cant! A good example of this was when playing hard mode the computer first built a ship factory. I cant counter this quick enough so I built a cheap turret and just kept repairing it until I could build a strong enough defense and get to a position that allowed me to strike out with the most powerful units and ultras in the game.
After completing the levels once you get to use all your unlocks on try them on hard. This is a great way to encourage re-playability. As played the levels on hard it really shows that you need the latest equipment as the AI just has such a large advantage on build speed. But this also brings me to my biggest question.... How come I cant battle my friends? This game seems tailor made for it 1v1 last ship standing. The inclusion of the cloak suggest to me that at some point it was considered as it is useless against the AI. Here is hoping that it is added in the future as a free update.
Like I stated at the beginning this game has now joined the ranks of those relaxing, re-playable games that you just need to get perfect on every level. The art style being hand draw is amazing, the sound effects and meta is great in its execution. This small indie developer has managed to pull of a great start to this game.
Would I like to see more levels, unique bosses, and multiplayer. But for the price $5.99 I am easily going to get several of hours of fun mastering all the levels.
Rating - 7/10
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