I've discovered that spending $10 dollars on a Starbucks latte and a pack of chicken nuggets provides an experience which is more entertaining and more satisfying than this game.
On the surface, the concept of this game looks good. Turn-based space combat...what can go wrong?
The reality is that the gameplay is extremely repetitive, with no customization, no real strategy, no tactical options, and no depth whatsoever.
The concepts employed here would make for a solid hex-style board game, but for a video game, they fall painfully flat. There is no tutorial of any kind to introduce the player to the game-world (leaving the player immediately immersed in a two-dimensional unbranded universe), with the occasionally commentary scene provided as pure filler. The little snippets of story mean absolutely nothing in the experience of gameplay.
....Getting down to the mechanics, under this thin veneer of a unique game-universe... The regular combat structure lacks any imagination, with just three basic combat techniques (lasers, missles, and AoE missiles) and a handful of special options. The mini-game required to aquire the crystals used for the special attacks grow old fast and are not worth the time or effort. The mothership battle card-based minigame is completely random and a defeat doesn't actually end the game---It really doesn't make much sense.... nor does the "search for life" mini-game, which has the same mechanics as the crystal hunting mini-game and no impact on the game itself. All of the mechanics of these gameplay elements are filler-pieces.
I've been very disappointed by PC sci-fi games in general... for the past 18 months, high-end "finished projects" were released in less-than-beta state (i.e. Sword of the Stars II---which to K and his team, was meticulously repaired and improved over the course of the following year), not to mention the painfully incomplete Legends of Pegasus, which set a new low for sci-fi titles (and bankrupted the studio which produced it). Spaceforce Constellations, sadly, is clearly a complete product (unlike the other aforementioned bombs), and it does actually work---no bugs, no hangups, no crashes, no leaks... but the complete product is a mono-dimensional waste of time---and in full 1920 HD, the combat scenes looks terrible.
As another commenter suggested, if this game were to be flushed extensively with variety----ship design options, ship equipment options to change both ship aesthetics and functional load-outs, a research tree to develop new equipment with which to customize those ships, and actual decision-moments in the game to shape the direction and outcome of this incredibly generic story (i.e. developing alliances with multiple plot-directions), perhaps this could be evolved into an experience worth playing. Such advancements would require a lot of effort and still might not be worth the price of a latte and chicken nuggets, unless the constellation-filler became more substantial than the mechanically separated chicken preferred by McDonalds for their tastey treats.
(If this developer has any sense, they would slim the game down and release it for free as a flash game. On the other hand, I've played better flash games than this.)
Posted: December 21, 2013