Who needs backstory? Who needs resource-gathering? Diplomacy is so last year. Gratuitous Space Battles cuts right to the chase of sci-fi strategy games, and deals with large, completely unjustified space battles between huge opposing space fleets.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (410 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 16, 2009

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Gratuitous Space Battles

Packages that include this game

Buy Gratuitous Space Battles - Complete Pack

Includes 6 items: Gratuitous Space Battles, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Tribe, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Order, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Swarm, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Nomads, Gratuitous Space Battles: Galactic Conquest

Buy Gratuitous Battle Pack

Includes 2 items: Gratuitous Space Battles, Gratuitous Tank Battles

 

Recommended By Curators

"This is a fun game that I totally and horrifically suck at, but that's completely my fault and not the game's. :)"

About This Game

Who needs backstory? Who needs resource-gathering? Diplomacy is so last year. Gratuitous Space Battles cuts right to the chase of sci-fi strategy games, and deals with large, completely unjustified space battles between huge opposing space fleets.
Gratuitous Space Battles combines the visual appeal of an RTS, with the addictive unit-placement and design gameplay from tower defense games. In GSB, the player does not control individual ships at all during battle. The ships fight to a pre-determined set of orders and formations given to them by you before the battles.
GSB casts you as supreme space admiral, tasked with the design of individual spaceships, and the composition of your fleet, as well as general orders of engagement. This is not a twitch-based real time arcade game like many an RTS, but a game of careful thought, planning and big-picture strategy. Huge space battles can be won or lost depending on just how cleverly you balanced the needs of defensive shielding and armor against the expensive punch of laser cannons and plasma torpedoes.
GSB also features an innovative multiplayer challenge system. You can upload your ultimate fleet to serve as the enemy to other players, and keep track of how many other players have won and lost against your challenge. That way, you will never run out of cunningly designed enemies to battle against!
  • 4 different unlockable player races
  • Over 40 different ship hulls
  • Over 120 spaceship modules
  • Choice of skirmish vs AI, never-ending survival mode or play against other player’s fleets with the online challenge system
  • Play with different rules as each battle has different spatial anomalies to deal with.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
    • OS: Windows XP or Vista
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz processor
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: 3D Card with 128MB video memory
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB
    • Sound: Any
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel 1 Ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB
    • Graphics: 32MB video card
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
The game incorporates interesting ideas and concepts, but the presentation of those is lacking. Even though you got a lot of customizing options, your choice doesn't have a severe enough impact on the battle result. As soon as you figure out the best setup for each ship and how to combine them, the game is a sequence of repetitive space battles you watch in fast forward.
Posted: October 24
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
As a standalone game (without DLC), Gratuitous Space Battles is mostly just an excercise in optimization - it isn't especially difficult to beat most of the missions with a generic all-around fleet, but you are only really rewarded for doing it with the least amount of cash.

The issue is, the feedback on how well you are doing is... lacking. There isn't a sandbox mode to quickly test fleets against each other, the after-battle graphs are impenetrably thick and there's no explanation I found for what "most effective" means, especially considering different weapons will have different uses (e.g. anti-fighter versus anti-shield versus anti-hull).

It's frankly a bit more of a mess than it needs to be.
Posted: October 13
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
39.6 hrs on record
Crunch number, win highscore.
Posted: October 10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Good fun
Posted: October 16
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
DO NOT PURCHASE THIS GAME! I am warning you now. I have purchase the entire game with all of the DLC's. I uninstalled the game once, to actually play this game you need to enter your cd in the online part. If you have done this once and unistalled your game it does not save and you will not be able to play the game any more. I repeat do not buy this game. Other than that the game was really fun :/
Posted: October 7
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
It was ok. Can't continue because I just lost interest.
Posted: October 5
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.3 hrs on record
A fun game with a surprising amount of depth. If you like free-flowing space battles with lots of customization, this game is for you.
Posted: October 1
Was this review helpful? Yes No
21.6 hrs on record
This is such a nice, laid-back game to "watch," that I wish it was an app on Roku for casual viewing -- much like the various fishtank and fireplace apps on Roku. It would be fun to just leave it on, in self-play mode, and passively watch battles! Very cool idea that reminds me of the final battle in the movie "Serenity."
Posted: September 26
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
64.4 hrs on record
Played this one quite a bit. I really like the concept, but the execution is just slightly lacking. The ability to customize is fantastic, as is the ability to order around your fleets. The problems are:
  1. Differentiation between races and outfits is too slight. Huge swings in stats/price could lead to things getting unbalanced (and the one race that's the most different is unbalanced), but the gear on offer is just too similar to other entries in its category (of which there aren't that many). If you get a shield that's advertised as 'fast-recharge', but has a recharge rate just a tiny bit higher than the standard one, it's kind of disappointing. Likewise if you switch to a new faction to discover that aside from ship classes and small passive ability, their only advantage is a single racial outfit that's (again) almost identical to the standard one.
  2. A game that's essentially a management sim has to have decisions to make, tradeoffs between cost, power, weight, etc. This game has those in spades, except for the problem above. But, it also has to have careful balance, so no one linear strategy (always get the cheap/expensive stuff, just spam A, etc.) dominates. I would assert that the game fails this second test. Due to eccentricities in how damage is calculated, it's possible to build a 'tank' ship that's almost invulnerable to attack. Combine that with the prevalence of (arguably) the game's best weapon, a multi-warhead missile launcher with the best range and striking power available (and because of the multiple warheads, it handily defeats the point defense system options - and did I mention missiles have infinite ammo?), and you have a recipe for an intense stalemate. If you avoid such degenerate tactics, the game can be fun, but I would rather see exploitative things nerfed out of existence.
  3. Playing the campaign mode is the most enjoyable for me, once everything's unlocked. But the mac version is buggy, and I've been unable to get it to work properly. It'll play the standard campaign fine, but won't load up either of the other 2 maps. The whole point of any TBS style 4X game (which this expansion turns it into) is the variety in the randomized map and different factions, etc., but this game comes with exactly one galaxy map to try and conquer (later patched to 3, but that's still too few, and as noted, they don't work right). There is a user-created program that will make randomized maps, but only for the win version apparently.
  4. Oh, and lastly, combat is entirely non-interactive (you're basically watching a movie of how well your forces do), and it maxes out at 8x speed. Fine, except that your fleets start far enough apart and often move at such glacial speeds that it takes a minute or more of staring at wallpaper peeling until they make contact.
So, I wanted to like this more than I did. It's still good, but falls short of greatness.
Posted: July 7
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun simple simulation game for people who spend and enjoy a little too much time in the ship builders in 4x games. While the game is very simple to jump in, there is more then enough nuance and depth to it where you can sink more time into it then you realize and be enjoying every moment of it, but due to 'fleet management' aspect it can be a little too much for those who would have trouble in the challenges, luckily those are barred off from the main game, though their version of 'galactic conquest' has many ships which have been developed by the community and can lead a person to developing new tactics and skills is sadly behind the microtransation wall. If one is to buy the game, I would recommend the complete edition as it provides everything you would need. I would recommend the game however to anyone still as it's fun to sink a few hours here and there into. and for the price I've never felt really jipped.
Posted: May 18
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Never played something like this before. You basically design your own ships, then the fleet formation & then give them specific orders before the battle. After the battle have started you can't do anything, just watch your fleet go nuts or burn, unless you toggle a specific option, which is less fun.
Posted: May 20
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Worth getting when it is on special. Fun little game that jumps right to the combat portion of a game encounter. It doesn't have a lot of depth, but then it doesn't pretend to. Easy/fun to play, but quick to get old.
Posted: May 26
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
145.6 hrs on record
GSB is a mixed bag. Some people will adore it, but even i will agree that it can get a bit dull after awhile. I also agree that the game is horribly overpriced. However, the game is good for a rainy day (or a sunny day, if you live in a cave like me), and can be pretty fun if you want to get away from the in-your-face action of FPS games. It's actualy fairly relaxing to watch if you have nothing better to do. Obviously i have nothing better to do, considering i've sunk 117 hours into it as of writing this, so i guess that says something about enjoyability.

Overall, fun game, but it costs more than it should. I suppose that's why we have sales.

6.5/10 ~ 9.5/10 (depends on what kind of day i'm having)
Posted: May 27
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
56.7 hrs on record
I know the dlc milking money factor is strong with this game but i must say i have bought them all and had alot of fun with it i do not reget buying this game its a blast trying differant combos of weapons shields sub systems and ships finding the most deadly combo for your overall price spent on a fleet the campaign is also pretty fun using other ppls fleets to challege you cuz u never know whats coming could be the most deadly fleet you have ever seen or a herd of barbie jeeps with thrusters with the killer instinct of a baby sheep adds a nice change to the easy at first and gets harder later on at a semi steady pace
Posted: May 31
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
GSB is the kind of game I like; you can jump in, have some fun whenever free time presents itself. While the game is rich in detail and strategy, it gets boring fairly fast. I find myself frustrated with some of the confines it presents for the actual battles. I would love the ability to create my own battles in detail and alter tactics as the battle unfolds. The developer has unfortunately made it impossible to do these things and requires you to replay only the battles it created and you also have to anticipate your outcome ahead of the battle by telling your fleet what to do before the battle begins. Without the ability to reinforce teams or reassign ships you end up losing a battle because your good ships are flying in circles far away instead of helping out damaged allies.
Ultimately GSB is a fun game and the price is right to recommend, however I would like to see some love from the devs in further development and expansion packs. So far, nothing has come from them in a while.
Posted: June 7
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
This game does exactly what it says on the tin. It has lots of battles. And they're in space. And they're completely gratuitous. No plot or characterisation to get in the way. Just lots of lasers and explosions.

The ships are beautifully designed. The graphics and special effects are glorious. And while the sound effects are a bit quiet compared to the rest of the game, especially when zoomed out (which is also not that good - not possible get the entire map into view), they are still as epic as you'd expect building-sized missiles and highway-thick lasers to sound.

That said, this game is not without its flaws. The zoom function, I've already mentioned - sometimes, you want to get an entire battle into view, just to see the sheer scope of things. Not possible, however. Fighters have little love in this game, having the smallest amount of customisation options. It is also quite easy to unlock everything, myself having done so after the first eight or so battles.

I've read some of the other reviews. They complain that despite the vast amounts of customisation, the battles are not conducive to that, instead forcing players to stick to the same narrow tactics, strategies and loadouts, in order to win. This is not true. Admittedly, it is possible to win that way. However, the real difficulty in the game is abandoning your OP strategy, and trying to win with your favourites, rather than the "proper way". Is it difficult? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. But, that is half the fun of the game.

Other people are giving negative reviews, because they missed the point of the game entirely. They were expecting an RTS, and what they got was something completely different. You are not a fleet admiral. You are not on the battlefield, commanding your ships. (Well, unless you select the 'direct control' button). What you are, is the guy on the space station, outfitting your faction's ships before the battle, then giving orders to the captains of said ships. You are the guy whose job it is to make sure as many of your guys come back. And doing it within a budget.

As to the people who complain about the cost of the DLCs. So what? You don't have to buy them. And if you paid attention to the developer's website, you'd know that the price is due to the cost of getting the new ships designed - The developer does not create ships himself, instead hiring a 3d designer from out of house, and contracting it to him.

One nitpick I do have though, is that the 'Complete Pack' on Steam is anything but, since it does not include the Parasite or Outcast factions.

In conclusion, a beautiful game, with some flaws, but nothing that should put you off getting it. I've had hours of fun with this game, and it has infinite replayability.
Posted: June 12
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.6 hrs on record
Quick start to the game and easy to progress through the single player scenarios.
The ability to speed up gameplay is a boon, especially when trying out different configurations in a campaign.
Initially played this a lot constantly, now I treat it as casual game probably only playing 15-20 minutes a session
Posted: June 12
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
53.8 hrs on record
This game combines 2 of 3 elements a good game should have: gameplay and freedom (ship with no engines? here you go! ship with no offensive capabilites, made only to help other ships? as you wish!).
Unfortunately, there is no plot (at least without the DLCs), therefore after some time it simply becomes repetitive. The basic four races are good enough for the first play-through, and thousands of possible ship configurations should not to ignored.
Finally, despite deceptively simple graphics, the battles are somehow incredibly satisfying to watch, and possibility of speeding up or slowing down the play speed is awesome!
Posted: June 20
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
An enjoyable strategy romp featuring multiship spacebattles and poping destruction eye candy. The layers of planning and countless combinations of ships and equipment are very deep.

The learning curve can be a bit steep though, and if you are a hands on type of player you may be dissapointed as there is little to no interaction to be had once battle starts.
Posted: June 21
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
This game is literally God.
Posted: June 21
Was this review helpful? Yes No