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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.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2009
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Buy Gratuitous Space Battles

$14.99

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

About the 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.

PC System Requirements

    • 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

Mac System Requirements

    • 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
18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
It's hard. If there's one undeniable thing about this game, is that it's hard. Luckily, it's not "have an actual degree in rocket science" hard, so you'll manage. Especially since it's so beautiful (2D is really the best choice here and I love the style), you'll try and try again. The combat effects are probably the prettiest I've seen and attack ships on the shoulder of Orion didn't look as good when they were on fire.

Although I wish it had some plot. Maybe one day.
Posted: March 30
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
This is not really a game in the classic sense. The player is given a scenario, then chooses ships they want in the scenario, and then watches as the ships fight it out. The player still can adjust quite a few things outside of the battle, such as modules to use, etc. GSB does what it sets out to very well, its a "game" for people who enjoy setting up a battle and then watching it play out, noticing what does/doesn't work, and then trying the battle again with different ship set ups. I recommend downloading the demo first. I certainly wouldn't pay $15 for it, but it isn't really my kind of game either.
Posted: April 14
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3 of 4 people (75%) 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
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
93.6 hrs on record
By far the worst thing about this game is the way the developer tried to nickel-and-dime (or five-dollar-bill) us to death with minor, overpriced expansion packs that you pretty much needed to get if you wanted to keep participating in all the community had to offer. Now you can get the "Complete Pack" which is not a bad deal for newcomers but you don't want THIS one, which is the basic game.

The concept was actually fun and I got some good enjoyment out of it but unless I hear he's dropped his stupid revenue model, I don't plan to buy Gratuitous Space Battles 2. I got a bad enough taste in my mouth with how he handled the first one (if you bought every pack you'd end up paying like $15 for the base game + $42 for the DLC, so basically $57 for a game that is worth maybe $20 all total, relative to other Steam offerings. Those expansions do not contain $6 worth of new content.)
Posted: August 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
I know there's a game in here to be played, but I don't even care, -I could spend hours watching the tutorial battles play themselves out with gleeful abandon just by itself. The fact that there's actual gameplay decisions allowing you to play virtual space admiral is just icing on the cake for me. My inner kid who was obsessed with Star Wars and the battle scenes from Star Trek 2 does little dances of joy every time I launch this game, honestly. And for those of you with high end sound systems attached to your computer? SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY, -the explosion sound quality is enough to shake your windows loose with the bass! The only thing that would make this game better is if the spaceships were rendered in 3D ala Homeworld, but the fact they're all 2D sprites does absolutely *nothing* to take away from the pure gratuitous delight.

Know what you're getting into when buying this and I promise you won't be disappointed. Highly entertaining!
Posted: March 28
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30 of 38 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Oh god I love this game.

This game's style is build and run. You design ships, pretty detailed in that. You go into battle against a fleet of enemy ships. You place your ships in a layout. You program orders. You click start. You wait.

If you wipe out the enemies you win.

Great game mechanics there, and a pretty extensive customization range. Didn't knew this would've been this fun.

Great visuals too for a 2D game.

Lots of strategies involved, and I haven't even scratched the surface yet.

If what I told you is something that tickles your pickles you might want to take a look at this game.
Posted: November 22, 2013
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