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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (560 reviews) - 75% of the 560 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2009

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Buy Gratuitous Space Battles - Complete Pack

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

Buy Gratuitous Space Battles Ultimate Collection

Includes 9 items: Gratuitous Space Battles, Gratuitous Space Battles 2, Gratuitous Space Battles: Galactic Conquest, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Nomads, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Order, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Outcasts, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Parasites, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Swarm, Gratuitous Space Battles: The Tribe

Buy Gratuitous Battle Pack

Includes 2 items: Gratuitous Space Battles, Gratuitous Tank Battles

 

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

Windows
Mac OS X
    • 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (560 reviews)
Recently Posted
Miyam Rucks
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
Great space combat and ship design game, runs on a potato, would reccomend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
deaks25
( 150.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 13
Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun little game on it's own, if a little pricey. The real fun is had in the DLC & the complete pack is worth it over the stock game, particularly the 'Galactic Conquest' mode which really makes this game a great way to burn more time than you intended...

The premise is simple: chose a race, although you only have 1 of the 4 'stock' races avaialable at the start, design fighters, frigates & cruisers by taking a hull & equip it with weapons, shields, amour, engines, crew & other extras. Sounds simple. And in a word, yes it is. Except that the ultimate ship armed with more weapons than whole armies will never have enough crew or power or shields. The balance is superb. Each race even has slightly different attributes; some develop more power or have stronger hulls.

You gradually unlock better equipment & so are constantly redesigning your Ship Of Ultimate Death, but the real fun is Galactic Conquest & is worth every penny. The game generates a new galaxy each new game & you have to conquer it. The game uses fleet designs submitted by players & only a few planets can build new ships. I must have redesigned ships 3 or 4 times, developed whole new strategies... It's superb. And that's still with just the stock 4 races, never mind the 5 more you can add with the DLC.

You can take direct control but I enjoy the challenge of setting up my fleet & watching it go, hoping against hope I've deployed my fleet correctly. The game doesn't bother with a story mode & is better for it.

It's a superbly fun RTS that is something a little different. Recommended
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Auramancer
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 8
Forget about things like “plot” and “characters” and “worldbuilding.” We all know the best part of sci-fi epics are the enormous fleet battles, lasers and plasma torpedoes flying everywhere. Debris and flaming wreckage litter the battlefield as fighter pilots go on strafing runs against seemingly invincible capital ships. This game is full of Gratuitous Space Battles. That is also its title.

This isn’t an RTS or twitchy strategy game. No, its much more clever than that. You actually don’t have any control over your ships once the battle begins. Rather, you play the role of fleet admiral, designing and tweaking ship loadouts and giving formation orders before battle begins. There’s no overarching story to follow, simply a progression of battles across beautiful space backgrounds against increasingly deadly foes.

The base game ships with four playable races, each of which has their own ship designs and specialties. These races fill all the stereotypical sci-fi roles, from bug-eyed collective to evil empire, plucky resistance to hypercapitalist federation. There are dozens of ship modules to mix and match, trying to find the perfect combination to bring unstoppable death to your foes. The kicker is, you have to unlock almost everything by winning battles with less than the allotted pilots. You buy new modules, hull designs, and races with Honor, which is earned by overcoming better than even odds. Send too many ships into a fight? You won’t get much out of that battle. Simply adding a new ship design or switching races gives you a totally new outlook on the same encounter. You can run an individual battle as much as you like, tweaking and prodding your strategy into a perfected masterpiece of war.

The graphics are passable, though the UI gets a little grating after a while. Sometimes its difficult to read some of the text, even on a large monitor. The music, likewise, is generic but fun, sweeping orchestral pieces that add drama to these largely meaningless fights. A cool touch is the notification bar during battles, where your individual ships will let you know how their shields are doing, which decks have hull damage, and whose reactors are leaking. This little bit of flavor is quite refreshing.

The main conceit of this game is the lack of overarching strategy and story, which is refreshing at first. There is still a sense of progression as you unlock all the options for your fleet, but eventually you’ll have all these options and nothing else to do but replay the same missions over again on a higher difficulty. There are six DLC races that have their own personalities and additional missions, if you want more variety from the four the game ships with. There is also a Galactic Conquest DLC mode, which gives you a map to conquer and, interestingly, pits you against other players’ fleets that they’ve uploaded. Positech calls it “massively singleplayer”. You’ll call it getting utterly destroyed by people who have already mastered these systems.

Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun game, and there’s definitely a lot of depth here if you want to get deep into it. I almost think I might enjoy it more if the ships were prebuilt and I just had to deploy them, rather than have to juggle placement and fleet makeup AND individual ship restrictions. It all becomes a little overwhelming. But its all worth it to see laser beams blow up an alien cruiser.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
meepyl
( 8.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 23
I've been playing this gave every since it came out on my PC after I bought it. And I have to tell you, it is definately a game I would uninstall at some point. I hope this review is as insightful as it is intended to be. Definately worth the purchase if in a humble bundle with a better game. 5 stars out of some number higher than 5! One middle finger up! A must have had! Buy eventually! Support the guy who watched the movie made by the developer!

I like pizza.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
scrawford65
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 20
Overall, 7/10. A game of little depth or complexity, but enough spread and slight innovation to keep one going. See below for in depth review.

So I downloded this game years ago from it's official site and was excited to see it on Steam. Unfortunatly I forgot how powerful nostalgia was. This is a great game for kids, a kind of "baby's first space war," but not for a seasoned gamer, or even a casual one above the age of fifteen.

As the description boasts, there is no backstory, there is no diplomacy, and there is no base-management. What it fails to mention is that it did not add anything in to make up for those deficiencies. The game consists merely of building ships, that is, placing weapons and support modules on pre-constructed hulls, and hurling them at each other. Once you put the ships on the battlefield and click play, cross your fingers and pray, because you can't manipulate your ships AT ALL once the battle starts. That seems like a pretty big issue to me. But then again, it's all just one gratuituous space battle. Each battle is identical, with just a little environmental variation and change of enemy to make it look other wise.

Ship building is alright. Don't try and specialize. There are modules to heal yourself, heal others, heal fighters, stop missiles, free enemies. Don't. Anything not packing the max amount of weapons and shields will be destroyed very quickly. It's not a well-balanced game. If you want a real space RTS, look up Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
buy my mixtape
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 24
It's an 'okay' game and it isn't bad enough for me to thumbs it down as I think it would be a bit harsh, for a lot of people it's a really enjoyable game. For me personally I think GSB had really good ideas that weren't presented in this game to the standard it deserved. Basically, it could have been *way* better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
roysteves
( 28.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 21
Great if you feel like a visually exciting strategy game that you can play with a glass of scotch, as the "sit back and watch the mahem" phase is quite nice. I will never be the primary game I'm playing, but it's a great addition to the library.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
l0keman
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 20
decent fun. Not bad if you grab it on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
«JustEnder»
( 12.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 12
I bought the game and all DLC for $18.00 and everything i start the game it just crashes. bye bye money and ♥♥♥♥ this stupid game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Somniantis
( 13.0 hrs on record )
Posted: February 11
There's a great game in this thing somewhere, but it's riddled with infuriating problems. The UI is clunky. Given the number of actions you're expected to take while setting up your fleet for a battle, there are hardly ANY keyboard shortcuts that are useful. It's just constant button clicking... GUI items that you'd expect to be able to simply double click to activate... well you can't. You have to click the item, then click a separate "ok button" across the screen, then probably click an "are you sure" button half-way back the other way across the screen. Which isn't a huge deal, but it gets excessive really fast because it's a common thing throughout the whole game.

There is also at least one glaring logical bug that freezes the game. In the ship designer, you can open a "load" dialog to load a saved ship. In this dialog, you can also delete any of your saved ships. If the ship you deleted is the one that was active before opening the dialog, it's basically frozen. Every time you try to do anything, the game generates a new error window, but you can't see it if the game is in full screen mode. You'll be greeted by 20 error windows when you alt-f4 out of the game.

Also, it's one of those games that handles alt-tabbing poorly. On my system, if I alt-tab, I'm welcomed by a black screen when I come back. It will never restore. I have to close the game and lose whatever I forgot to save.

A lot of potential, but a lot of overlooked frustrations that should have been ironed out before releasing it. Not that it matters now because it's so old, but this is me releasing the frustration I've built up by playing this game. RAWR!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kenimaru
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 11
I liked the demo enough to buy the game, too bad the demo was more fun than the full game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Salarn
( 6.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 21
https://youtu.be/k0cSAue8Lk4

This game does what it says on the tin. Create custom spaceships and then put them up against the enemy forces. Players don't have direct control of their fleet during the real time battles, it all comes down to how well you prepare.

This put a heavy focus on redesigning ships to fit each scenario, where sometimes you can't have shields, missiles, or some other component. Which turns this a bit more into 'Gratuitous Space Puzzles'
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PakScorpion05
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: December 31, 2015
I believe this is a good game, but I doubt it is for everyone. If you're looking for a quick strategy game, as in the action happens quickly, then this may not be for you.

For every other strategy player, you might find this game enjoyable. There is a fair learning curve to start with, but then you get the hang of it, and it becomes natural to know a cruiser beam laser won't penetrate another cruiser's shield. You will find yourself designing ships that supplement each other, and maybe on a few levels sending forth fighter swarms, which actually work. Then you get to see the after action report. But if you pay attention to the battle, you won't really need it.

Overall, I believe some people won't enjoy this game, but if you aren't in a rush, this is a game for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Good-Natured Filth
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: December 31, 2015
Not for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Majorlag
( 25.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
You know, if you told me the premise of this game I'd tell you it was a bad idea, but since I went in blind, I was pleasantly surprised by Gratuitous Space Battles. It's like when you're a kid and you put some insects into a jar to watch them fight, but with spaceships.

Your only input is the choice of which spaceships to put in, what weapons and armor the use, and a tiny bit direction to their AI. But it's fun, somehow. Watching your fleet get dismembered by the enemy, working out the best strategy for your next attempt, trying to build the perfect unstoppable force. Plus the explosions and debris and all are really pretty.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mr. Dominix
( 5.1 hrs on record )
Posted: December 27, 2015
I was very dissapointed with what looked like a great game at the start. Instead of puting together ships and constructing a meaningful strategy I was desprety struggleing to figure out what I was doing before giving up entirely.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reap
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: December 27, 2015
Beautiful game with no actual involvement. I almost loved this game until the point where you dont do anything... whats the point?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Great space combat and ship design game, runs on a potato, would reccomend.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 8
Forget about things like “plot” and “characters” and “worldbuilding.” We all know the best part of sci-fi epics are the enormous fleet battles, lasers and plasma torpedoes flying everywhere. Debris and flaming wreckage litter the battlefield as fighter pilots go on strafing runs against seemingly invincible capital ships. This game is full of Gratuitous Space Battles. That is also its title.

This isn’t an RTS or twitchy strategy game. No, its much more clever than that. You actually don’t have any control over your ships once the battle begins. Rather, you play the role of fleet admiral, designing and tweaking ship loadouts and giving formation orders before battle begins. There’s no overarching story to follow, simply a progression of battles across beautiful space backgrounds against increasingly deadly foes.

The base game ships with four playable races, each of which has their own ship designs and specialties. These races fill all the stereotypical sci-fi roles, from bug-eyed collective to evil empire, plucky resistance to hypercapitalist federation. There are dozens of ship modules to mix and match, trying to find the perfect combination to bring unstoppable death to your foes. The kicker is, you have to unlock almost everything by winning battles with less than the allotted pilots. You buy new modules, hull designs, and races with Honor, which is earned by overcoming better than even odds. Send too many ships into a fight? You won’t get much out of that battle. Simply adding a new ship design or switching races gives you a totally new outlook on the same encounter. You can run an individual battle as much as you like, tweaking and prodding your strategy into a perfected masterpiece of war.

The graphics are passable, though the UI gets a little grating after a while. Sometimes its difficult to read some of the text, even on a large monitor. The music, likewise, is generic but fun, sweeping orchestral pieces that add drama to these largely meaningless fights. A cool touch is the notification bar during battles, where your individual ships will let you know how their shields are doing, which decks have hull damage, and whose reactors are leaking. This little bit of flavor is quite refreshing.

The main conceit of this game is the lack of overarching strategy and story, which is refreshing at first. There is still a sense of progression as you unlock all the options for your fleet, but eventually you’ll have all these options and nothing else to do but replay the same missions over again on a higher difficulty. There are six DLC races that have their own personalities and additional missions, if you want more variety from the four the game ships with. There is also a Galactic Conquest DLC mode, which gives you a map to conquer and, interestingly, pits you against other players’ fleets that they’ve uploaded. Positech calls it “massively singleplayer”. You’ll call it getting utterly destroyed by people who have already mastered these systems.

Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun game, and there’s definitely a lot of depth here if you want to get deep into it. I almost think I might enjoy it more if the ships were prebuilt and I just had to deploy them, rather than have to juggle placement and fleet makeup AND individual ship restrictions. It all becomes a little overwhelming. But its all worth it to see laser beams blow up an alien cruiser.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
150.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun little game on it's own, if a little pricey. The real fun is had in the DLC & the complete pack is worth it over the stock game, particularly the 'Galactic Conquest' mode which really makes this game a great way to burn more time than you intended...

The premise is simple: chose a race, although you only have 1 of the 4 'stock' races avaialable at the start, design fighters, frigates & cruisers by taking a hull & equip it with weapons, shields, amour, engines, crew & other extras. Sounds simple. And in a word, yes it is. Except that the ultimate ship armed with more weapons than whole armies will never have enough crew or power or shields. The balance is superb. Each race even has slightly different attributes; some develop more power or have stronger hulls.

You gradually unlock better equipment & so are constantly redesigning your Ship Of Ultimate Death, but the real fun is Galactic Conquest & is worth every penny. The game generates a new galaxy each new game & you have to conquer it. The game uses fleet designs submitted by players & only a few planets can build new ships. I must have redesigned ships 3 or 4 times, developed whole new strategies... It's superb. And that's still with just the stock 4 races, never mind the 5 more you can add with the DLC.

You can take direct control but I enjoy the challenge of setting up my fleet & watching it go, hoping against hope I've deployed my fleet correctly. The game doesn't bother with a story mode & is better for it.

It's a superbly fun RTS that is something a little different. Recommended
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
I believe this is a good game, but I doubt it is for everyone. If you're looking for a quick strategy game, as in the action happens quickly, then this may not be for you.

For every other strategy player, you might find this game enjoyable. There is a fair learning curve to start with, but then you get the hang of it, and it becomes natural to know a cruiser beam laser won't penetrate another cruiser's shield. You will find yourself designing ships that supplement each other, and maybe on a few levels sending forth fighter swarms, which actually work. Then you get to see the after action report. But if you pay attention to the battle, you won't really need it.

Overall, I believe some people won't enjoy this game, but if you aren't in a rush, this is a game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
28.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
Great if you feel like a visually exciting strategy game that you can play with a glass of scotch, as the "sit back and watch the mahem" phase is quite nice. I will never be the primary game I'm playing, but it's a great addition to the library.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
36 of 47 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2013
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
306.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
The number of hours I've logged in this game should give you an idea of how replayable this is IF you like this kind of game, which I obviously do :3

How I would describe the game:

-a couple or handful of hours of campaign, which really equates to; getting you used to the game mechanics
-then you have custom campaigns, this is where all of my time has gone; the numerous combinations of ships to create your fleets are absolutely fantastic, there are tons of commands to program into the ships, tons of balancing to do while creating your ships, revisions, reasons for 'special mission' ships, and best of all you are going up against fleets created by other users

Quite obviously, I recommend this, but only for the people who love strategy (and the weapons/shields/ships have a very star trekky feel, which may influence some in one way or another.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2013
GSB is basically a sandbox game where you design ships and set them to battle other fleets and watch the outcome. The idea is to create a force that can win the battle wtih minimum amount of force (resources) and with minimum amount of casualties, usually by exploting a particular enemy's formation, weapons, shields, fleet composition, and so on. You have 3 classes of ships: fighters, frigates, and cruisers. Each needs to be fitted with engine, powerplant, shield(s), armor, weapons, crew, and other equipment (scanners, jammers, and more). Different weapons have different stats. Some are good against shields, others against armor. Some cycle faster but are weaker, while others may load slowly but punch hard. Cruisers may be vulnerable to swarm of fighters getting inside its shields, while frigates are usually pounded into pieces by cruiesrs, but are usually death to frighters (if armed with the right weapons). You also control the fleet's placement on the map and can give specific orders, like "primarily engage fighters".

There are dozens of preset scenarios (battles), 10 different races (each with unique combination of ship designs and special weapons), as well as ability to challenge other players (can you do better than my battle?) and fleet vs. fleet machups.

Once you set your formation and fleet, just hit "start the battle" and watch your ships fight it out based on the orders you've given, to the best of their ability.

As you win battles, you gain prestige points which are used to unlock more advanced equipments and ship hull designs.

All in all, GSB is an interesting toy that feels at times like a huge puzzle, But it is so addictive, much like setting two ant farms together and have them fight. Give it a try, despite its two-D presentation. You may end up liking it a lot and can't stop playing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
59.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Very enjoyable watching my fleet destroying the enemy fleet. It takes a while to figure out the best way to play, and once you figure it out, the fun starts. Starting from this game, Positech became one of my favourite indie game devs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 77 people (61%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
GSB is okay as a game. However, it is not a complete game in itself. The campaign is quite small and it does not go far enough with its technological 'skill tree' progression.

The gameplay is purely strategic and very hands-off. You build a fleet of ships, with the resources available, and you send them on their way. You have minimal control over how battles pan out, and there is no gameplay beyond the battles. Additionally, the interface is somewhat slow and unnecessary time consuming to navigate.

The most disappointing aspect of GSB is its blatant premium content model. After you have purchased the game, you will be required to purchase a number of nominally priced DLC packs to get the full game content. By buying this game, you are essentially only buying part of a game.

I give Gratuitous Space Battles 3/10 flaming spaceship hulls.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
64.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2014
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.
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34 of 54 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2013
Too many DLCs for a too large a price. What is offered in those DLCs, other games ask about 2 bucks for it. Base game entertains you for an hour per session tops. After that you come back to see if you haven't missed anything only to conclude that you haven't. Buy on sale or in an Indie bundle if you really want this game.
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54 of 91 people (59%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2013
A fun if repetitive game that was ruined for me by the decision to dole out new playable factions one by one for $6 a piece... and if you want campaign mode, that'll be an extra $7. More like a Gratuitous Rip-Off, amirite?
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20 of 29 people (69%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Want to blast things into space dust? This is your game.

Want a deep plot and rich characters? These things are not here, because BLOW STUFF UP!!!

Explosions: YES
Rockets: YES
Lasers: YES
More SciFi guns: YES
Plot: BARF!
Story line: NOT NEEDED

Buy: YES.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2012
It's not difficult to imagine that the designers of Gratuitous Space Battles are huge fans of the wargame/boardgame Star Fleet Battles. At a glance, these games seem to share many similarities.

But GSB simulates a higher command level than SFB. In SFB, you're a captain of a single starship, participating in fleet skirmishes as part of a larger team. You coordinate your efforts, but each captain enjoys his own successes, and brings glory and honor to his team through personal victories or by dying honorably. In GSB, you're tasked with assembling a fleet and deploying it for scenario combat, and then... sitting around and watching the battle.

To me, this is not particularly rewarding, or entertaining. It's hard not to just crank up the speed to the fastest setting and learn the outcome of each battle.

I quickly lost interest after the tutorial, and went straight to the manual to confirm that you get no control of ships. It's true. Not even in online play. This seems like a missed opportunity to me.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2013
This is as pure as strategy gets, to the point where it certainly isn't for everyone. You design your ships, then arrange the ships into a fleet, and see if that fleet can beat the scenario you are put through. It's alot better then it sounds, but still many won't be happy with the set-up. Definitly try the demo before you buy.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2015
Don't know how I feel about this game. I enjoy the building aspect but it seems like most of the modules are underperforming or completely niche when compared to the best of the best modules. The ship designs are all pretty much the same regardless of what race you are playing and the functionality of the modules acts identical with a tiny tweak here and there, but nothing game changing. The battles themselves can be fun to watch, but thats exactly it... you're just sitting there, watching and waiting for the fight to end. This can be pretty painful in matches where fights are long and drawn out. Overall, I am enjoying the game, but I honestly don't think I could reccomend it. The game runs in a 32 bit client and I am having all kinds of crashing errors and bugs when running the system on my 64bit operating system. With that kind of dating in the desing, anyone who is interested might just be better off waiting for the sequel (which is in development).
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
141.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
Never thought that creating ships to blow alien ships up for no apparent reason or logic whatsoever could be so fun! :D

What you basically do is to design ships which, when deployed in battle, will help defeat the enemy fleet. Every victory you win will give you a credit like reward called Honour. You use this 'Honour' to buy new shiny gadgets or weapons that blaze nice looking beams of death onto your enemy.

There is no actual story line. The game is basically composed of about 14 setups (counting the tutorial battle aswell as an additional 9 setups when including all the DLC's, which brings the number up to 23) which all offer a different challenge along with a certain species to go against. This means that just because your ship designs and the fleet you deployed were successful against a certain race in such a scenario, doesn't mean that you will be as successful in another scenario with a different species. Not to mention certain scenarios having something called 'Spartial Anomalies' which can affect how well/poor your ships perform in terms of their weapons and defences.

There is also a multiplayer mode which tbh isnt what you actually think, it isnt a match-up with another player, see who wins and say "HAHA YOU SUCK!" kind of game. No, how it works, is that you mainly pick your map and make your own scenario, deploy your ships that you designed and upload them. The scenario is then uploaded to a vast list of scenarios for the community to try out. Some may even consider retaliating your challenge. However i would just recommend trying out created scenarios to try out since there is a vast list of uploads that there is only a small chance of someone actually trying it out your own.

With every game however, it has its drawbacks...

Not counting the DLC, you may find it fustrating when you find yourself losing and on the recieving end of super intense beams of destruction blowing your stuff to smithereens, again and again. After the battle you are shown stats which are near impossible to understand, so you may end up in a repeating scenario of losing, losing, losing, then after more losing looking at the stats in attempt to study what is wrong, make new ship designs, still lose, go back to the drawing board, still lose and then wondering why the hell you cannot win when you study the stats for almost an hour. Also without the DLC you may end up finding yourself bored with just 4 races at your disposal, one of which you cannot fight on the single player mission scenarios.

As a result you may find yourself thinking that you wasted your money on a game you cannot understand and find out how little content you had. I would advice buying this game when there is some sort of sale or deal going on with this game. Buy with the DLC expansions too to give the game a little more spice to your experience with the game. That and a lot of patience with the losing and looking up for tips on certain situations and you may end up actually coming back to this every now and then.

Despite these flaws, GSB is quite a fun little game to kill an hour or so...just don't expect to fall in love with all the info you are bombarded with at the end of the battle. Again i would advise getting the DLC's as they include an extra 6 races to try and mess around with and a Galactic Campaign, though i would avoid not getting to engrossed in that too much due to the Galactic Campaign having some flaws, but the rest should keep you occupied with this game for even longer.

It may have moments where you say ♥♥♥♥ THIS GAME, ♥♥♥♥ ITS MECHANICS, I WANT MY MONEY BACK!, but stick to it and hopefully in the end you will be glad you bought this game along with the DLC's.

Even though the game may end up annoying you with stats and at times fleets that make you think this is all impossible to understand, it can be really fun to play once you get used to it, maybe you could one day decide to play out of rage and take out your anger on a bunch of aliens who have no reason to be blown up whatsoever, except for your entertainment of zero-g fireworks and act as some sort of stress relief!

7/10
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 14, 2015
5/10: Hands-off strategy game that takes patience to learn

+ Great visuals
+ Extremely broad variety of modules and possible strategies
+ Satisfying once you get the hang of it

- After you design your ships and place them on the battlefield, all you do is watch the battle play out (you can't control anything)
- If you are looking for a quick "pick-up-and-play" game, this is not it. It took me about 2 hours to understand how things worked
- Unlocking everything takes very little effort
- Pace of the game is quite slow, even when sped up to the maximum of x4 speed
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