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 (566 reviews) - 75% of the 566 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2009

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Packages that include this game

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 (566 reviews)
Recently Posted
Vriscout Spenceket
( 100.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18
Spamming one kind of unprogrammed missile/laser spam ship haphazardly across the deployment zone is a lot more effective than making a fleet with carefully arranged and instructed ships that each have their own range of roles to perform.

This is not the elaborate fleet design game this is made out to be, it's just about:
1) Spamming one kind of ship, and/or fighters
2) Being frustrated at your ships doing incredibly stupid things that the order system doesn't provide a good solution for; a cruiser with several missile launchers might decide to make each missile launcher target a different enemy, with the result being that not a single shield is penetrated, and unless you completely disallow it from engaging fighters it will chase down any fighter it sees if the fighter is closer than any frigates or cruisers.
3) Figuring out which modules are useful and which are useless. Almost all modules are near-straight downgrades of some other module.

Also, this game has been left in a buggy state (better than GSB2 at least); if you try checking on another window, then go back into the game, you'll be greeted with a black screen and have to force-close; if you invade a planet in campaign mode, that planet can invade the planet your fleet just left for an automatic win (and it won't necessarily even be the same race that then owns the planet which makes no sense); and if your internet connection wavers while playing campaign mode, you'll need to do another force close.

Lastly, other negative reviews cover some of the scummy things this game does, such as charging insane prices for DLC you didn't even know you didn't have (If you buy the so-called "Complete Pack", you're still missing $12 USD of DLC).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
chrissus
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 13
wouldn't buy it, got it for free in a bundle and i played it a bit just to get the cards and then i instantly deleted it. only for fans
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tzubidu
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 12
If you love to build up a fleet and then watch your own ships to fight other ships without any influence then this game might be something for you.
As fan of 4X games I love the research part of this game and with the Galactic Conquest they even added some kind of 4X game as DLC to it.
But the number of DLC , that you have to register and seperate login for the Galactic Conquest DLC and that half of the game time is actual just watch your ships doing things without you have any control let me say its no good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jinx
( 7.3 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 5
Can be a bit hard to get your head around being a spectator for the most part

But truly a game that lives up to its name.

Enjoyed in moderation.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EvaPilot1
( 24.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Product received for free
Yeah this games fun. Get it cheap though, I wouldn't recommend it for full price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
zygrottwanger
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Does what it says on the box.
A lot of fun for the money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yee'va
( 81.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
First game I ever bought, and I don't regret it. I'd love to get into it's sequel to but it's ever so confusing. This is a lot more simple but still very indepth and has SO much detail when you really get into it. Multiple different weapons and races can change the game and I could run easily run it on my old pc too. Great game if you're low on cash and you don't have a relatively good pc too, I could easily sink another 100~ hours if I wasn't so addicted to rocket league and terraria.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
B. B. Banana, Professional Memer
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
This is exactly the kind of space sim I was looking for - harkening back to critical mass by Sean O'Connor! As part of a bundle, it was a lot of fun playing through the campaign for a few hours and good value for my money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
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
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
100.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Spamming one kind of unprogrammed missile/laser spam ship haphazardly across the deployment zone is a lot more effective than making a fleet with carefully arranged and instructed ships that each have their own range of roles to perform.

This is not the elaborate fleet design game this is made out to be, it's just about:
1) Spamming one kind of ship, and/or fighters
2) Being frustrated at your ships doing incredibly stupid things that the order system doesn't provide a good solution for; a cruiser with several missile launchers might decide to make each missile launcher target a different enemy, with the result being that not a single shield is penetrated, and unless you completely disallow it from engaging fighters it will chase down any fighter it sees if the fighter is closer than any frigates or cruisers.
3) Figuring out which modules are useful and which are useless. Almost all modules are near-straight downgrades of some other module.

Also, this game has been left in a buggy state (better than GSB2 at least); if you try checking on another window, then go back into the game, you'll be greeted with a black screen and have to force-close; if you invade a planet in campaign mode, that planet can invade the planet your fleet just left for an automatic win (and it won't necessarily even be the same race that then owns the planet which makes no sense); and if your internet connection wavers while playing campaign mode, you'll need to do another force close.

Lastly, other negative reviews cover some of the scummy things this game does, such as charging insane prices for DLC you didn't even know you didn't have (If you buy the so-called "Complete Pack", you're still missing $12 USD of DLC).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
37 of 48 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
17 of 18 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.
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22 of 28 people (79%) 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
15 of 17 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
36 of 56 people (64%) found this review helpful
2 people 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 80 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
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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55 of 93 people (59%) found this review helpful
3 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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