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 (498 reviews)
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

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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

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
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
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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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
90.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
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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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
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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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
198.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
If you get this game, get the complete pack. If you already have this game, get the Campaign module. Without the Campaign aspect, the game is very limited and ultimatey you won't have much to do.

But with the campaign, while it is VERY limited to just building fleets and maintaining them (with no other 4X concerns; all structures are pre-built in any given system), it becomes a completely different game. Since the fleets are uploaded from players, you'll always hit new interesting configurations for specific systems; add in all the special per-system rules that you need specialized ships and the concern of maintaining supply lines for your fleets, and it becomes a pretty engrossing game that requires far more planning and leaves you with the threat that the next attacking fleet might have your number with a counter.

It's not perfect; I wish there were NPC factions and such in the 4X part with persistant forces for more strategic-level planning, but none the less, I've sunk hours into Campaign long after I previously gave up on the game. Still this is definitely got a game for people who enjoy designing ships as a central priority. If you do, it's on my easy list.

And a word on the dev pricing - that I agree on. The fact only one of the expansions is on a reasonable DLC sale right now is lame. $6-7 for a new faction is entirely too much and I think he'd earn more from halving the stock price and actually participating in Steam sales more. Still a fun game, if you grab campaign with the 75% off main game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Pick this game up on a sale, it doesn't have enough content to justify its normal price tag. But when discounted, why not? You'll probably get a couple of hours fun out of it and it is very satisfying to see your fleet victorious, particularly when you're doing something stupid like taking on an enemy fleet using only a couple of cruisers or nothing but fighters and so on.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Its a very fun game I enjoy testing out some of my concept ideas. Although I would really like to see some weapon improvements in the game beyond what they already have.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Fun game, just be aware that not all the DLC are available for all platforms. I rebought this on Steam to play on my mac and I can only play half the content! Not exactly sure why this is, but I can't see the developers making all the DLC available when they are very much invested in the next installment.

Good, but with kicker as mentioned.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
Simple but brilliant. I can't believe I've left it until now to realise how much fun there is to be had here.

Build your fleets, battles will auto-resolve (unless you take 'direct control') and then use your 'honour' payment (an amount that reduces the more units you field) to unlock new modules to fit better/different fleets.

Made by one person! The sequel is now in early-alpha too.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
I enjoyed watching things blow up - especially A LOT OF THINGS blow up.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
This is a fantastic game for those that love space battles, i love this game just for the fact that, it has a conquest mode and you can take planets and build even bigger forces... this game is worth the money spent.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
overall a good game, but needs a tutorial for navigating the menus as they are not especially straightforward.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
I like watching swarms of Fighters. They're like mosquitos.
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31 of 40 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
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.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
295.1 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.)
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
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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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
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40 of 66 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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29 of 46 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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