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 (558 reviews) - 75% of the 558 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (558 reviews)
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484 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Recently Posted
Mecha-King Ghidorah
80.5 hrs
Posted: September 18
Do you like to design space battleships before blasting your enemies to bits with them? If so, then this game is for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brukhalian
10.4 hrs
Posted: September 17
This game is FUN and ADDICTIVE.

Essentally, you play the role of a SPACESHIP ENGINEER - You create ships and then watch them fight.

The learning curb takes about an hour, so not bad. At first I was like: "Wow, I lost, awesome, I need to fine-tune my ships." And then I lost a bunch more, and still I thought it was a good challenge. Then I still kept on losing to literally level 1. Then I realized: my cruisors needed to be decked out with long range high speed plasma torpedos. Once those were installed I cleaned house. And if your crusiors just have these weapons, then make sure to support them with lazer frigits.

Played all night and has been a lot of fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rhubarb
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 17
I have never owned this game, but it did allow me to review it for some reason while passing through my discovery queue. Asking strangers to review your game takes balls, and I like ba-- er, their spirit!

10/10 would review again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Telarius
9.9 hrs
Posted: August 17
Part strategy, part creativity, this game puts a unique spin on space combat. Though it requires some time to get the feel of, I find it enjoyable watching one's creations race into battle! I highly recommend picking this game up with the expansions, as they add another dimension to the game. As far as the sequel, GSB 2, I was not impressed, it seemed little more than some aspects of GSB 1 "prettied up" a bit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WoodenDOOM
225.8 hrs
Posted: August 15
Good game. Avoid the second one like the plague.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nickname
1.5 hrs
Posted: August 1
Main campain over in under two hours..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nunezilla
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 1
I fell asleep playing this game; it literally made no difference to the outcome.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
chrissus
2.6 hrs
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
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
It's pretty fun to tweak around ship designs and watch it blow apart other ships and stuff, but it get stale after a while. The mods are pretty cool, but they still gets old for a while because of the lack of variety. It was fun while it lasted.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
43 of 55 people (78%) 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.
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22 of 26 people (85%) 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.)
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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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23 of 30 people (77%) 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.
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55 of 87 people (63%) found this review helpful
3 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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18 of 22 people (82%) 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).
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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.
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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.
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56 of 94 people (60%) 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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