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This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. It s about the sweat, grease and genius behind the little things that make games special.>
Infested Planet [official site] is an RTS that channels Starship Troopers. You control a small squad of soldiers fighting their way through caverns of hives that endlessly churn out insectoid bugs. The body count reaches tens of thousands as you capture the hives, steadily gaining and conceding ground to make best use of your limited resources. It s an intensely dynamic game of observing and controlling flows of bugs and continually respec-ing your forces, because you re always up against:
THE MECHANIC: Mutation
You may remember Infested Planet [official site] from the numerous times we’ve talked about it: an indie strategy game, amidst the backdrop of pesky aliens and cluster bombs. Sort of like War and Peace in Space. Now the wonderfully named Rocket Bear Games has announced the launch of expansion DLC that will make things even harder for your relentless campaign of death.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
Infested Planet is a top-down strategy game about warring spray hoses. Your enemies are Starship Troopers-style chitinous bugs who spawn in their hundreds from alien hives. Your own units are fragile marines and stationary turrets who spray bullets. Little by little you advance, destroying hives and capturing resource points until the aliens are driven back.
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Infested Planet keeps drawing me back. ‘I’m not ready to write about it. I need to play it more before I decide what I think.’ Then the same thing happens as every other time. I play a mission, and it’s not hard exactly, but it is a slog. It’s a battle of attrition, territory claimed inch by inch against a skittering mass of Starship Troopers-inspired bug aliens. There’s thousands of them, and clearing them away feels like fighting a rising tide with a leaky bucket. I’m sick of it. I’m bored of it. I don’t want or need to play anymore.
Right as I’m about to give up, the tide turns. My five soldiers gain a foothold in the war for the map’s capture points, and I claim enough resources to defend my turf against counter-attacks using turrets. From there, I begin to rapidly advance, pummeling my enemy into submission with helicopter bombardments and rocket blasts. My troops mow down thousands, and it feels immensely satisfying to win a hard-fought battle against overwhelming odds. I’m thrilled by it. I’m confused by it. I need to play more.
This is wot I think. … [visit site to read more]
John, Craig and I used to meet mulitple times a week in front of a projector screen to watch good films, bad films, action films. Of everything that we watched – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hercules in New York and The Villain included – no one provided us with more entertainment than Paul Verhoeven. His films were good, bad and action all at once>.
That’s why I look at Infested Planet and get a little thrill from its Starship Trooperisms. It’s a top-down strategy-lite in which a small squad of soldiers can mow down thousands of chitinous alien bugs. It looks slightly less satirically fascist, but from up here, I can pretend every single soldier is Casper Van Dien.
It’s been in Early Access for a while, but is super-available to ultra-buy come its full-release on March 6th. New trailer below. … [visit site to read more]
Oh, I do like an RTS where the odds are overwhelmingly in my favour. Which is not to say that I can’t get my scabby little bottom handed to me in Starship Troopersesque killathon Infested Planet, but it is such fun to be in control of five little men who can mow down 5000 little aliens without meeting their own maker. (more…)