This Is a difficult game to review. As it's a minimal, ambient strategy game, there are few well-known and similar titles to refer the reader to. As this is the best way to avoid describing a game, anyone reviewing Eufloria is forced to actually describe it, sponging up valuable words that could be used on bum jokes.
In Eufloria you control an empire of seedlings, intent on colouring a small galaxy of asteroids with their pastel hue. An asteroid can be claimed by planting trees - these Dyson trees produce more seeds, inheriting the qualities of their parent asteroid. In two sentences. I've managed to describe a huge part of the game. You can also plant defence trees which don't produce seeds, but deploy mines that will destroy enemy seeds.
These seeds are pretty autonomous, so beyond telling them where to go, and which of the two trees to plant, they'll buzz around the surface of the asteroid in a satisfying display of swarm Al.
Zooming in and out to watch the procedural graphics at work is a pleasure, but with such slow (and to a seasoned gamer, shallow) gameplay, you'll find yourself zooming in and out more often than is healthy; like rocking backwards and forwards and hugging your knees.
Seeds are your currency, your soldiers, and using weak seeds to plant Dyson trees on a strong asteroid is an immediate priority. The final elements of the game, which come into play during the second half of levels, are flowers. These are occasionally made by mature trees and can be attached to a tree to strengthen it. There are also laser mines, powerful objects that can greatly boost an asteroid's defence, or spearhead an attack into enemy territory.
And... that's it. The games design -both in terms of its appealing minimal look, and the beautifully intuitive one-handed control system - is fantastic. It's a masterclass in usability. But this is why Eufloria is truly difficult to review -I have to balance my substantial respect for the tiny team of developers against the fact that Eufloria is an extremely shallow and over-priced puddle, then produce a single number.
Curious, patient gamers add 20. People who tut and fume when the person in front is walking fractionally slower then they'd like to, piss off.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP