Eufloria, Euphoria... By: Brad Bitcheno
It's been a few years since I played this minimalist real time strategy game for iOS. What I really want to showcase in this article is the intuitive touch screen gameplay, wonderful aesthetics, and ambient soundtrack. Upon it's steam release in 2009, Eufloria immediately became the most beautiful game I had ever played. Quite the claim I know, but this beauty of a game stands out from the crowd for more reasons than polygons alone. This game utilizes color, simple shapes, an amazing ambient soundtrack, and a relaxed game pace to sooth the player's into quite a euphoric experience.
Color and shapes combine on a blank canvas that represents the void of space. You are a "Grower", and your mission is to spread life to all the corners of the galaxy. Initially you control a lonely seedling that is orbiting an asteroid. Your mission is to guide your single seedling through the cluster to find other seedlings. Once you have reunited your seedling with enough of its brothers and sisters you can now sprout them together into a tree. Colonizing your asteroids with trees is the basis for winning each map in Eufloria. Soon after you plant your first tree, more seedlings sprout from its branches, and in turn give you the resources to populate more asteroids in your cluster. Your blank canvas is soon bursting with color.
Your movement is limited throughout your cluster by your proximity to other asteroids. You build somewhat of a chain of asteroids through the system where your seedlings can travel. The touch controls in Eufloria work very well because of this. When moving any number of seedlings from one asteroid to another, may it be a single one, or an entire swarm, all you need to do is touch and drag to select the quantity. Then tap the asteroid you want them to move to. They will automatically follow you asteroid belt to their destination. It is quite intuitive, and the defining factor for why I prefer this game on iOS over PC. I never found myself frustrated over the controls. In fact there is quite little to get frustrated over in general. This is a minimalist game after all with an ambient design.
The smooth beepity-boopity soundtrack compounds the atmosphere into an immersive state. With touch devices in mind the game features a relaxed game pace that never rushes you like other real time strategy games. You wont find your self frantically smashing your screen, swiping and scrolling to advance your horde of units against the enemy. Having said that, the combat in this game does not lack in action. I would compare the warfare between your seedlings and "The Greys" (they litteraly are grey and threaten to destroy your colorful world) to a ballet. Your seedlings zoom around gracefully, lasers beaming. A bouquet of flower petals explode in the outer orbits as they disappear from existence. The whole display is quite relaxing.
For those gamers out there that are looking for a slower paced game to pass the time and relax, or maybe that would like to try an exellent touch screen game for the first time, I heartedly recommend Eufloria HD for iOS and Android. Playtime is decent with over 10 hours of main gameplay, in addition "Darkzones" and scenarios, it is well worth it's $4.99 price tag.
It is time for you to help grow our colony......As you MOTHER TREE, I will guide you