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Betelgeuse Brawl Review

By , on June 6, 2010

Betelgeuse Brawl
3 out of 5


  • No-frills 4x turn-based strategy.
  • Variable AI and customizable games.
  • Four player hot-seat gameplay.


  • No online features.
  • Light on micromanagement options.


Betelgeuse Brawl provides an approachable classic star-based 4x for the App Store that might be simple enough for new players, but a bit bland for veterans.

  • Full Review

The 4x genre (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate) is probably responsible for eating up the largest chunks of my spare time, inviting players to explore its deep and complex gameplay to manage vast empires. Betelgeuse Brawl is a no-frills 4x from Dark Matter that places you in the oft-repeated situation of commanding an entire species as it explores the vast reaches of space.

Like most strategy games, Betelgeuse is controlled through menu options available through its simplified interface. A tutorial will provide with the basics to manage your planets and their production, however the finer points will need to be learned by exploring the relatively comprehensive help menu. The game's map can be zoomed and scrolled easily, with planets and fleets being directly selectable as well.

The game's graphics are kept simple, with textured rotating planets and icons taking up the bulk of Betelgeuse's artwork. Players can switch the background between basic stars or stars and nebulae for a bit of variety, while the soundtrack features several 'spacey' tracks. Local hot-seat gameplay is available and customization of map size and the starting statistics for each race can be configured before each match.

A lot of micromanagement has been stripped out to make this an easily approachable 4x, but as a niche genre the lack of variety can feel bland for veterans. It's still not an friendly genre to dive in to, but Betelgeuse Brawl keeps things simple if you're willing to try a new strategy game.