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Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti Review

By , on January 13, 2011


Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Interesting blend of Galcon gameplay with 4X motifs.
  • Manual combat adds some flair and a handy early-game boost.
  • Research items add strategic depth.

CONS

  • Poor interface design; doesn't scale well in zoom and menus can be an eyesore.
  • Manual combat scales poorly at higher levels, lagging the iDevice and rendering tactics null and void.

VERDICT

Fans of 4X style games will appreciate the small touches in Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti, but until manual combat is updated it's best to stick to rolling the dice with auto-combat.


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Attempting to improve on the elegant simplicity of Galcon Labs' real-time Risk style gameplay is no easy task, but titles like Civilizations Wars and Modern Conflict have certainly held their ground. Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti by Sad Cat Software adds a 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) like features to the mix, and while it's not Master of Orion, you'll still need to outwit and outplay your opponents while balancing your resources for research.

Forces can be deployed to connected planets by tapping to select each planet in turn, splitting the available amount of troops in half and sending them to attack. Double tapping the origin planet will send all the available forces, though this can leave you exposed to an easy counter-attack. Thankfully research points earned by holding on to planets for extended periods of time can be spent in upgrading a planet's defenses along with permanent upgrades for your ships, tipping the balance of battles in your favor in the process. Single-use 'weapons' can also be deployed to soften up or otherwise decrease the fighting capacity of your enemies as well.

Combat is by default settled automatically and given equal amounts of research you'll trade ships on a 1-to-1 basis, making it relatively easy to know when to attack your enemies. However in a unique twist, players can choose to manually control their forces, potentially saving more ships than would otherwise be possible. Earlier on this is certainly feasible thanks to the simple drag-to-move system amd the ability to split your forces in to smaller groups, but once larger weapons and planetary defenses start making an appearance it's hard not to feel like you're spitting in to the wind.

Also, given the real-time nature of the game it's important to see what's going on across the entire map at all times, however zooming out makes it nigh on impossible to read important information. This is especially frustrating later in the game as there's also no time to check out the layout before the AI takes its first move.

However, these issues aside, Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti is a surprisingly engaging variation on the Galcon-style of gameplay and definitely worth checking out if you like your strategy to be hard and fast.

Screenshots

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Comments

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lootbot 3 years, 10 months ago

i feel sorry to the developers saying this but just get the lite version :P theres not much story to the game so whether you get to beat the whole campaign (around 40 levels?) or the first 6 of them doesnt make that much of a difference, and the skirmish mode with the full tech tree is also available in the lite version. The high point of the game is in the beginning, after which it starts get really repetitive.