Space Hedgehogs vs. Space Cacti Review
- Interesting blend of Galcon gameplay with 4X motifs.
- Manual combat adds some flair and a handy early-game boost.
- Research items add strategic depth.
- 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.
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.
DescriptionFrom the creators of critically-acclaimed "Project Phoenix" and "Ultraviolet Dawn" titles comes a new, epic adventure. Set in a universe that was peacefully cohabited by space-faring civilizations of Hedgehogs and Cacti for eons, this one-touch, real-time hybrid strategy/action game begins when one dark, fateful night, the Cacti suddenly attack.
The Hedgehogs put up a brave fight, but the element of surprise is strong, and a great many planets are lost to the invading Cacti. Only then do the Hedgehogs realize that during the last period of peace and prosperity the Cacti have been secretly building immense battle fleets equipped with the latest in Cacti military technology. Although the Hedgehogs bravely and bitterly resist, they are technologically outmatched, and their losses are great.
And so now, one thousand years later, the once-great Hedgehog civilization has been reduced to a handful of planets still within their control. You, and only you, can save them and lead the Hedgehogs back to their former glory - or plunge them into complete demise. The fate of the entire civilization rests on your shoulders. Do not disappoint.
- 11 powerful fleet upgrade items.
- 11 special single-use items, including Asteroid Strike and Death Ray.
- Two gameplay styles - instant battles or player-guided, action-packed battle scenes.
- 15 Game Center Achievements!
- Campaign, single game, or timed challenge modes.
- Full Retina Display support for iPhone 4.
- Control your entire fleet with just a couple of touches.
- Use multitouch to split your ships into several groups for different attack strategies.
- Three difficulty levels.
- One or two AI opponents in Single Map mode.
- Local and global high scores.
- Intense, driving music and awesome sound effects.
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