Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Neptune's Pride

Neptune's Pride is an online strategy game. Set in space, it is very simple- every 24 hours, every star that has economy produces 10 currency for each level of economy, and each star with industry produces each ships for each dot of industry every 12 hours. You can move your fleets to capture new stars, by spending 25 to buy a carrier. A carrier can hold any number of ships. The ship can jump as far as you have range technology, and move as fast as you have speed technology. You research a rate proportional to the amount of science you have. When combat happens its all a numbers game- your attack is your weapon tech, your health is the number of ships, with the defender striking first and getting a bonus point in weapons.

You can exchange many things in the game- tech, stars, fleets and money, but you can never have a full alliance. As most combats come to a numbers game, alliance is necessary.

The game plays... strangely. As mentioned, production is slow, as is fleet movement, so you initally only need to check once or twice a day. However, once conflict begins its important to not miss any times- if you have ships sitting idle while your enemy assaults you then you are going to lose a lot of ships. This is extremely frustrating. The clock is always running. You cannot miss a day and hope to succeed, which means that despite there being precious little to do, you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time on the game.

In the end, this feels like a failed experiment. A mix between real time and turn based, it just doesn't succeed for me. Still, it is in beta currently, and I have only played the free version. Maybe things will be different in future...

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