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Conflicks - Revolutionary Space Battles Review

Conflicks - Revolutionary Space Battles Review

Some of my clearest memories of highschool afternoons were formed on Telegraph Avenue in Berkley, California. Just down from Rasputin's music store and T-shirt Orgy, there's a little bar that forms the downstairs portion of a rather average looking building. In that windowless enclosure, my underaged self shot pool with friends. I learned the rules of the game, how to shoot behind my back, and by the time I shipped out to college, I could actually make shots with mild consistency. A decade or so later, it seems my modest skills have somewhat waned, as evinced by my performance in Conflicks - Revolutionary Space Battles.

2015 12 05 00004

True to the pun in its title, Conflicks is an RTS that employs a unique movement system for the fleet of ships the player commands. Rather than drably ordering my space faring soldiers to move with the click of a mouse, I had to pull a chain out of their thrusters and flick them. There is no aim assist (with the exception of a single ship), so it's all eyeballing, guesswork, and (in my case) a lot of ships crashing into each other. To further muddle things, flicking ships costs a unit of metamatter, the game's universal resource used for building ships and activating abilities. So not only is moving ships incredibly difficult, potentially disruptive for your formations, and sometimes suicidal, but it also uses precious resources. This should be a big, fat nail in the coffin, but instead the entire process is oddly charming. Accidentally shooting my ships into each other, asteroids, and into the middle of enemy fleets is simply too hilarious to be frustrating, though that may have something to do with the absurdity of the title's presentation.

2015 12 06 00002

Conflicks is a mish-mash of Renaissance stereotypes, sci-fi, worker's rights, Christian allegory, and poultry. In this insane alternate universe, the yolks of chicken eggs produce a magical substance called metamatter that can be used to fabricate anything. This gives a surprising amount of believability to a setting that immersed in behavior straight out of a Jane Austen novel read by the cast of Monty Python. In the first hour of the campaign I was presented with mind boggling and side splitting stories, from a raid on a galactic sector called Falafel to proudly posturing French pirate Marquis De Moustache, whose enthusiasm for revenge is matched only by that for his facial hair. While the in game graphics are rather humble, the semi-animated journal entries that bookend missions are an impossible fusion of Renaissance homage and screwball comedy.

2015 12 06 00001

Honestly, Conflicks is one of the rare titles that I can find almost no fault with. Its lowest point of design is its sound, which is an average mish-mash of generic space sounds. That isn't to say that it's perfect. While developer Artiface Studio has delivered a bug free, and unusually well directed game, it is very niche. It's a small scale RTS that employs wildly different movement mechanic in a totally unfamiliar setting. Even while I sing its praises, I have to acknowledge that this game just isn't for me. The pool-like flicking is just too much to think about while I orchestrate a fleet of ships. Those with a funny bone and a desire for creativity whose depth surpasses novelty will be very happy with Conflicks, but if the comfort of the familiar is what you seek, then look elsewhere.

8.00/10 8

Conflicks - Revolutionary Space Battles (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Innovative, hilarious, and ridiculous, Conflicks is perfect for adventurous RTS fans, but not for those who can't laugh at their own ships blundering into one another.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Ian Kuan

Ian Kuan

Staff Writer

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