People loves when they were presented by facts. However, facts are used by most people to learn about the story. They still need other people opinions, to decide if this story is interesting for them or not. Modern Jamming is a part of this community, that is to influence other people, to decide if the game is good enough for them or not.
Space also the same thing. Space with its universe is so huge and vast, it can never truly be completely explored. There are so little facts about space that it makes people like us yearning to know more about it as much as possible. That is why, story about space is so interesting that we almost ignore the blurred line between facts and opinions inside the story.
That's a good thing though, because it means that we can enjoy a good story about space. We can still use our imagination to picture how would it be staying in a space, just like the game from Finland-based indie developer, Bugbyte Ltd..
Bugbyte Ltd. has just released their latest game in both iOS and Android, and it's about 4x Space Strategy game. As good as most spaceship game where you, as the battle commander, command your crew in order to take down threats, this is Battlestation: Harbinger.
Battlestation: Harbinger - The Premise
In Battlestation: Harbinger, you will become a rookie Commander that, unfortunately, is the last hope of humanity for victory. Other commanders are busy fighting defending other sectors. Humans are facing perilous times and most of their sectors have been invaded by enemy forces, The Trolgar. So although you're still a rookie, the Admiral can only be faithful in your ability.
You will be traveling across all the sectors to wipe out the enemies. You will have a spaceship that can be fully customized depending on your preference. You will also be able to summon two extra companions to help you with your journey.
With every new game that you start, a new story is generated for you. So you will have a new, fresh experience every time, driven by modern roguelike gameplay.
Battlestation: Harbinger - The Gameplay
The gameplay is pretty easy, you just need to ensure that the enemies won't be able to shot you down. Bring down all the enemies, achieved a great score, and you will be able to finish the game that you started. However, there's always a game for you in Battlestation: Harbinger. So you can always start it all over again if you think your score isn't good enough.
You've known the purpose of this game, to bring down all enemies, that is. However, it's how you bring down the enemies that makes the game interesting. With your spaceship, you will be trying to beat all the enemies in front of you. Of course your spaceship is not invicible. You still have to consider its hull health point, and shield power. Once both of this run out, your ship will explode.
Things I Like
Before I'm heading for a more detailed preview with some strategy in it, I'd like to share you some points that I love from Battlestation: Harbinger.
My first point is the originality. I think personally that Battlestation: Harbinger was created with originality in mind. Although from my research, stated that this game was inspired by other famous space game like Faster than Light and Out There, it doesn't feel like this game copy anything from them.
If anything similar, it's just the space theme, or perhaps the hyperspace method to travel from one sector to another. Nothing in particular that makes this game can be said copying anything from games that stated before.
The next thing that I like from this game is the gameplay. The roguelike system that creates a new experience everytime I play the game keeps me coming back even if I've completed a level. Not only that, I also like the system where I can customize my spaceship with the loot from the enemies. Moreover, the changes that I've done, is reflected by the look of the spaceship, so it doesn't just a text changes, but also a graphical changes.
Battlestation: Harbinger - The 4x Space Strategy
At the start of every game, you will get two type of currencies with one for purchasing and the other one is for upgrading your arsenal. With these two currencies, you will be building your space ship with some equipment.
There are three type of equipments that you can slot in into your spaceship. As you can see in the screenshot below, the red slots are used for big cannons. The blue slots for smaller defense cannons, and the green slot will be used for hangar bays. Of course with every cannons, you need some coins to purchase it.
Not only building cannons, you can also buy some reinforcements, extra spaceships. You can buy at most, two extra spaceships, if you have extra coins. Of course, these extra ships will come off-the-road, meaning you still have to equip them with some cannons, just like your own ship. However, having these extra ships can expand the strategy that you have. For example, your main ship can be the tanker with shield
To get the coins you need, there are some things that you can do. First, you can get the coins by eliminating enemies that you've encountered in the sectors that you're currently visiting. The second one, is by completing the missions that will be popped up in the star map screen.
This star map screen will be telling you the current situation and will determine how you will bring your ship to. Green circle means that there's a mission waiting for you to complete, Blue means the Battlestation location, and Red means there are enemies waiting for you there. The bigger the red triangles are, the bigger enemy ships are waiting for you.
The last one in getting coins, is by selling extra unused equipment. Everytime you visit a sector and beat the enemies there, there's a chance that the enemies will drop a loot. If you think the loot is a good addition to your spaceship, or perhaps a better equipment, you can add or swap it with your old equipment in your spaceship. On contrary, unused equipment can be sold and you will get some extra coins. Not only coins, if the equipment has been upgraded, you can get the other currencies as well.
Battlestation: Harbinger - The Spaceships
There are various of spaceships available in Battlestation: Harbinger. From light carrier to heavy assault, all of these spaceships have their own capabilities and uniqueness. For instance, a Light Carrier will usually have a hangar bay which means they can have extra shield and extra offensive damage in front of them. On the other hand, an Assault Ship tends to have a larger hull and shield capacity, which makes them more of a tanker spaceship with a more defensive option compared to the previous ship.
With many various of spaceships, you need to think first before deciding your team. Do you want to have one attacker with two tankers? Or perhaps you prefer to just use otherwise? You can actually decide your formation in the reinforcements screen.
Deciding the defender cannon for a tanker can also be tricky. That's because if you decide to use a tanker, my suggestion is to not use any defender cannon at all, but to use shield and fully upgrade it. If you think to use cannon, my suggestion is to use shield regenerizer that can be found in the battlestation.
My last tips is to choose the cannon wisely. Sometimes, when you find the loot, you might think that this cannon is better than yours. But truthfully, if you have a celestial weapon, you might just want to keep it. Until you think that you want to try other cannon, but if you don't, just keep your celestial weapon with you.
I think I've written a quite long article and I hope that this can suggest you enough about the depth of Battlestation: Harbinger. With its fresh idea and gameplay, Battlestation: Harbinger can get you spending your time with a great and satisfying content. Also, they're doing a graphic novels. So if you're into that kind of stuff, please visit their forum, to check out the Battlestation book.
About Bugbyte Ltd.
Bugbyte is an independent game studio based in Turku, Finland. Comprised of individuals with a passion for gaming and creating games of their own, Bugbyte is currently 3 man strong but is very lucky to have great collaborators, who help create awesome games. Previously Bugbyte has focused on uniting entertainment with helping through casual charity games. The next step for Bugbyte are hard-core games, where Bugbyte wants to create something truly epic. The old dream, however, still lives on. Bugbyte wants to make a hit game one day, and be able to help a good cause at the same time.
Lastly, I would like to thank Bugbyte for providing me with Battlestation: Harbringer to put my most honest review of the game.