‘Planetary Annihilation’ Raises the Bar for Strategy Games

August 27, 2012 4:47 pm Last Updated: August 27, 2012 4:56 pm

The developers behind “Planetary Annihilation” are making a daring attempt to break real-time strategy (RTS) games from the stale horde of clones that have taken over the genre. “There just aren’t that many quality original RTS games coming out,” state the developers at Uber Entertainment, on its Kickstarter page. “If you love to play games like ‘Total Annihilation’ your options are pretty limited. This is where “Planetary Annihilation” comes in.”

Most RTS games take place on a single map with no room to expand from there. “Planetary Annihilation” breaks free of the shackles of limitation and grants players access to an entire galaxy to call their playground. These galaxies can range in size, and feature a multitude of planets and meteors that also vary in mass. Each map differs from one to the next, creating a fresh slate for players to explore.

The overall goal in “Planetary Annihilation” is simple: conquer the enemy by attacking and destroying their planets. This can be done by expanding one’s own kingdom to the various planets spread across the map. On each planet, players can mine valuable minerals, build a new base, or even transform a meteor into a massive doomsday device that turns planets into nothing more that an assortment of burning rubble. How to go about the battle is completely up to the players.

Each planet can be home to the player’s own battles, with mining operations, bases, and other activities. Uber Entertainment has made a point in their development to provide players with the means to keep a close eye on all of their operations. To achieve this, the developers have created an easy interface that allows users to monitor all of their progress by using fancy features such as multiple windows and split interfaces.

“Planetary Annihilation” allows players to decide how epic their battles will be. Choose to either play a quick skirmish against the computer, or wage war in multiplayer with a friend or with up to 40 players in an all-out battle for the galaxy. Given that some of the larger skirmishes may bear a heavy burden on an average Internet connection, the game will employ a client-server model to take the load off and allows players to enjoy the game, as it should be.

The game will grant players the opportunity to create their own maps and planets, which can be shared with other players online. The maps can range in size, expanding to the reaches of a solar system, or limited to a single planet. The developers will also include modding tools that will allow users to create their own units and game types. Players are also given the option to host their very own server with their own sets of rules and objectives.

The team at Uber Entertainment is raising funds for the game through crowdfunding website, Kickstarter. With 18 days still to go, they’re at close to $790,000 of their $900,000 goal.

There is already plenty of buzz about the project. “Minecraft” creator, Markus “Notch” Persson commented on Twitter, “I have never been more excited. … I can’t throw my money fast enough at them!”

Pledging $20 will get you a copy of the full game once it’s released for the PC and Mac. Like other campaigns on Kickstarter, the various pledge tiers all come with their own added incentives.

Corey Philipp is a journalist based in San Diego.

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