Eufloria HD: Tree planting and colonization in space

January 8, 2013
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When I think about games that are centered around commanding and conquering, I usually imagine brutal war-torn landscapes, lots of blood, and all sorts of violence, but Omni Systems Limited’s Eufloria HD has managed to make colonization a work of art. I first mentioned this game in our 9 most irresistible games for the second half of December, but let’s take a closer look at it in this app review.

The Mother Tree, a bodiless voice, tells you that you must go out into space and add asteroids to your colony. Unfortunately, as the Mother Tree is helping you get the hang of this colonizing thing, you discover that something is very wrong.

Your colony, previously teeming with life, is now a grey and barren wasteland. Many of your precious seedlings have also gone mad and have lost their color. This strange disease is called the Grey Sickness. It’s your job to travel through space, conquer asteroids, and find out what caused this.

Asteroids may look like lifeless gray circles at first, but once you plant a Dyson tree, the asteroid takes on your team color. Of course, to strengthen your colony, you’ll need to make a few sacrifices, such as 10 seedlings to plant your Dyson tree. Don’t worry, because the Dyson tree will provide you with more seedlings for your expansion and colonization.

From a distance, all you might see are tiny little dots swarming around your asteroid. Zoom in to actually see the Dyson tree grow and release new seedlings for you. The older the Dyson tree is, the more seedlings it can provide.

Some asteroids are very fertile and allow you to plant more than just one Dyson tree. Examining an asteroid shows you its specs, such as Energy, Strength, and Speed. These specs determine what kind of seedlings will grow on the asteroid.

With all this expanding and colonizing going on, it’s easy to leave an asteroid unguarded and susceptible to enemy attack. Thankfully, you can plant Defense trees but just like a Dyson tree, you’ll need to sacrifice 10 seedlings. Careless enemies, however, will find themselves devastated by the Defense trees.

Occasionally, the Dyson tree releases a flower which you can graft onto a Defense tree so that it can provide you with Laser Pods. These Laser Pods give your asteroid additional firepower against invaders and in your own attacks.

As you explore space, however, you realize that you are not alone. You have to fight off not only the Greys but also other seeding colonies. Unfortunately, these seeding colonies also have control of asteroids that can grow powerful seedlings. You’ll need to be crafty in order to defeat other seeding colonies and to take over their resources.

Taking over asteroids also lets you find and collect artifacts. If the enemies are proving to be difficult to defeat, you can Terraform to boost the qualities that you want. Be careful, however; it may be tempting to max out your Energy, Strength, or Speed but for every point you want to raise, you’ll need to sacrifice a seedling and potentially leave your asteroid vulnerable.

Though Eufloria HD can be played in either Relaxed mode or Challenging mode, the background music is calming and hypnotizing techno. After a while, it’s easy to lose track of time as you colonize asteroid after asteroid.

What I particularly liked about Eufloria HD is that you need to be mindful of the overall picture, as well as individual asteroids. With so much going on, you can sometimes overlook if an asteroid is getting attacked, if a flower has bloomed, or if a Laser Pod has appeared.

You also need to change strategies depending on the situation. Move too fast and your seedlings may get quickly overwhelmed; move too slowly and your enemy will get too powerful for you to take on.

To really be able to enjoy the details, I highly recommend playing Eufloria HD on larger screens, such as phablets and tablets, because smaller phone screens really don’t give this game justice.

Expand your colony and destroy the Grey Sickness in Eufloria HD, available on the Google Play Store for about US$4.82.

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