Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 75 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: GSB is the next game from UK developer Positech Games. It's a strategy / management / simulation game that does away with all the base building and delays and gets straight to the meat and potatoes of science-fiction games : The big space battles fought by huge spaceships with tons of laser beams and things going 'zap!', 'ka-boom!' and 'ka-pow!'. In GSB you put your ships together from modular components, arrange them into fleets, give your ships orders of engagement and then hope they emerge victorious from battle (or at least blow to bits in aesthetically pleasing ways).
    gsb screenshot gsb screenshot gsb screenshot. Gratuitous Space Battles aims to bring the over-the-top explodiness back into space games. The game is for everyone who has watched big space armadas battle it out on TV and thought to themselves 'I could have done a much better job as admiral'. This is not a game of real-time arcade twitch reflexes. GSB is about what ships you design, and what you tell them to do. Your individual ship commanders have total autonomy during the chaotic battle that unfolds. This is not a tactical game, it is a strategic one. These gratuitous space battles are not won by plucky heroes with perfect teeth, but by the geeky starship builders who know exactly what ratio of plasma-cannons to engines each ship in the fleet will need. [Positech Games]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Gratuitous Space Battles isn't for everyone, as its brand of strategy is entirely weighted towards the setup phase - and the execution is almost completely hands-off. Still, the prospect of building your own ships and using your own unique combinations of general strategies and offensive and defensive loadouts is very compelling for anyone who is a sci-fi space battle enthusiast.
  2. A deeply satisfying game, beneath a humble facade. [May 2010, p.92]
  3. In the end, for all its talk of being "gratuitous," Gratuitous Space Battles is actually quite a lean, mean game with a unique premise and singularly charming personality. If you're even marginally interested in seeing heavily armed tin cans tear each other a new hull breach with beam lasers and torpedo missiles, give it a try.
  4. Imperfect spaceship engineering and asynchronous online dueling combine to deliver a flawed star. [Dec 2009, p.94]
  5. Dec 23, 2010
    I do like Gratuitous Space Battles. I think it's a great concept, beautifully presented. I just wish it would let me like it more.
  6. Gratuitous Space Battles manages to strike a respectable balance between casual gaming and deep, engaging strategy.
  7. The type of player that will enjoy the gratuitous space battles might well be put off by al the number crunching and preparation involved in just getting an effective fleet together. [Feb 2010, p.63]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 9 out of 31
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    This game is amazing, and is one of the few amazing games that target a very specific audience, thus if you are in that audience, you will LOVE it, if not, you will not like it. I am happy to find another one-in-a-million games that is actually expirementing in their gameplay (I'm talking about you, hardcore FPS's!). Just be carful to try the demo or watch a video first. I shouldn't need to tell you that much about it, you can tell about it by playing the demo. It's like a natural filter. People who hate it wont look at the demo, and likely won't buy it. however, people who Apriciate True Gaming Art, will look into it! Expand
  2. Jul 11, 2011
    Absolutely brilliant. For the low price I think it an excellent sci-fi strategy game. Simple and exciting the campaign adds depth and allows players to conquer the galaxy in this not too serious space shooter. Expand
  3. JasonH
    Jan 20, 2010
    A graphically stimulating game that relies on my imagination without treating me with as much respect as one would treat a mouse attached to an electrode that had to figure out which button to push to get the cheese, and which button not to push if it does not want to be painfully shocked? You gotta be kidding me! A game that rewards you for decisions as opposed to button pushing skills is refreshing, and restores my faith in humanity, frankly. Well done sirs! Expand
  4. Nov 13, 2013
    TOYS! Make spaceships and set them up to blow each other up. This is the space scalextric set, no controls except what the spaceships are and what the formations are. Set 'em up and watch 'em explode! Expand
  5. AWG
    Jul 6, 2013
    When I play a game I like to, well, *play* the game instead of being forced to read walls of text just to understand the fundamentals. This is the main reason why I'm not really into strategy games.
    "Gratuitous Space Battles" seems to be a fair game with a lot of things to do but I couldn't really be caught by it.
  6. Apr 30, 2013
    This is a game where you design ships and they blow eachother up basically what it says on the tin. It provides lots of tools to give feedback on this process after-combat damage breakdown by ship and weapon and other things like that but the process just doesn't feel that satisfying. The fights are glacially slow even on the highest speed, to the extent where I've wanted to basically Alt-Tab and do something else and come back in 20 minutes when the game has decided if I've won or not. Fleet maneuvers aren't fast paced enough to really be all that pretty, so after you've seen one fight you've more or less seen them all. In addition, while the battlefields have high-level strategic constraints such as 'shields don't work here' they don't really have any tactical depth which, since you can't actually control your ships and still have the run 'count', I suppose makes some sense.

    10x faster ship battles would bump my rating by 1 immediately. Building the game both around the player controlling the ships rather than just designing them and watching them blow each-other to bits would bump it another 1. At that point I think it'd be a perfectly serviceable game not a grand strategy game sprawling across the galaxy and requiring 10 hours to play, but something I'd play when I just have 30 minutes to spare and a desire to refocus or relax a bit something that has a charm in its own right.
  7. Dec 24, 2012
    I have to give this game a zero for shamelessly putting an ad for one of their other games right on the menu screen. The DLC's are also mostly cosmetic and hardly seem to add anything to the game. In other words just another game where business practices have interfered with game enjoyment. Where would be get if every game had an ad for some other? Oh, also this game is a very good exercise in chaos theory. Expand

See all 31 User Reviews