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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 75 Ratings

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  • 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. Sep 7, 2013
    Graphics are pretty nice and battles are truly gratuitous. Just watching the comm chatter from the ships is funny. I find being able to design and build your ships from scratch the most enjoyable part and I spend endless hours testing and building ships. I always wanted them to change it so that you can control the ships in battles and finally they have.
    Please note some old reviews might mention the absence of in battle control which has now changed!
  2. Dec 14, 2013
    The game would be a decent buy at $5 if it included all of the DLC. Its current pricing is way out of line for the entertainment it provides and given it was released in 2009. It provides 10+ hours of entertainment for those that enjoy basic strategy. At $5, the game would warrant a score of 7.5. I am giving it a 10 as those scoring it below 5 are being overly critical despite the fact it is overpriced. Expand
  3. Jun 21, 2011
    Amazing space combat simulator with lots of customisation and hugely addictive qualities. One of those games that - if it's your thing - you'll be playing for months after purchase. Expand
  4. Feb 23, 2013
    It's not a bad game, lots of customization options for your ships and cheap. Decent amount of missions to keep you entertained for a while.
    The music gets repetitive very quickly and it would be nice to know why you lost sometimes. As another reviewer already mentioned the best feature would be if you could see what your enemy ships are doing. I think the mystery would be cool on the online portion since if everyone could see each others ships it would be kinda lame. In single player mode, I don't see much reason to not have this info. Can't argue too much with a good price though (while it's on sale anyways.)

    The new races don't seem to add much of a difference to the battles which is a bit disappointing. It's understandable to make them balanced with each other but at the same time, they need to feel different.
  5. Jan 2, 2013
    A very interesting concept with lots of potential that misses several key points. The art is very pretty and simple so it can work even on older PCs and laptops. The concept is interesting but poorly executed. You can design your own star-ships with different weapons and attachments, but most need to be unlocked first and don't do much but perform slightly better than previous iterations. no huge weapon variety either it is mostly lasers, missiles and ion weapons. DLC races don't have much differences except cosmetic slight stat changes and a few unique weapons. During battles you can't really tell what is working and what isn't or what kind of weapons the enemy has. After battles there are charts you can look at but don't really explain much. It tells you your best and worst ships and weapons but doesn't go into much detail so it's kind of useless. Pretty much the only way to win is to just throw lots of cruisers and one or two frigates at the enemy but that doesn't get you much reward to improve your ships and still suffers massive casualties to an apparently inferior enemy fleet.. Also campaign mode is a paid DLC which seems kind of stupid to me. Collapse Expand
  6. Dec 26, 2011
    Now I'll freely admit that I'm not massively into strategy games, but having picked this up in one of the recent indie bundles, I thought I'd give it a go. If ever there was a game that threw up barriers to introducing people to the strategy genre, this would be it. I get that strategy games are often complex, but when the tutorial involves reading screeds of text, going through numerous pages of options and ten minutes later, you finally get to see the battle take place? I'm sure the hardcore strategy nuts are frothing at the mouth reading this already, but from someone who wanted to see what all the fuss was about, I'll try and find a more accessible entry into the genre. Expand
  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