Space War Arena Image
Metascore
  1. First Review
  2. Second Review
  3. Third Review
  4. Fourth Review

No score yet - based on 1 Critic Awaiting 3 more reviews What's this?

User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 8 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Starship combat on a grand scale has never been this addictive or accessible. Direct the tides of war in lightning fast strategic battles and unleash astonishing arsenals against opposing fleets to destroy their bases and claim their space. Space War Arena is a unique homage to the originalStarship combat on a grand scale has never been this addictive or accessible. Direct the tides of war in lightning fast strategic battles and unleash astonishing arsenals against opposing fleets to destroy their bases and claim their space. Space War Arena is a unique homage to the original videogame. Build an armada from 30 different types of evolving units, unleash your cunning, adapt to the enemy, and command your fleet in epic AI encounters or vicious same-screen multiplayer. Engage. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. 80
    Space War Arena is a game that may look casual but in truth is fully equipped for a much deeper level of play. It gets off to a pretty slow start, and I do wish I could have more direct control over my units in the field or alternatively that their AI was a little more robust. Regardless, Space War Arena is a fantastic game to play on the go, even without the joycons attached to your Switch.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 16, 2019
    9
    I don't know what it is about this game that I find so appealing. It might be the simple yet difficult gameplay, or how much I love the tinyI don't know what it is about this game that I find so appealing. It might be the simple yet difficult gameplay, or how much I love the tiny little ships flying all around the screen going "pew pew pew!" or how satisfying it is to defeat a level, or how unique each and every unit is. I just can't put this game down, and it's a crying shame that it seems nobody is talking about it. Although it does 'feel' like a mobile game, and for a science-fiction space shooter, it doesn't go into much depth, but who cares when it's so fun? The homing missile factory is a little OP, but you don't get it until late-game anyway. I love making fleets of little tiny ships and watching them take out larger units. I wish I could record a match so I could rewatch it because I'm so focused on winning I don't get to enjoy the animations as much as I'd like. Someone said the a.i. isn't all that bright but I think it's fine. PEW PEW PEW! I love this game. Expand
  2. Mar 2, 2019
    8
    I have some questions after playing Space War Arena. I'm wondering why this game was completely ignored. The team behind the Ecco theI have some questions after playing Space War Arena. I'm wondering why this game was completely ignored. The team behind the Ecco the Dolphin games returning to consoles seems(and certainly to a very small community of fans who love the Ecco games it may be) like a big deal. Nintendo didn't feature it in their Nindies direct, and wouldn't even put a trailer for this game up on their YouTube page despite it being a Switch exclusive and having a pretty significant developer behind it. Ed Annunziata's attempts to promote this game have largely failed. There are articles on this game that few have seen, and critics haven't written reviews yet. Space War Arena wasn't even in the upcoming games section of the eShop, and finally appeared in the store the day of its release. And all of this is despite the fact that the game is actually really good.

    I know there are fans of Ecco out there--there's artwork, remixes of the music, a fan patch that serves as a remaster for the PC version of the game, YouTube videos with people sharing memories of the game, and there was a community that existed for a long time that was at one time pretty active. Ed's attempt to crowdfund a spiritual sequel to Ecco did get some attention, though it fell way short of it's goal(to be fair, the money it was trying to make through crowdfunding at the time, while much easier to achieve now, was quite far-fetched back then). I guess it could be that like a lot of cult games, Ecco is an atypical game, and the fanbase is probably made up of largely atypical people(Michael Jackson was an Ecco fan, 'nuff said). I think that perhaps the majority of kids who bought the games found them too difficult and barely played them. It was possible back then for a game people didn't really like to sell very well(just look at Top Gun on the NES). I do hope, however, that there is enough interest in Ecco, still, for us to get the long awaited sequel to Tides of Time, which ended in a cliffhanger. Ed assured us in an interview with Nintendo Life that it is coming.

    But how is Space War Arena? I'm glad to say it's extremely fun, fast-paced, addicting, and one of the most impressive things is how well it makes use of the rarely used Switch touchscreen(but you can still play in docked mode with a gamepad if you're a philistine). But it comes with one huge flaw(here it comes), that it's over too fast. After beating the campaign, which may take 4-7 hours, there is a new mode where you can level up all of your weapons and try new strategies against never ending space battles, and there is a 2 player mode--but that's about it. You'll be lucky to get 10 hours of gameplay out of this game. That's not bad for a $15 indie, and I'll take it over a $30 5-hour walking sim, but then again I got 100s of hours of gameplay out of Don't Starve, which is also a $15 indie. I'd say the content here justifies $15, but I see it as a missed opportunity. What the game really needs is a new game+. The game ends with a very difficult final boss battle which has two phases, with the second one being harder than the first. Why couldn't they have just done a new game+ which has the same bosses, but gives them maxed out units, more health, more damage, and gives them an even more powerful second phase? They could make all the new game+ battles as hard or harder as the final boss, and potentially triple or quadruple the play-time of this game. And if you did this, you would actually have a mode that was on par with the difficulty of Ed's old school Sega games. The people who managed to beat Ecco as 9-year-olds are probably able to beat games like I Wanna Be the Guy as adults. And the only people who would have even heard of this game are the people who passed by Ed's Twitter account in hopes of finding news about the sequel they have waited 25 years for. I couldn't put this game down after starting it, but once I finished it, I wanted much more.

    I have to say, though, that this is a great return to form for the people behind Ecco the Dolphin. Aside from the Ecco games, Ed's best stuff is Slice HD, Chakan, Kolibri, and Mile High Pinball. And this is definitely a great addition. I'm very optimistic about Ed and his team's ability to create a worthy long-overdue conclusion to the Ecco trilogy now. Hard games are starting to become more popular. The Soulslike community is pretty large, roguelites are becoming more popular, and SCHMUPS/bullet hell games are coming back. Even some true roguelikes, like Tales of Maj'Eyal and Caves of Qud, have managed to make a fair amount of money(and roguelikes are *very* niche). This could be the perfect time to bring back a tough 2D retro game. I mean if Battletoads can come back, surely Ecco can.

    But as for this game, there aren't many exclusives on the Switch for the first half of this year. Space War Arena is a hidden gem that I highly recommend as long as you consider the under 10 hour length worth $15.
    Expand