BOID Hands-on Preview
BOID – which stands for Bio Organic Infestation Drone – is a new tactical strategy game from developer Mokus. It’s due to hit Steam as an early access title on January 8.
While the feature set is obviously not complete, and there is much balancing to be done, what’s there already is an immediately captivating and accessible new variation on the RTS genre. Gameplay is conceptually simple: the goal is to take over all of the bases on the map by using different units and special abilities and wisely using the bases’ unique weapons, such as turrets.
BOID’s art style abstracts the units into little wiggly-tailed, swimming blobs and the bases into little circles of green (friendly) or red (enemy) activity. While there isn’t much of any detail or variety in the units, there is a clear flow to the matches and never any doubt as to which side is in control or which units have what abilities. In other words, the game’s aesthetic is a good match for both its gameplay and overall complexity.
Matches aren’t terribly long and generally consist of a choosing between a couple of different opening strategies (turtling and a strong defense or rapid rush expansion), then a longer back-and-forth until a tipping point is reached and enemies can no longer spawn enough new units to be a threat. If there is an element of resource management, it is in deciding where and when to allocate the constantly spawning units, and other than making sure they don’t fall into enemy control there isn’t really any base management. As the developer states, BOID is “strategy in its purest form.”
With only eight basic unit types and less than a handful of base types, and touchscreen PC control already implemented, BOID would definitely be at home on a tablet or phone. Matches have a nice, rock-paper-scissors feel about them and the full game will eventually include a map editor.
Strategy games that nearly collapse under their weight of endless units and arcane tactics have a place, but so do games like BOID, which manages to be interesting, simple, and fun.
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Preview code was supplied by the developer.