Published on July 28th, 2016 | by Ben Rueter0
Plenty of real-time-strategy genre have for a long time been bogged down down by complexity or–on the opposite end–simplified to a numbing degree. Things have been getting better with mobile gaming due to tower-defense games. Yet, it still seems like a challenge to create a sweet and short RTS. BOID for developer Mokus, know for Contre Jour, has hit the mark offering small scale battles and creatively challenging players.
BOID’s simplicity has everything to do with its presentation. There is no base building or resource management. BOID is essentially like playing a game of territory control. Territories are defined by glowing orbs in which your sperm-like units much penetrate in order to gain control.
Once territories are under your control, they will begin to produce more units and depending on the type territory, different units will spring out. How a player uses these special units are the key to winning.
Since your first zone only creates the basic “all-round” units you have to rely on the special units unique to the stage. The special unit–or classes–come in a variety of shapes, abilities and are created when your basic units overtake a special territory mutating them into new units. The game features seven different classes and usually two different mutations are present in each map.
Keeping a supply of basic units and special units becomes a meta-strategy in itself making sure you can quickly adapt your units based on the situation on the stage. Most stages only offer two types of special unit bases so controlling them and making sure your team has a steady supply of units becomes important early and later in a match.
Throughout the course of a match, the overarching strategy is boiled down to unit placement and knowing when to defend and when to attack. No base building, no resource management and no tech-trees are present. Mokus breaks it down to the essentials and it never delves into feeling too easy. Matches become intense fast. In fact, the difficulty ramps up quickly. Thanks to quick matches, BOID never feels like time wasted. I always felt once I lost I could take what I learned and quickly apply it to the next match. The game also features online multiplayer as well as a map editor and replays.
The bright neon hues give BOID and striking look. Its aesthetic is one of the simple brilliances of BOID. Backgrounds appear deep with obstacles in the foreground appearing black contrasting the bright neon units and territories. Since matches are so short, being able to understand the boundaries and identifying units becomes extremely important. Being able to spot units at a moments notice and then dashing your units to flank the opponent is common sense for a strategy game. BOID incorporates this notion without the game faltering to predictability strategies match after match.
BOID’s simplicity is its strong suit and its complexity is what kept me playing. I’m hoping that BOID finds its place and the support it needs to grow.
4 out of 5