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Alex May

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This is a cross post from my personal development blog , about a day or two spent jamming on path finding.

I enjoy messing with path finding algorithms and finding interesting ways to obtain the results, this is about a few more recent attempts.

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[While the new Indie Royale game bundle that we (disclaimer!) co-created with Desura is running, we'll be profiling each of the five games featured in it, giving our honest opinion on the pluses and minuses of each title. Last but not least, we take a look at the most soothing RTS out there - Eufloria!]

Eufloria is kind of like that one dude that insists on wearing top hats and waistcoats. It's elegant, refined and completely out-of-place. As Zen-like as real-time strategy games can possibly come, Eufloria is one game that needs little introduction. However, on the off chance that this is the first time you've heard about it, read on.

Minimalistic in nature, Eufloria is basically the story of an alien invasion. You're the commander of the interstellar Euflorians. Your mission in life is a simple one: conquer as many asteroids as possible as to be able to beguile the mysterious 'Growers' into returning. Along the way, you encounter the hostile 'Greys' and must take them on in order to proceed. It's a simple tale, one that has been told countless times before. However, unlike other real-time strategy games, this one is fought with vegetation.

Much of the gameplay revolves around you directing your seedlings from one planet to another (that's accomplished by clicking and dragging) and growing trees in order to increase the mass of your army. Contrary to how things are in real life, growing a tree here is pretty easy. All you have to do is be certain that there are enough seedlings on that particular asteroid before clicking on a button. From there, the seedlings will tunnel into the earth and assist in the the production of an abstract-looking tree. The seedlings that was born will be influenced by the characteristics of their home planets, something that you'll be able to use to your advantage. In addition, you'll also be able to make use of things like defense trees and flowers.

Less involved compared to games like Starcraft II and Command & Conquer, Eufloria is probably best experienced while windowed as you idly read an e-mail, one eye fixed upon the game. Seldom will be there be moments that demand frantic clicking and your immediate and undivided attention. It's an odd contrast and one that will not go down too well with those used to the frenetic tempo that is common to the genre. However, for those looking for a vastly different approach of real-time strategy games, I have but one thing to say: there's a reason you keep hearing this game's name everywhere.

You can check out fellow editor Mike Rose's comprehensive review from the past here.

Official website here, and you can buy it as part of Indie Royale's 'Really Big Bundle' for the next few hours. You can find the profile for Really Big Sky here, the profile for Runespell: Overture here and the profile for Cthulhu Saves the World here.

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