Empires of Creation is an upcoming combat strategy game from Bundle of Sticks Studios. The title is currently in early access, and by that I mean really early. The game features neither tutorial nor instructional documentation. The developer offers a 3-page “Guidance Document“, but it’s merely a rundown of backstory, game objective and key-mappings.
The first thing you’ll see when you’re ready to play is the Galaxy Generator. Here you will create a spiral galaxy consisting of 2 to 5 arms. Each arm can have between 40 and 80 stars. You must then choose to populate your new galaxy with 1 to 5 enemy empires.
As you fly around the galaxy you’ll run across individual stars…some with a skull-and-crossbones icon next to them. This indicates the presence of an opposing AI fleet (the game currently lacks multiplayer). Each time I maneuvered one of my fleets to engage the enemy, I saw that I was grossly outnumbered. The idea apparently is to get several of your fleets in position before diving in. Upon entering combat, the screen switches from the galactic map to a tactical arena with the local star and planets prominently in the center.
By pressing TAB, you can take over one of the individual ships in your fleet and fire a red laser at an enemy ship. The idea is to line up the shot billiards style, with the laser acting as a pool cue, and the targeted ship as the cue ball. Blast the opponent just right and it will careen into one of its teammates, doing damage to both ships. This amounts to the only direct combat control available in the game, as of this writing.Ultimately, the goal is to take over the entire galaxy through an eventual balance of strategy and tactics…including a crafting & upgrade system, as well as negotiating with enemy forces. For now, Empires of Creation remains a future recommendation from me, despite is reasonable cost on Steam. I will be keeping my eye on this title and writing more as updates become available.