AI War Bundle At 75% Off, Space Charitableness

By Jim Rossignol on February 1st, 2013 at 2:00 pm.


I usually hesitate to simply post sales news, because that’s what LewiePs are for. But in the case of RPS space-strategy favourite AI War I will make an exception. It’s 75% off with all the expansions included on Steam. That makes it $4.24 or £2.99 or €4.24, and that’s a fine price for such a huge slab of spaceshipular cleverness. A chunk of the money raised will be given to charity Child’s Play.

To discover why this bundle should be so appealing go here (and lament the unfinishedness), and also check the most recent trailer, below.

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40 Comments »

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  1. MrMud says:

    AI War is great, anyone who has not tested really need to.

    • MondSemmel says:

      It’s a really great game, but I found it amazingly impenetrable. I think it took me >10h to really get the strategic part of the game.
      And so many things – like Fortresses destroying essentially everything but Bombers – are unexplained in the tutorial that I spent hours upon hours in their Wiki, trying to make sense of what was happening in the game.

      To make a long story short: AI War is like Dwarf Fortress – not in its UI (the one in AI War is truly great), but in its impenetrability towards newbies. And for the same reason, too: Both games are updated so regularly that documentation and tutorials, if they even exist, cannot possibly keep up.
      But perseverance is rewarded.

      • Gnoupi says:

        My experience exactly. I see that the game is great, I can feel the possibility, see how the AI operates…
        But I can’t really play it, for now. It’s on the top of my “I have to get back to it” game pile, but it remains there.

      • KDR_11k says:

        In version 3 and below that was something you could only learn from unit descriptions or so, 4.0 and onward expose all the multipliers so you can see that fortresses have Polycrystal x0.01 and Polycrystal is the bomber’s hull type.

      • LintMan says:

        There’s certainly a hell of a lot going on in the game, but the in-game tool tips provide a whole lot of help. Also, the game has a great community forum at arcengames.com, always welcoming to new players and willing to answer questions. The devs regularly post in their forums and are amazingly responsive to problems, balance discussions, feature requests, etc.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        I agree with most of what you say, but the ui is really not great at all. Alt+right-click? Nope. The menus are horribly confusing webs of things, and there’s far too much info and not enough colour.

        But yes, buy it and invest time in it. Probably best to think of it as complex tower defence rather than rts.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Anyone who does not own AI War will be at a disadvantage when the inevitable betrayal of the machines occurs.

    Get your practice in now, because when the unfeeling legions of steel behemoths descend on our homes to probe us with unwarmed appendages it will be too late!

  3. Skull says:

    I think it’s a good idea for RPS to post about the outstanding sales every now and then instead of relying solely on Lewie. I don’t check a lot of sites and barely go on the Steam shop and find I’ve missed a great deal sometimes.

    AI War isn’t really a game I have got into yet but it’s tempting to pick up the expansions I am missing and see what all the fuss is about.

    • FuriKuri says:

      Get an RSS ticker for your browser and subscribe to Savygamer’s PC feed. Easy to keep on top of things without explicitly having to check.

      Many thanks to Lewie et al. for their hard work with that.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Alternatively, Steam now emails a notification anytime any game on your wishlist is on sale. Can get a little annoying during the big seasonals but it’s great for daily flash sales and the like.

  4. Putts says:

    Not all of the expansions are included. Ancient Shadows, the latest DLC, is not included in the bundle nor is it on sale. Even so, you still get a ton of content for $4.24.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Fontan says:

    Damn it, Jim. Now I want to now what happens with the trio. And I’ll NEVER know.

    • Guvornator says:

      I know. The day RPS actually finishes a diary is the day that –

      (I’d finish that simile, but it’s more RPS to just leave it hanging…)

    • jonfitt says:

      It’s an homage to real diaries where people write things for part of January then give up.

    • McDan says:

      Although it would be great if this diary was continued I feel like it has become part of the RPS mythos
      (seriously though, please finish it)

  6. Lewie Procter says:

    Stay out of my territory.

    Oh hey, this is an awesome deal.

  7. Spoon Of Doom says:

    Okay, I caved in and bought it. This game better be good, Jim! If not, you will leave me no choice but to… write a sternly worded letter to you.

    Mark my words!

    • trjp says:

      For maximum effect, bring up how feminism is about to receive it’s comeuppance – or a topless picture of your other half…

    • squareking says:

      Same here and I’m not entirely sure what to expect. I know AI War’s been brought up in recommend-me-a-game threads, so I figured now would be a good time to try it out. I’ve been wary before because it strikes me as a tower defense/Harvest: Massive Encounter-type thing, but further probing suggests I was SUPER WRONG.

      • MrMud says:

        AI war is nothing like a tower defense game.
        It is much closer to some kind of strange 4x or grand strategy game, except you are fighting against an AI in the truest sense of the word that really behaves nothing like a human.

        It is absolutely fantastic.

        • sinister agent says:

          That’s not really true, AI War absolutely has a strong tower defence aspect. I’m quite confident that the developers themselves would acknowledge this. It’s just not the core system.

          AI War is great precisely because it took good ideas from so many other areas, and spent a long time making them work together to create something that’s comprehensible, but also completely new and unique. I’ve never liked tower defence games, and always get bored of them very quickly, but AI War integrates the basic “counter the waves” structure in a way that keeps it interesting. And you can set it up so that the enemies don’t send waves, too.

          • MrMud says:

            If AI War is a tower defense game then Call of Duty is an RPG (after all you gain exp and get perks).
            Drawing some influence from a genre does not make the game of that genre.

            Yes you can build defensive structures in AI war and the AI will attack you among other things at regular intervals (but also outside of those). However the game does not play like a tower defense game in any way.

          • sinister agent says:

            I never said it IS a tower defence game. I said it has a strong tower defence aspect, which you denied, but which is clearly true. Depending on the AI settings you use, you can even make it an even bigger part of the game’s focus.

            From the game’s own site, here:

            So What Exactly Is This Game?

            AI War is a one-of-a-kind strategy game that plays like an RTS but feels like a 4X. With tower defense and grand strategy bits, too.

            I don’t see what the big deal is. I dislike tower defence games, but I won’t go pretending they’re not in there just because I like the game.

        • dE says:

          Well the Tower Defense Aspect is a bit mild. Personally, I wouldn’t classify it as one. But I guess the way the AI keeps sending progressively harder “waves”, the more off a fuzz you make, lends itself to Tower Defence games. You also end up creating Chokepoints or setup localized fortresses.
          But yeah, it never seemed Tower Defensey to me, more like “You know it actually makes bloody sense to set up camp in this spot and fortify it with some structures. My fleet can’t be everywhere at once, after all”. Unless they teleport. At which point they can.

      • LintMan says:

        There’s definitely some TD aspects, but the game’s not really about that.

        Here’s the idea:
        – You start the game with a smallish number of weak ships. The immensely powerful AIs you are fighting against (which view you as a weak opponent not worth spending much effort on) sends weak waves of attacks against you.
        – To gain access to more powerful ships and defenses, you must explore and claim new territory while still fending off the AI attacks.
        – But the process of claiming new territory increases your perceived threat to the AIs, which causes them to send increasingly powerful attacks against you. It also increases the amount of area you must now defend, spreading your limited resources across a larger area.
        – It is quite possible to overreach and push the AIs to the point where you are overrun, or can no longer progress because so much of your resources are dedicated to defense. Steamrolling everything in your way can be a quick way to lose the game.
        – So you have a balancing act of finding and acquiring what you need, while carefully avoiding pissing the AI off too much. There are sometimes ways to defang enemy planets or steal their resources without provoking the AI…
        – To win, you must find and destroy both of the AI’s extremely heavily defended homeworlds which also become even more defended as your perceived threat goes up.
        – The expansions add tons and tons of new ships big and small, potential new allies for you and/or the AI, a campaign, new map styles, and a hero-type ship that gains XP and levels.

  8. CMaster says:

    AI war is an ok game, pretty interesting in some ways.
    AI war with expansions, especially Light of the Spire (despite owning it, have not played the latest one yet) and a couple of friends is absolutley fantastic.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Terics says:

    I love AI war. I have about 40 something hours in it from multiple saves but, I have never actually finished a game. I don’t think AI war is nearly as daunting as it looks. The problem me and my friends had was understanding the many small subtle mechanics of the game. Like how many planets should I neuter? Should I just come back to this Super Fortress when I’m stronger? How in the hell do we attack the homeworlds? In the end we turned to the wiki and the forums, which are both really helpful.

    In the end, my 20+ hours 3 player campaign was the best co-op experience I ever had. I would recommend AI war to anyone with even a remote interest in it. Especially for only 5 bucks.

  10. Squishpoke says:

    Keep in mind that this is best played with a partner over a 30hr campaign.

    Every game has two AI, so naturally the game works best with two human minds working together.

    • LintMan says:

      I think AI War works perfectly fine as a single player game. It scales its difficulty with the number of player homeworlds so two player games wil receive twice the attacks of a 1 player/homeworld game. But you can play singleplayer with 2 homeworlds and twice the resources, and get the same effect.

  11. Engonge says:

    At its core,this reminds me of sins of a solar empire.Something was seriously wrong about that game,I SHOULD enjoy it very much but there is something lacking that I can’t quite put my finger on.Everytime I install it with much enthusiasm and delete after 2 games.I just cant get back to it.

    However this game seems to go way deeper in strategic possibilities.What I’m wondering is,how much of this game am I missing by playing alone?I hardly got 2 of my friends to play company of heroes(which they quit after a month) let alone a complex strategy game with a seemingly steep learning curve.So Im out of luck in friends department.

  12. Reefpirate says:

    Ok so I bought the AI War bundle… Damn you RPS for getting me interested in these things. It’s truly a fascinating game, but maybe I drank too many beers while going through the tutorials. Now I’m scared. WTF do I do??

  13. furikaju says:

    like Jeffery said I’m impressed that someone can profit $6323 in 1 month on the internet. have you read this website http://www.Cloud65.com