Gratuitous Line Extension: The Swarm DLC

A space bird on the map is worth two not on the map..

Positech’s popular hands-off build-and-release strategy game Gratuitous Space Battles have just released an expansion pack. How does it expandier the game’s expansosity? Well, for six dollars you get a whole new race, 2 scenarios and a cent. The aliens in question are the swarm who deploy masses of fleets with smart bombs and focusing-in disruptor beams. All the while looking like the big gold bird out of Mysterious Cities of Gold. And a trailer follows! Yes! No, really.


  1. geldonyetich says:

    Ah, the Mysterious Cities of Gold, that sure takes me back.

    Anywho, The Swarm expansion looks pretty good. I’m waiting for Gratitutis Space Battles to release some comprehensive cheapskate-enticing package, then I’ll likely snap it up.

  2. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, I have the base game, but right now I’m pinching pennies (on everything, not just games). That said, I’d be very tempted if Cliffski would be willing to put together some kind of all-in-one DLC bundle.

  3. indiegamemag says:

    Yeah there definitely needs to be an all in one DLC bundle where you can save $5 or something.

  4. jonfitt says:

    Hey Cliffski, have you considered an iPhone version? I’d be interested.

  5. Vinraith says:

    GSB is an interesting toy but as I’ve said before, new factions aren’t going to bring me back to it. What it would need is a reason to keep playing, some kind of context beyond individual scenarios. I suppose that would make it less “gratuitous” though, so maybe it’s just not the game for me.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      I agree with this. Though I’m also just bad at the game.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      It’s more about the meta-game than anything else. If you’re not getting involved in the online challenge system, then you’re missing the point of the exercise. It’s a constantly evolving community where somebody comes up with the latest ‘unbeatable’ strategy that nobody’s seen before and then everyone else tries to beat it.

      There’s fun to be had there.

    • Vinraith says:


      So yeah, definitely not a game for me. Eh, I can’t be too upset for kicking Cliffski the cash, I’ve gotten far more than my moneys worth out of Democracy 2.

    • archonsod says:

      I’ve never really bothered with the online stuff and I still love it.

  6. Mauricio says:

    Yehat from Star Control?

  7. cliffski says:

    I’m working on a campaign mode that adds a very slimmed down 4x style context for the battles.

    • Vinraith says:

      Bless you Cliff, bless you. That’s going to manifest as DLC, I assume? I know it’d be worth a few bucks to me, and might prompt me to go back and buy the race packs if it’s done well.

    • MadMatty says:

      that would work. And plz add some (more?) area of effect weapons so that formations matter a bit more.

  8. Brian Rubin says:

    Hey, I’m not seeing this on the official website. Am I missing something?

  9. ashbery76 says:

    I think a full 4x indepth campaign with this battle system would be amazing.

  10. Wogan says:

    Was originally going to pass on this, but now that you’ve made the MCoG connection I’m going to have to take another look.

  11. Corbeau says:

    Got it… but, really, GSB needs that comprehensive balance overhaul that Cliff keeps promising (lately, “after the campaign system is done”) before it’s worth getting. The amount of options, both existing and that the expansions add, seem overwhelming and awesome… except that most of them are blatantly inferior. And we’re not talking “narrow”, though many hulls and modules with extremely narrow applications exist, we’re talking blatant numerical inferiority in every way. It drives me up the wall every time I fire up the program, because the base concept is such genius and is being hamstrung by issues that a single glance should identify. And when I say “genius”, I mean “Magic: the Gathering level of addiction potential”, albeit for the narrower audience of sci-fi strategy geeks.

    • KMCA says:

      Inferior? I’ve been dominating with my Tribe fleets since I got that expansion… and swarm has taken me longer to get used to but that race is starting to get my affection too. I just wish that the expansion races had more variety then just 1 set stats change. I wouldn’t mind seeing some Tribe ships with speed increases.

  12. Magic H8 Ball says:

    That opening is WAY shorter than I remember.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Checking on Wikipedia when writing this, the whole series is way shorter than I remember. It seems to go on forever when I was a kid, but it’s “only” 30-odd episodes. Though, as a kid, that probably is close to forever.


  13. Sh0ck-Wave says:

    GSB is great value for money, so the more expansions for a couple bucks the better.
    Sure the ‘over-all’ price of the base game plus the expansions is now pushing close a ‘normal’ game, but it’s a load more entertaining then a lot of full priced games out there. Maybe offer a demo for the expansion races so people can decide if they like / want them before buying. This keeps the price down and lets a new player only pay for the races they want.

  14. Daeryn says:

    +1 to the idea of a DLC bundle; I’d be far more willing to pick them up together instead of piecemeal.

    I am also excited/interested in the new ‘campaign’ mode, whenever that comes out… perhaps it will include some sort of ‘build your own campaign/level’ option as well, for internet sharing? A little more structured than the current one-off battles, especially if there is some way to incorporate ships that SURVIVE previous battles into following battles…