A Faster, Simpler RTS: Interloper

My alternative title of 'Sperm War' was rejected

Anything can catch my eye while browsing for new games. A gorgeous art style, my preferred theme of sci-fi, genres rarer in indie circles, the list of things that take my fancy is as numerous as it is seemingly random. Sometimes a game will hit all of these, like Interloper. It’s a strategy game that wants to last no more than five minutes per match. It uses very literal interpretations of territory control, with units blocking off passages until they’re destroyed, and supply lines, covering viable routes in your colour. Controlling the action looks simple, but the speed combined with the number of variables and map layout mean I suspect it’s difficult to master. To cap it off, it’s beautifully drawn from a top-down perspective with some lovely-looking alien tribes. See it in motion below.

It reminds me of Hearthstone in a way–taking a genre so often associated with over-complication and high barriers to entry then distilling it down to something quick and simple. With care and craft, games can both be accessible and keep a high skill ceiling. It’s the sort of thing I find very exciting, custom-made for my short attention span and inflated perception of my own skill.

Presumably the next video mentioned in this video is coming shortly, as this one is a couple of weeks old now. Sign ups for the beta have started over on the website and here’s the Steam Greenlight page. The developers are first-timers Monogon Games, a Dutch 3-man studio that came together to work on game jams and stuck with it. I’m keen to see what they can do.

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5 Comments

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    lurkalisk says:

    Looks like it could be a lot of fun, but the kind of fun that gets old pretty fast. Complexity typically lends itself to longevity I think, if done right.

  2. Ibed says:

    Looks interesting.

    I’m reminded of Divekick, for the same reasons you thought of Hearthstone: removing all the mechanical skill needed in a genre and distilling the form to only the strategic metagame. Of course, I know very little of RTS or this game, so we’ll have to see how it pans out.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Aye, Divekick’s a VERY literal take on the same sort of idea. Which I really enjoyed, but bored of pretty quickly. Not that I’m very good at getting into and staying into actually playing fighting games at the best of times…

  3. Rainey84 says:

    SpermFACE: Advanced Warfare.

    That looks quite vulgar typed out. I apologize.

  4. Thrippy says:

    Quick and simple is Candy Crush. Just saying.

    From my admittedly narrow perspective, the bulk of the customer base for this game will be the same as that for over complicated traditional RTS titles. In other words, we loyally support both ends of the scale, big and small. Inevitably the people that wind up playing this game (in the long term) will be able to rattle off a dozen RTS classic games they also have played. There’s never enough new RTS games to be had, so gamers are willing to stray far afield to try any game with a competitive strategy component as its foundation.

    This notion that if a strategy game is done just right, it will attract new gamers that otherwise eschew other strategy games might be fallacious. I started suspecting this when Atmospheric games first became popular, like Eufloria. Who was playing Eufloria, or say, Osmos, for any length of time, including much more recently on their mobile versions? Long time strategy gamers.

    Looking forward to Interloper this fall while I’m playing Homeworld Remastered, Paradox’s Ancient Space, the DoW Steam betas, et. al.