Is pre-ordering still pre-ordering if you get instant access to the game? That’s the case with Gratuitous Space Battles 2 [official site], Positech’s follow-up to the spacewar/laserguns management game. If you buy the game now via the developer website, you get instant access to its beta. There’s a new trailer below to prove it.
GSB is a “hands off” spaceship strategy game, which means that you’re initially responsible for selecting, designing and managing your fleet, but the battles themselves play out without much further control. It’s sort of like Football Manager if you could place individual fins on Wayne Rooney’s back, select the laser cannons to attach to Milner’s boot, and then the resulting football match was nothing but bright lights and explosions.
Although a beta and therefore unfinished, this is what the Positech blog says about the current condition of the game:
Note that this is a proper beta, not some super-early-access proof of concept thing where most of it doesn’t work. In other words, most stuff works! it’s playable. Hopefully its fun! It’s PC-only and English only for now, but that will change come-release. There will of course be bugs, and myriad balance issues. And I will be adding some extra voiceover and a few other bits and pieces. But hopefully this is something you can play and enjoy right now. You get a download link, an online serial (for challenges, if you want to use them), and a steam code for its eventual steam release (the code obviously isn’t working yet).
The game will be ported to Mac and Linux later and those builds will be “retroactively available” to everyone who buys the game now.
Here’s that trailer: