As much love as I have for the likes of Gravity Bone and Quadrilateral Cowboy, of Blendo Games’ output thusfar, my favourite has to be Flotilla. It was a quietly satisfying little game about tactical space combat, physics, and gratifyingly hard-hitting missiles, all wrapped up in a sharp low-fi aesthetic and spiced with Rastafarian space-cats. Today’s good news: There’s a sequel in the works! Less-good news for the majority of the PC gaming sphere: It’s going to be a Virtual Reality exclusive.
If you’ve not been fortunate enough to play the original Flotilla, it’s a lot like Homeworld’s combat engine but broken into slices of real-time actions and the planning behind them, ala Frozen Synapse. Tell your ships where to move and what to shoot at, and hope that your enemy doesn’t maneuver so as to place their hardest armor plates in the path of your weapons fire. Simple, satisfying, and required real spatial awareness as every ship had different levels of armor toughness for front, back, sides, top and bottom plating.
The sequel looks to be more of the same, outside of its change in interface style, although mention of level design from a panel of creators implies that this one will be focused more on hand-crafted tactical challenges instead of a procedural romp through weird animal-people space up until you butt heads with something too big to handle. A level editor will be included in Flotilla 2 allowing you to create and share your own scenarios as well, which should hopefully give this one some solid long-term appeal.
I’m quite excited about this one, but that’s because I’ve been planning on getting my first set of future space-goggles for some time, and will probably do so sometime this summer, whenever the next steep discount presents itself. Having recently had a chance to try out both HTC Vive and PSVR takes on 3D Computer Space, it really does create an impressive sense of physicality, so being able to walk around this tiny little space-battle happening in the air around my head feels like it could be fun, and should make judging distances and angles a lot easier.
While there’s no price set for it yet, Flotilla 2 does have a Steam store page up, and a release date. It’ll be launching on August 1st. If you want to (gravity) bone up on your space tactics before then, the original Flotilla is available here for £7/$10.