As much as I love the 4X genre when it can get its hooks into me, getting into the swing of a grand campaign takes some doing for me. There's always this looming sense of ennui that there's no end in sight, and all my actions feel like raindrops in a vast sea of stars.
Space Tyrant, the latest from Blue Wizard Digital (they of murder-puzzler Slayaway Camp) seems an enticing prospect, then, offering lunch-break scale chunks of 4X strategy gameplay, but spanning a lengthy multi-mission campaign. Oh, and it launched on Steam last week after a lengthy Early Access stint. That seems relevant.
The accelerated pace of Space Tyrant's gameplay is explained away by it's title. You're not a plucky little Federation-esque force, spreading tentatively across the stars, but a would-be Ming the Merciless, kicking over entire civilizations, enslaving those who surrender and vaporizing the worlds of anyone who doesn't. Best practice your mustache-twirling, then.
While individual conquests promise to be short enough to cut through before your lunch break is over, the overall structure looks to be a little more ambitious in its scope, with you escalating through multiple campaigns, each one centered around leading another race of subservient minions to victory against an irritatingly benevolent galactic government.
You start off commanding a horde of angry cyborg space-rabbits, settle into your throne as emperor of a race of swarming bee-like insectoids, and eventually putting the weird-sounding Techno Slugs under your thrall, each race putting their own spin on the gameplay.
Alec took a look at the game a ways back, and was rather impressed with how smart and involved it manages to be despite condensing its individual conquests into half-hour-or-less nuggets of villainy. He had nothing but good things to say about Space Tyrant back then (except for some side-eyeing at some of the more meme-laden humor) so it seems relatively safe to assume the final game is even better.
Space Tyrant is available via Steam now for £11/$16.