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Warpips is a tug-of-war strategy game from some Subnautica devs

A quick, stylish, micro-RTS

I'm often too lazy and tired to learn full fat strategy games these days, but I still long to make tiny men do my bidding. Ed's too tall for me to get my kicks at work, so I turn to microstrategy games to scratch the itch.

Warpips seems to fit my needs. It's a tug-of-war strategy game that's just entered early access, in which you build a squad, spawn units, and push towards an enemy's base without much direct control over your units themselves. I've played it for half an hour and had a good time, and you can see it in action in a trailer below.

That trailer sold me on it instantly. That it's £10/$12/€12 helped. That its developers describe it on its Steam page as being basically finished, entering early access only for some balancing and a final steer with updates, helped further. That its three-person development team are all folks who work at Unknown Worlds on the (also just-released) Subnautica: Below Zero sealed the deal.

My 30 minute playtime was enough to clear three levels. In each, you select a handful of units to take into a battle, choose a region of a map to attack, and then enter the fight. You've got a single building you must defend and an enemy building you must destroy. There's no micro-management of units because you're not telling them where to go or shoot (beyond simple "take cover" and "push forward" buttons), but otherwise it captures a lot of the macro decision making behind any other RTS. You're selecting which units to build, how you balance unit quantity versus upgrades, how you gather money, and in between missions re-stocking units and applying permanent upgrades.

I'm pretty simple, though. A lot of the appeal for me is in the bright colours and poppy explosions. That missions are designed to last ten minutes at most, and that there's a power curve trending towards explosive mayhem, makes me excited to stick with it and unlock mroe goodies.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.