GSB is a game from UK developer Positech Games. It's a strategy / management / simulation game that does away with all the base building and delays and gets straight to the meat and potatoes of science-fiction games : The big space battles fought by huge spaceships with tons of laser beams and things going 'zap!', 'ka-boom!' and 'ka-pow!'. In GSB you put your ships together from modular components, arrange them into fleets, give your ships orders of engagement and then hope they emerge victorious from battle (or at least blow to bits in aesthetically pleasing ways).
Gratuitous Space Battles aims to bring the over-the-top explodiness back into space games. The game is for everyone who has watched big space armadas battle it out on TV and thought to themselves 'I could have done a much better job as admiral'. This is not a game of real-time arcade twitch reflexes. GSB is about what ships you design, and what you tell them to do. Your individual ship commanders have total autonomy during the chaotic battle that unfolds. This is not a tactical game, it is a strategic one. These gratuitous space battles are not won by plucky heroes with perfect teeth, but by the geeky starship builders who know exactly what ratio of plasma-cannons to engines each ship in the fleet will need.
GSB has both a singleplayer mode, and a cunning 'asynchronous' multiplayer mode, where you upload a 'challenge' containing your fleet (complete with your custom ship designs and each ships orders of engagement) either to openly challenge all other GSB players, or aimed at a specific player you know. The game has a challenge browser and history which shows you who accepted your challenge, and whether they won or lost, and players can rank each others fleets for both fun and difficulty.
The game is available for Linux, Windows, MacOS and iOS. The Linux version was released as part of Humble Indie Bundle 4. A playable demo is available for both platforms. In addition to the basic game, there are three expansion packs available, The Tribe, The Order, and The Swarm. A fourth expansion, the Gratuitous Campaign, is in development.
- The game is produced by Positech Games, home page at http://positech.co.uk/
- The official web page for the game is http://positech.co.uk/gratuitousspacebattles/index.html
- The game can be purchased in several ways:
- Directly from Positech at http://positech.co.uk/gratuitousspacebattles/register.html
- Through Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/41800/
- Through Impulse at http://www.impulsedriven.com/gratbat
- Through Direct2Drive at http://www.direct2drive.com/8578/product/Buy-Gratuitous-Space-Battles-Download
- The Mac version can be obtained from Red Marble Games at http://www.redmarblegames.com/gsb.html
- The official forums for the game are at http://positech.co.uk/forums/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=20
- Cliff Harris' blog at http://positech.co.uk/cliffsblog/
- This wiki, of course. :-)
- Jake Wedding's GSB module archive at http://sites.google.com/site/gsbmodsandstuff/