Developed by Ironward
Published by Nkidu Games Ltd.
Available on PC
Beginning with a successful Kickstarter campaign back in March 2014, The Red Solstice has quietly gained support with coverage from major gaming sites and steadily growing interest on the backburner from tactical shooter and strategy fans alike. Now, with over $60k pledged by fans and a year and a half of development, how has the game fared? Pretty well it seems. Though my experience with the game only concerns the single player campaign, I found plenty to like, even in a genre that I rarely dabble in.
Taking control of Tyler Hunt, a (wait-for-it) space marine, players are tasked with leading a tactical military squad on Mars in trying to ascertain what happened to a series of human colonies that have been established on the red planet. The chief thrust of the gameplay is basically to accomplish the tasks as they are given to you in each level while keeping your squad alive. Should they fall however, and they will, continuously, the forgiving continue system is so kind as to remember everything you’ve accomplished before you died, even if you are relegated back to the previous checkpoint. A tactical mode, which slows down the action while you order your soldiers into position and prepare for battle can go along way toward preventing unnecessary deaths over time.
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The single player campaign is competent enough, if a bit lacking in narrative sensibilities, but it’s far from the central thrust of The Red Solstice, and is certainly not the main component that has been exciting gamers since the title’s announcement. Unfortunately, I was unable to sample the fabled 8 player co-op, and maybe that’s for the best as an unseasoned fellow like yours truly would no doubt just drag down the already aspiring veterans. The down thrust of this is that I’m not really in a position to give the game a full and proper review, hence the more casual tone of this piece.
With that said, as mentioned above, the game is certainly a fun enough romp through sci-fi warfare, if a bit by the numbers. Travel the map, fight some aliens, finish your mission, rinse, repeat. One can certainly imagine how running this same simulation with 7 of your closest pals would spruce this concoction up a bit, but as it stands I can only comment on the aforementioned campaign.
To see a touch more of the game in action, and decide if it looks like your type of space race though, we’ve helpfully included a trailer below.