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Aurora, RTS PC Game Review

Updated on January 17, 2011

Aurora's tag line is simple: 'Aurora is an ambient indie RTS game that simplifies the genre to its strategic core.' I'm pleased to say that the game delivers on all promises and will make RTS converts out of even the most casual gamers with its charming simplicity and wicked gameplay. Oh, and the music. Did I mention the music? Warfare has never been so cosmically beautiful, and melodic.

A great many real time strategy games are played out on world terrain maps with men in tight white pants and big red jackets. Aurora doesn't submit you to all that earthly drama, instead it takes you to the stars, where worlds are born, and defies you to try your hand at inter-stellar warfare.

Aurora is played simply. You are the lord of a star swarm. You must click on your star and drag your pretty hordes to as yet unclaimed territory, or, if the game has progressed to that point, claimed territory and battle it out with the occupants. When enemy troops meet, you'll hear a delightful tinkling as they reduce one another to nothingness.

The game takes place at a liquid slow pace, which might not initially appeal to many RTS players, but you'd have to be lacking a soul and the part of your brain that makes you tap your feet to not get some enjoyment out of the fine ambient tunes and pretty colors.

You really shouldn't let the game's simplicity fool you though, those other worlds are pretty vicious and voracious when they want to be - which is all the time. So you better shake yourself out of your cool coffee shop vibe and get to work, before you're beaten by some sparkly red dots.

Other points to note include the fact that if you intend on looking at anything not swathed in a black background, you'll need to give your eyes some time to adjust. The opening credits in particular have the distinction of burning themselves briefly into your retinas, which means you'll be able to see them even when your eyes are closed. I think I'm sensing the beginning of a new marketing trend. Social media be dammed, retina scalding is where it is at.

Aurora launched for the first 24 hour period free of charge, but the entire game costs only $5, and at such an eminently reasonable price, the only reason why you wouldn't buy it is if you didn't have $5 to spare. See what I did there? I used cold, brutal logic, but I did it whilst chair dancing, which makes everything okay. Aurora taught me that.

Download Aurora


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