The key to streamlining a concept is knowing when to stop hacking at it. Sacraboar has stripped too much from the RTS template, to the detriment of its one-on-one capture the flag action.
Two opponents face off over a symmetrical map, each of their bases stocked with a castle (for troop spawning), a power station (they speed up construction) and a pig (your bacon flavored flag). In battle, there are just six types of troop to choose from. Men in armor, men with arrows, tanks on stilts, flying bats... Each has a specific role to play. Faster units, like the tribal hunters, are designed to capture a piggy. Tanks blow most stuff up, but they%26rsquo;re countered by an EMP firing, ultro-tank. Bats hover overhead, spitting goo, but they%26rsquo;re easily grounded by hatchet chucking infantry. Stupid bats.
It%26rsquo;s a maze of micromanagement. You have to be intimately familiar with what each unit does, or you%26rsquo;re going to get hammered. And that%26rsquo;s where it all falls apart. The inept art design is the worst failing. Your troops are indistinct, and difficult to tell apart. More often than not, you%26rsquo;ll be left exposed because you simply can%26rsquo;t make out your targets in the melee.
A bucketload of competitive modes cover for Sacraboar%26rsquo;s sparse central game; leagues, tournaments and handicap challenges are neat additions, but they highlight how lightweight the game is. Sacraboar may well find a comfortable pocket of support. It%26rsquo;s laser-focused on delivering a tense, one-on-one game, but its rewards are blurred under no-frills packaging and a too-serious demeanor.
Jan 6, 2010