conflicks.jpgEggyolkpunk is not an established genre of science fiction and something tells me it will never find a place amongst the greats like steampunk and cyberpunk. That has not, however, kept Artifice Studio from creating an RTS about egg yolk powered space battles in the 18th century. To go with that ridiculously entertaining premise is a game with all the depth and choice an RTS player could want. Don't be fooled by the ship flicking mechanics; there's enough going on that I don't think Conflicks: Revolutionary Space Battles would work well on a touchscreen.

In Conflicks, there is one resource: metamatter, harvested from egg yolks. Each fleet of ships has a flagship which is responsible for the production of metamatter, generating it over time up to a maximum amount. The maximum amount and rate of generation can be increased by taking control of planets, and to be able to construct the most powerful kinds of ships, the player must do so. The flagship is the core of the fleet in more ways than one, though, since it's also the only way to construct new ships.

Every ship has abilities with metamatter costs and cooldown times, and most of the flagship's abilities create new units. Other units' abilities include special attacks, cloaking abilities, and tractor beams with which to tow other ships. Propulsion is one ability all vessels have, and though the exact details of range and the like vary from ship to ship, that is what allows the player to flick ships from place to place. There are some physics involved with flicking when ships collide and/or enter a planet's gravity.

It probably sounds like Conflicks would be a great game for mobile because of the flicking, but although it's theoretically possible to set it up for touchscreen devices, there are so many things to keep track of and so many choices the player could make that I have trouble imagining it would work well. As a PC game, the interface is great, making good use of keyboard and mouse with hotkeys and minimap to give the player all the information they need.

Unfortunately, the game is not colorblind friendly. There are no colorblindness options that I could find, and in battles with three or four factions on the board, the colors are red, blue, green, and yellow with no differences between ship models.

Another thing about the game that doesn't sit well with me is that ability upgrades are tied to what are basically achievements. Finish this guy's part of the singleplayer campaign, unlock this upgrade. Destroy X number of a given kind of ship in multiplayer mode, unlock that upgrade. I can only assume this was done to encourage players to try all aspects of the game, but as someone who loves RTS games but is absolutely terrible at them against real humans and therefore prefers to stick to singleplayer mode, it sucks.

conflicks2.jpgFor those who are interested in multiplayer, the matchmaking is quick. Battles are four-player affairs, with each player trying to be the first to attain 1,000 victory points. Victory points are obtained through the destruction of enemy ships and the production of metamatter. Bigger ships are worth more points than smaller ones, with the flagships being worth the most. As a handicap, higher ranked players' ships are worth more points than those of lower ranked players, giving a worse player's victories against a better player greater weight.

Overall, Conflicks: Revolutionary Space Battles is a good RTS with a highly entertaining story wrapper. It's neither overly complex nor minimalistic, but it still offers players plenty of options for how to defeat their enemies.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can pick it up on Steam for Windows, Mac, or Linux. Its regular price is $14.99, with a 25% launch discount at time of this writing.