Review: Star Hammer Tactics
My first thought upon starting up a game in Star Hammer Tactics was “wow, this sure looks deep”. I was looking at an option with which I could rebalance any and all of my ships so that their attack strength would go up, but at a sacrifice to their defense. This is quite possibly the only interesting thing in Star Hammer Tactics, which teeters on the edge of mundane so often, that it likely has its own personalized parking space in Brussels. That isn’t to say that the game is out and out awful, it’s just dull, and that hurts it more than anything.
Every skirmish in Star Hammer Tactics starts in exactly the same way. You fire your missiles at the enemy ship with the most hit points, and they retaliate in exactly the same way. In every match I played, this happened in exactly the same way. You can’t fault the game’s AI for its consistency, but it’s this same consistency that causes every skirmish in this game to play out in much the same fashion. You know that when the enemy is down to their last ship, they won’t make a brave last stand, they’ll flee to the corner of the map, turn by turn, grid square by grid square, attempting to avoid the barrage of missiles that you will inevitably send their way. The game has a full campaign mode, in addition to the option to do a random skirmish. Every event in this campaign plays out in exactly the same way described earlier, although with different permutations with regards to ships. It gets repetitive very quickly, and the narrative the game has constructed is very much vague science fiction, but told in the most banal way possible, with a wall of text before every mission informing you what exactly you will be facing. These mostly take the form of briefings, which while vaguely militaristic in nature, are still dull, doing nothing for the plot. At least there’s turn-by-turn multiplayer, which for a minis title is at least somewhat impressive.
Star Hammer Tactics is inoffensive in every possible sense. While the pixel art used for the ships might look nice, and the sound effects and music don’t make me want to claw my own ears out in white-blooded rage, they’re wrapped around a game that could send you to sleep in larger doses. If you really love turn based space combat, go back to Galactic Civilizations, it’s prettier and a whole lot more enjoyable than what you’ll find here.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- Lovely pixel art ships
- Solid sound effects
- Interesting risk/reward mechanic balancing attack and defense
What I Dislike:
- Dull gameplay
- Repetitive missions
- “Story” is told in the most minimal fashion possible