Another indie game snuck up on me and turned out to be pretty good…then again, I have a hard time saying no to games that promise to make me think and strategize. It helps to have delusions of grandeur and the overwhelming urge to take control of everything because dammit, you just do it better than everyone else. Fact.
To put it plainly, Oil Rush is Eufloria on steroids. Don’t know what Eufloria is? Back in 2009, a few developers banded together to make a simple real-time strategy game that consisted of asteroids, trees, and seedlings. Your goal was to take your seedlings and migrate to other asteroids and plant those seedlings to grow trees, which in turn, produce more seedlings. After having a few asteroids with trees growing an army of seedlings, you’d be able to take on enemy infested asteroids.
Now imagine a battlefield full of water, filled with about 10-25 stations & rigs, that each produce various units and provide income. Add a tech tree, the ability to build and upgrade turrets on the stations under your control, a wide array of boats and airplanes, and special abilities and BLAM, Oil Rush.
You begin by selecting a map and who you’re going to play against (multiplayer and AI bots available) and you’re off. You normally start with a station that automatically produces the weakest boat unit. It’s your job to send those boats to other unclaimed stations and rigs so that you can make money and build more units. Like Eufloria and unlike other real-time strategy games, you cannot directly build the units yourself or select individual units. Stations that build units do so automatically so as long as you haven’t reached your unit cap. To increase your unit cap, you need to capture more stations. You can use money / oil to build turrets around your stations, as well as upgrade them. Oil rigs, when captured, provide a steady stream of money / oil, but you cannot build turrets on those and must defend them with your units.
The strategy comes into play when you are forced to decide whether you are going to expand quickly or only take one or two stations / rigs and build up your defenses before spreading your wings. An initial mass grab will leave you almost defenseless, but if you can hold out, you will have the money and units to easily overwhelm the enemy after a period of time.
There is a tech tree that lets you assign points that you’ve earned into both passive and active skills. Some of the passive skills include a permanent upgrade to your armor, weapons, and speed while some of the active skills include speeding up production, demoralizing the enemy, and nukes.
Boats and airplanes come in various forms, and while you can’t select individual units, you can select all the units of the same type and command them where to go. Or, you can tell twenty-five, fifty, or one hundred percent of your units at a location to move to where you indicate and the computer will split them up automatically.
It’s a simple, but pretty game that is fairly fast paced. Most of my matches with the AI lasted maybe ten minutes at most, perfect for when I don’t have a lot of time but still have to have my strategy game fix. There’s even a campaign mode that helps introduce you to the mechanics while providing you a challenge. If you enjoyed Eufloria and like playing real-time strategy games, I recommend you give this one a look. As always, check your PC specs and the system requirements before buying!
Final Verdict: 6/10
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