A capture the flag real-time strategy game? Interesting. Under two bucks during Steam’s summer sale? Okay, I’ll bite…I can take the plunge for two dollars. I know how to live dangerously every now and again.
In Sacraboar, two players will be using units to capture the other person’s flag…ermmm…pig. Yes, they actually refer to the flag as a pig in-game…I almost did a spit-take when the announcer boomed, “We’ve taken the enemy pig!” Each side will have a pool of money that they can use to summon units. When units are destroyed, money is immediately refunded and players are free to build more units until the money pool runs out again or the population cap is reached. I was disappointed that there wasn’t actually a way to make money…it simply served as a second “population cap”.
The seven units in the game vary in function, but many operate in a rock-paper-scissors fashion. The cheaper units can be built en masse without going over the population limit, but are fairly weak. The stronger, more expensive units take up a lot of your money pool, so you can’t build as many of them as you could the cheaper units. Some units can only attack the ground and others can’t attack buildings. You’ll often need a combination of units in play or else you’d be prone to getting wiped out by the units they are weak against. Having a bunch of destroyers (great versus buildings, no air attacks) will do you no good if you run into firebats (the only air unit).
One of the seven units is a builder that can construct towers. I was also disappointed to learn that these towers didn’t function in terms of defense. Rather, they give you special abilities that you can cast on your units to give them advantages for a short time. Building a defensive tower unlocks abilities that you can use to heal or shield your units in battle. Building a resource tower increases your money pool, allowing you to build more units. The kicker is that towers cannot be placed near each other, and the range in which they must be separated is pretty vast. You’ll often have towers located in the middle of the map or its branches because there isn’t room anywhere else.
Players will have quite a few options when setting up the game…you’ll have access to many different difficulty levels and be able to play the AI in a skirmish mode, should multiplayer not be your thing. Matches last about ten to twenty minutes, though can be longer if you up the standard “capture three pigs to win” count. You can usually pull ahead if you manage to keep your towers up and your enemy’s towers down.
I appreciate what this game tries to do, but in my opinion, it is not worth the standard price of $9.99. It IS worth the two bucks I paid, maybe even five…but not ten. There’s just not enough variety or units to keep me coming back for more. I was disappointed that the towers didn’t serve as defensive buildings that could fortify areas…instead, they become resources that you end up having to protect unless you want to lose your special abilities. I also enjoy harvesting resources in RTS games…here, I could throw whatever I wanted at whatever I wanted, and if my units got destroyed, I could rebuild them penalty free up to the money pool / population limit. Others might enjoy this game and it’s possible that I’m alone in my opinion…so my advice is to try the free demo on Steam and make up your own mind.
Final Verdict: 4/10