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As far as real-time strategy games go, engaging in large-scale battle to wrestle key territory from the grasp of your enemies is nothing new, but the unusual Zen-like way Eufloria HD approaches intergalactic combat is out of this world. Soothing ambient music, beautiful abstraction, and calm simplicity make this slow-paced conflict one of the more enjoyably relaxing wars we've ever waged.
Starting with a mere handful of fluttering seedling creatures, your goal is to conquer each minimalistic galaxy by planting trees to stake your claim to the many planetary asteroids scattered around the cosmos. Some trees generate precious seedlings to defend and expand your natural empire, while others fight off dark invaders seeking to destroy you. Amassing throngs of flying troops and sending them from planet to planet to scout and skirmish is a laid back process even at the fastest of the three adjustable game speeds, though the extra time it gives you to strategize and manage your forces is useful as foes grow more aggressive.
At a distance, the galactic battlefield looks like a pile of scattered marbles swarming with tiny gnats. Broader strategy is more easily executed from afar, yet it's worth making a quick pinch to zoom in to the microcosmic level at times just to see the planetary orbs spring to life with lush grass, flowering trees, and your bustling seedlings going about their business. Not everyone will appreciate the slower pace and abstract art style, but Eufloria HD's simple elegance in design holds surprising depth of gameplay. It's easy to lose yourself in the hypnotic ebb and flow of battle.
The bottom line. For such a bare-bones presentation, a lot of beauty is woven throughout Eufloria HD, and the more relaxed take on real-time strategy warfare is a welcome shift away from the genre’s norm.
iPad running iOS 4.2 or later
Soothing yet challenging gameplay. Beautiful minimalistic art style. Touch interface is well-implemented.
A little too slow-paced for some. Many stages have similar visual feel.