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XO is a Battlestar Galactica-Inspired Strategy Game

By Julian Benson on at

In XO you command humanity's last battleship and a fleet of ragtag vessels loaded up with survivors as you try to escape from an unstoppable alien enemy.

Clearly XO is inspired by Battlestar Galactica but it's also got a dash of FTL and Frozen Synapse in there, too.

"There's no time to colonise planets, negotiate with alien races, or build an empire," developer Jumpdrive Studios writes on XO's Kickstarter page. "You're outnumbered, out-gunned, and low on resources. Knowing when it's time to fight or flee will be the key to saving the human race."

Each time you jump to a new system you can gather resources, repair your ships, search out other survivors. However, the enemy will catch up with you and increasingly difficult waves of ships will assault your fleet. You have to judge when is the right time to jump to the next system. Wait too long and the enemy will catch up with you. Every battle holds the potential for you to lose a ship vital to your escape – a destroyer that can help defend the fleet, a freighter loaded with food and medical supplies, or even a fuel tanker – so staying ahead of the enemy is paramount. Of course, jump too soon and you may leave vital resources behind.

Every time you jump into a system you're met by an FTL-like random event. Anything from distress calls, to suspicious wreckage, to pirate space stations. A lot of the events will be spawned by your crew members, many of them will act as dissenters, stirring up trouble on your ships. You can decide how to respond and that will cause future events: throw a popular revolutionary out the airlock and you can spark revolts all over the fleet; reassign a popular, but difficult, officer away from your command and you might have to deal with a mutiny.

Essentially, if you can keep your supply levels high and your ships intact your fleet will fly true. Doing that will be nigh on impossible, though.

Throughout it all is the combat. It takes place laid out on a 2D plane in a bold colour vector graphics, looking like a commanders' screen in an '80s sci-fi programme.

As well as fleet battles that you control in real-time on a 2D plane, the game is filled with procedural events.

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All the action takes place in real-time, so you control your fleet like any other RTS. You're able to pause the action and queue up orders which will be helpful for the more confusing moments.

You can also design formations for your ships to fall into, letting you construct more protective or aggressive arrangements for different situations.

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I really like the sound of XO, it looks to have captured the drama of Battlestar to drive you through the game, but it's also built on top of a fleet command RTS, which is right up my alley.

You can read a huge amount more about XO on the game's Kickstarter page.