Blipzkrieg


JoshBlipzkrieg"You're a tough, battle-hardened general on a difficult campaign... a campaign of freedom, liberation, and justice. Your enemy? A gray, totalitarian menace, filled with hard-edged soldiers that will stop at nothing to make all your bases belong to them as they leave behind a trail of destruction in their wake. Can you recruit enough troops to fight the enemy? Will your mix of leadership, quick reflexes and tactics win the day? Does this sound epic enough for a game about circles and squares? You'll find out soon enough in GameClay and Noonat's new strategy title, Blipzkrieg.

Blipzkrieg is a unique and stylized game that mixes simple, abstract graphics with intense real-time strategy elements. The objective of the 29-level game is to reach a portal on each stage that advances to the next level. This is a fairly easy task early on, but later levels require you to get past pesky barriers, hostile gray squares, and deadly laser turrets to reach your goal. Eventually you need to take out fortified enemy bases that spawn more hordes of menacing squares to reveal the portal. In order to be successful, you must rely on friendly troops to assist in capturing areas and destroying the enemy.

Meeting your objectives in Blipzkrieg requires an understanding of the controls, which are simple, yet surprisingly robust. When the game starts, you command a blue circle by clicking on it and dragging a path around the screen in a manner similar to mobile titles like Flight Control. The blue circle soon follows your path, and you can speed it up by clicking and holding the arrow icon at the path's end. A key skill in Blipzkrieg is attacking the enemy and capturing areas, which requires troops. Early in the game, you recruit disorganized troops (which are multicolored circles) by moving your blue circle near them, causing them to turn yellow and swarm protectively around you. Later levels require you to spawn new organized troops from a reinforcement portal, with more yellow circles appearing the longer you wait. To attack something, just move your blue circle (with its swarm of troops) near enemy troops or a capture point, and they will automatically fight to the bitter end, often leaving behind pixelated corpses. Capturing areas can also make deadly turrets your allies, helping to defend areas against the enemy squares.

blipzkrieg.jpgAnalysis: This is a game that takes some getting used to, but once you get past the learning curve (made easy thanks to an excellent set of tutorial levels) it can be quite fun and addictive. Many of the levels are cleverly designed, with the AI putting up a significant fight as you try to take over portions of each map section by section while defending your home base. I especially liked the ability to capture (and lose control of) certain areas of a map, with a clear system of dots and colors letting you know who currently controls a barrier or turret, and how strong or weak its control point is. Indeed, the game's use of symbols instead of detailed traditional characters allows for fast gameplay and quick thinking unhindered by unnecessary adornment. Just like a coach's playbook can depict a grinding football play using just X's and O's, Blipzkrieg's use of circles and squares depicts a truly epic struggle taking place.

Despite its deceptively simple controls and graphics, Blipzkrieg is not an easy game, and at times you may find it difficult to get past a level. Some of the later ones are quite tough, and can take up to 10 minutes to pass unless your plans are crisp and your luck is strong. This is part of the game's strengths though; not every map has the exact same strategy to win, and there are enough random elements to keep things interesting. Getting through the game is worth it however, as everything wraps up with a hard but satisfying final level that throws in some surprises. All in all, Blipzkrieg provided me with a challenging and satisfying experience, one where I was looking forward to beating each level to see what was coming next. Will you feel the same? Are you ready to get your war on? Then let's blipz this krieg!

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21 Comments

This was *lots* of fun! Love the concept...

I disagree about the difficulty level mentioned in the review - I found it relatively easy-going and was never stuck on a level (bar a couple of false starts). The final stage took me less than 7 minutes and that was the longest.

5/5

Is "Blipzkrieg" a pun on the German word "Blitzkrieg"? It translates to "lightning war" or something.
That would be a strategy that the Germans used in WWI, for all you uneddicated folk.

Vary nice game - love the art style and level design. Now, if only I weren't stuck on level 28...

Blitzkrieg was used in World War II, not World War I. World War I's warfare tended to be bogged down in place for months or years, both sides gaining and losing land without much change in territory... Blitzkrieg was intended to be the opposite, shattering your opponent's side with concentrated forces very swiftly.

Am I the only one who finds the click and drag system infuriating? I like this game quite a bit, but it would be ten times better if the commander just followed my mouse when I held down click or a similar mechanic. I tend to run my pathway into walls by accident, then when correcting find I've ordered a backtrack into turret territory and have to draw the whole thing over again.

Excellent little game.

I am also stuck on lvl 28, the difficulty seems to be way higher than the rest, or maybe my tactis are just flawed.

When the two upper right power sources are left, when i get one, i cant get to the other before the computer spawns random patrols, and take the first one back.

Halfway through and LOVING it. Generally I hate those games where you send out troops, capture a base and win the level.

But this game is a bright future for me. It uses SOME of that gameplay idea, but adds more stuff to it and overall makes this a wonderful game. Simple enough, nice graphics, its fun. Truly a joy to play.

@Skjalldyr
I've got the same problem. My soldiers just aren't fast enough to get to both of them. Does anyone have some advice how to beat level 28.

Quite an interesting game. It's interesting that the name of the game is quite literally the name of the game up until level 28 and then it's more about strategy/luck than just running headstrong into a pile of enemies.

For those with issues on 28

Take out the middle energy pod first, then get a good 50 or so helpers and take out the top right energy pod. Camp your guys next to the enemy base on the right and rebuild your army. If your guys touch the field of the base they will die, so stay far enough away to not hit them but close enough to kill them. Once you get back to 50 or so helpers and have just wiped out a spawn, run along the right side to take out the top energy pod. Once it's down, I personally suggest running back to the right-most base and taking it out since that side has the best chance of regaining the shield. There is a huge luck factor here that the enemy will not make a beeline to the energy pod.

They don't tell you this but you can "order" your units and turrets by rapidly clicking nearby. This is really helpful when you're trying to keep your turrets from looking the other way when the cubes are attacking.

Regarding level 28:

I agree somewhat with Asmiroth, with a second caveat being that while you're camping near the right-most base, one of the most important things to note is the "strength" of the control-point.

As you may have noticed, once you take control of a control point, it will start to gain dots. 9 dots is max. You want both of your control points strong (the one in the middle and the one in the top-right corner) before going all the way around to the top-middle control point. If those control points are weak, then the enemy can easily take back control of the top-right control point while you're on your way to the top-middle control point.

Of course, don't get caught by the enemy turrets as well. Use "bunching" to inch around the enemy turret, and then if the turret catches you, use "running." The enemy turrets can massacre your army before you even get to the top-middle control point if you're not careful.

Level 29 was the one that really took me a while to figure out.

The bottom teleporter spawns "friendlies" every "cycle." (I call a "cycle" every time the level beeps at you) If any of your allies die, they will respawn as "friendlies" in the teleporter. That is, until your clone spawns above.

Once your clone spawns above, if any of your allies die, they will still respawn as "friendlies" at the teleporter, but then if any of the allies die a second time, they will spawn as "friendlies" near your ally, and your clone will pick them up as allies. This can get quite annoying near the end of the level, as all of your allies double-die to get picked up by your clone, which just sits there at the top of the screen.

If your clone starts picking up more allies than you do, the thing to do is to camp right above your clone. The enemies will charge you and your clone, your allies and your clone's allies will double-die, and new "friendlies" will spawn right above your clone, and you can pick them up instead of your clone.

Blipzkrieg, you had me at "Your battle suit is ready."

Really, it was then that I started liking this game. There's something that just works so well about very basic, essential writing. It just works. The first few levels give a little bit of narration that for some reason is just perfect under the circumstances.

This is really a fun game to play. The music sounds a lot like Metroid's to me. Strangely, Blipzkrieg on the whole has a Total Annihilation feel to it, and there are several reasons. Like in TA, you start out nearly alone. You apparently wear a battle suit like in TA, which has a Commander unit with some powerful weapons and very high HP, just like in this game. Your job is to continuously make your way from one portal to the next, until you reach your final destination and eliminate the enemy base. You do so by gradually gathering together a sufficiently large force and defeating the enemy forces as necessary. Orders can be given ahead of time, allowing you to basically queue up actions and perform a long sequence of moves. Even the the little gray squares, your enemies, resemble Total Annihilation's K-bots a great deal, with their legs going back and forth from the top down perspective. On a basic level, I'd say Blipzkrieg resembles TA quite a bit.

Of course there are differences, and this game has some shortcomings. I really think "Your battle suit is ready" makes a great beginning for a great game, and a great story. Why not take that and run with it? That line alone has so much potential for a great story. You could write an entire book with that as the originating idea. Maybe that's how TA came to be.

Unfortunately, I don't think the creators of Blipzkrieg had such lofty plans for their work as I would have liked. There's pretty much no narration at all after the first few levels, and even there the narration is very limited. Also, the one piece of music, while I did like it, is all there is and repeats over and over. And I wasn't too happy with the interface. As someone else mentioned, it's easy to get your "commander" stuck against a wall. I would have liked it to allow several kinds of control that perhaps could be toggled back and forth. The ability to have your commander run by holding a key--like Shift--would also have been nice, since the game gives you know way to speed up while you're in the middle of drawing a path. And of course the graphics are nothing to write home about.

Anyway, I figure Blipzkrieg probably deserves a 3/5, but I gave it a 4. Maybe someday a sequel could be made, hopefully with an interesting plot, a little more music, and with some fixes made to the interface.

@Mar

You do know that you can move your clone/green guy around right? He gives you an extra control point.

@Fuzzyevil. I did not realize that! Wow, that makes the last level SO much easier!

Thx Jomn and Asmiroth. That was what i needed to do lvl 28.

Double cliking to focus towers on a point is quite an essential piece of information to this game. That really should have been part of the tutorial.

@Iconian: Glad you liked the writing. :) I absolutely loved TA, but it wasn't a conscious inspiration for us. Now I want to go back and play it again.

There was really so much more we wanted to do with story and gameplay, but this was also a *prototype* of the gameplay for us, and we wanted to get it out there for people to give feedback on before getting too invested in it.

We're also bringing the game to mobile, and hopefully you'll get the see the idea a bit more fully realized there.

@Skjalldyr: Yeah, there are several things that we didn't have a good place to teach (like aiming towers, clicking your leader to blast nearby enemies, rapidly clicking the endpoint for a bigger speed boost). Hopefully we can do a more direct tutorial in a future version to specifically teach them.

@noonat: Ha! I knew it! I've found that once a game like TA gets in your blood it stays with you a long time. Even if it wasn't a conscious influence on Blipzkrieg, you borrowed enough elements from TA that I really can't help seeing the resemblance, like seeds planted long ago that now have a chance to grow. Can I ask though what conscious influences that you had for the game? Anything in particular or more an agglomeration?

I'd definitely say it was a good idea to the test the waters before getting into too far into making a big game. What do you think so far? Are there enough people who like it to make a sequel?

Anyway, I'd really like to see more of a story and more missions in either an expansion or a sequel. Most of the missions were pretty short, and I'd really like to see what direction this ends up taking storywise.

@Iconian: More of an agglomeration, but if I had to pick my own three: Harbormaster, Darwinia, and Mobigame's Edge. As for people liking it, it seems to be a love hate thing right now, which is good. I think with better controls and a better tutorial it wouldn't be quite as polarizing.

I also wrote up a post-mortem here, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Great game! This is definitely one of my favorites.

About the level 29 surprise:

Personally I feel the green commander is not a clone but a commander from an allied nation with a romantically convenient gender. It fought through 28 unique levels, building both armies and character, and arriving at the 29th just in time to flank the grey menace.

I was wondering why the green commander was only introduced in the last level, but the postmortem cleared that up.

@noonat: Well, I've heard of Darwinia but never played it, and haven't even heard of the other two games you mentioned. So, maybe Blipzkrieg is a lot more like them than TA? But I sure still see a resemblance.

I read the postmortem. It actually reminds me of my own time writing fiction . . . I think it's really a learning process creating something new, whether it's a game or a book. I think I'll comment over there though.

I'm not completely sure but I think I've played this game a couple of years back already.

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