Outer space. You are suddenly greeted by a mysterious machine, who claims you are but a clone of a commander that once served The Empire, and now tells you that said Empire is in danger. What could possibly go wrong?
That is the premise of Crying Suns, a game which you can get on Humble Bundle right now for Steam, and also download it on the Google Play store and App Store.
For this review, the Android version was used.
Beginning the Game
When you first start your “run”, as the game calls it, (which hints that, the game can be replayed multiple times.) it allows you to choose two officers. These can vary greatly on the bonuses they give, so pick the ones you think would be a great fit for your squadron. Later on, you’ll be given the option to add more officers.
Sometimes, during your space exploration, you’ll find outposts and something called Hypercubes, which will give you Neo-N Fuel if you extract them.
The Battle System
In the hexagonal grid, you’ll have the Hull, Squadrons, and Weapons. The left side shows your resources, and the right side shows the enemy’s resources. The winner needs to get the Battleship’s “HP” (though the game doesn’t necessarily refer to it as HP.) to 0.
In the bottom center of the screen, you’ll notice a pause button, a play button and a fast-forward button. This is because you can think your strategy by stopping the flow of time with pause, and when you feel you’re ready to go, press the play button, or the fast-forward button if you’re impatient.
To deploy a weapon, you must first assign one of the officers to the Squadron or the Weapons bay so they can prepare the weapons for deployment. Then once the weapon is done, you can fire it by selecting a spot and then pressing either the play button or the fast-forward button.
Now, let us talk about Expeditions. The number in the top right corner indicates the amount of soldiers you have. You can send them on a Expedition in order to get Scraps and Neo-N Fuel, both of which are resources you’ll definitely use when upgrading your ship’s health, as well as other benefits.
By looking at the vital signals, you can determine whether you think it’s safe to continue the expedition or end it there with the resources you currently have, which is really great, considering you lose all resources AND soldiers if the next half of the expedition goes a bit south.
Once the Expedition ends, you can get yourself some sweet sweet Scrap, and use it to upgrade your ship, should you prefer.
Choose Wisely Or Face Demise
Now let’s talk about one thing that will greatly affect your gameplay: Choices.
Choices appear, and each choice has a consequence. For instance, you may choose to attack the ship or leave it alone, or you can risk the 50/50 chance (as shown below) and then get those resources. Depending on your choice, you can either gain a lot of resources…or lose a lot of resources, so it encourages the player to be careful and think twice before a choice is made.
Fully Original Main Story
The game has a fully written original story, which is fairly well written. It appears that the “tragedy” has been going on for almost 20 years now, and as you advance through the story, you’ll learn more and more about The Empire, and more and more about yourself.
Tutorials…erm…what do you do?
Unfortunately, even though the game has a lot of these good features and knicknacks, the tutorials…are a bit confusing. The game does not offer many examples, it just tells you what each thing does in text format. If you’re already familiar with games that feature similar mechanics, then that might not be an issue, but even I, who played a lot of strategy games found myself extremely confused on how to do anything.
Even in the Easy difficulty, you might be extremely confused in the first battle, as it waits for you to fire the weapon to make sure you understood the tutorial. But the lack of visual signs or the lack of a step-by-step even appearing makes the player think the game soft-locked or that the tutorial is still loading. But it isn’t. The tutorial is essentially “over” at that point.
The tutorial about damage to the ship also only triggers when you’re ACTUALLY with a low amount of HP remaining, and doesn’t really give you much time to react, before your ship gets totally wrecked.
And sadly, tutorials cannot be replayed, even if you press the REPLAY button on the MENU.
My device is a Galaxy S10 Lite, which ran the game extremely well. However, many of our reviewers experienced odd issues regarding the game’s compatibility. Even though many were in Android 10, the game was incompatible with their devices, which is odd, considering I haven’t made the jump to Android 11 either. It is uncertain if that issue occurs on iPhone but it might be best to look if the game’s compatible with your device before making the jump.
Overall, the game is definitely worth a grab. The original story, not to mention the thousands of possibilities that can change your run drastically really make it interesting. If you can get yourself past the confusing tutorials, you’ll definitely be able to do a lot in the game.
Thank you to Humble Games for providing the Android code for us to review.