Interloper on PC
I’m lucky enough that I get to write a lot about games and genres that I love. Sometimes, though, we’ve all got to break out of our comfort zone and try new things, which brings me to this preview for real-time strategy game Interloper, a simple and minimalist take on a type of game I don’t often sink my teeth into. Featuring streamlined gameplay, easily-grasped rules, and solid graphical and mechanical design, this bizarre title puts players in charge of a Sentinel, a snake-like creature with only one goal — to claim territory and establish dominance over other Sentinels.The game’s tutorial mode helps show players the ropes without much risk.
Gameplay in Interloper is remarkably simple, with players only concerned with the movements of their Sentinel and the Drones that they can create to assist in their quest for dominance. As each Sentinel moves around the play field, the areas that it passes through become its Domain. Winning a game is as easy as holding control of 75 per cent of the field for a short period of time.
To assist in keeping control of your turf, each Sentinel can, on specific build spots, construct Assemblers to create Drones, and Power Sources to keep the Assemblers running quickly. Up to three Power Sources can fuel each Assembler, with Drone production stepping up for each established link. Drones can be used to patrol and protect Domain, as well as to attack enemy Drones to clear the way.Drones will die if left outside of your Domain for too long, so finding a quick route to your target is essential.
Interloper boasts a pretty smooth interface and simple controls that allow for hotkey selection of your Sentinel, Drones, or groups of Drones. A quick drag-select can snag a large group of drones at once, and they can also be assigned to ‘squads’ selected with the numeric keys. Since the goal is gaining as much ground as possible for your Domain, keeping the Sentinel mobile as you go is key. Managing large groups of Drones gets a bit tough, though they don’t often survive long so this isn’t of great concern on most maps.Keeping your Drones assigned to protect valuable assets can lead to a hefty army to use once you’re ready to strike.
Ultimately, Interloper creates a pretty smooth, very approachable style of play that’s complex enough for those with a taste for real-time strategy, but with difficulty levels that even the less-inclined can get the hang of it. I didn’t get a chance to try out the online functionality as I couldn’t find any players (it may be that it’s simply not ready just yet), but the several offline games I played were fun, even when I didn’t manage to win. It’s pretty easy to lose your handle on play if you’re not mindful of each Sentinel’s position throughout play, but the crisp graphics certainly make it possible to keep an eye on all the action.
It’s tough for me to recommend one way or the other without a price, but at the right cost, this could be a pretty great way to kill some time, especially once the multiplayer function is alive and kicking. Interloper releases on Steam on May 21st.