The aliens are here, and humanity’s last hope is a disgruntled pilot and his never-ending supply of towers. That is the premise of Colony Siege, a hybrid between RTS and tower defence game, developed and published by Finifugal Games.
Colony Siege starts on a bit of a downer: aliens blow up Earth, including your wife, child, and cat. Not all is lost, however, as the humans of the future have colonised a number of planets. Said planets are now under the titular siege, and it is up to you to stop them.
The tower defence skeleton of Colony Siege is nothing new: build towers and traps, have waves of enemies attempt to reach your headquarters at the opposite end of the map, and destroy them before they do so. What feels a bit fresher are the other elements that the game throws into its tactical mix.
The first one is your ship, which you control directly. The ship sets up structures with its quasi-magical construction beam, repairs buildings and units, and can also attack the enemy directly. In addition to the ship, you also get to control various combat vehicles that lack the durability of your towers, but are mobile instead.
A limited amount of base building is present as well: there are structure slots situated around your headquarters which can be used to build new factories or establish depots to increase your population space. This neatly divides Colony Siege into a tactical combat phase during which the aliens have to be repelled, as well as a more strategic phase between waves that can be used to evaluate what’s needed for the next battle.
There is no hard distinction between the two phases — you can build more towers while an attack is going on, for example. However, since resources are primarily gained by blowing up aliens, players are advised to spend all of them between waves. A misplaced tower isn’t much of a problem either; your ship’s beam also does magical disassembly at no cost.
Lastly, Colony Siege also offers branching mission and tech trees. Neither is particularly deep, and players are encouraged to save every planet and unlock all the tech anyway, but both nevertheless add replay value. Do you want more units, or maybe boost your ship as much as possible? Have a diverse arsenal, or upgrade a small amount of vehicles as much as possible? At least in the beginning, there are some choices to be made, also to help with the secondary objectives.
Visually, Colony Siege looks quite colourful, albeit a bit generic. The music and sound effects are likewise nothing to write home about, but serve their purpose. Overall, Colony Siege mostly consists of established elements, but offers a mix that feels fresher than the sum of its parts, and is different enough to set itself apart from the competition.
Colony Siege is now available in Early Access via Steam.