Eufloria PS3 Review

Eufloria is many things. Beautiful, sleek, relaxing, tranquil, and engaging would be my choice words to describe it. There’s something within the title for both the casual and hardcore audiences. While a few technical blunders prevent the title from realizing its full potential, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to enjoy.

The very first things you’ll notice when beginning Eufloria are the lullingly-peaceful soundtrack and exceptionally bright and vibrant colour palette. Xylophones and harps lend a relaxing, peaceful, and modern hand to the blend of light reds, yellows, and greens that will immediately beckon you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Every element is simply silky smooth. Without a doubt, Eufloria immediately sets the bar high with an atmosphere that is pleasing both to the eye and ear.

Let’s dive into the premise and mechanics of Eufloria. While the gameplay may seem a little confusing and even overwhelming on paper it is indeed quite simple. The game borrows source material from the scientific concept of a ‘Dyson Tree’. For those of you who don’t know what a Dyson Tree is, it is the idea that a tree can grow on a comet utilizing solar energy (among other things). In Eufloria, the goal of each stage is to ‘branch’ out from your home comet and tree in order to conquer the other comets. Your base units are ‘seeds’. Seeds are all-purpose ‘soldiers’ which carry out a variety of tasks such as:  gathering intel about life on other comets, attacking foreign comet colonies, and even building more trees (which in turn produce…more seeds). Over time, trees mature and become more efficient at producing seeds with attributes such as Power, Energy, and Speed depending on the comet. Eventually, as you progress through the game, you will gain access to special seedlings and trees which take some of the field work off your hands. For instance, one unlock enables your Dyson Trees to attack on their own without the need for any seedlings to be present on the comet. This allows for a more seamless experience with less of a focus on micromanagement.

At a glance, Eufloria may seem like a very casual RTS experience but you’d be a fool to let it beguile you. While I am a sucker for a good challenge, I’m not a fan of ‘random difficulty’. In Eufloria’s case specifically, this mechanic randomizes both the location of your ‘home comet’ and enemy comets. In a positive light rest assured that each time you play, the title will be a little different, requiring you to strategize your seedlings in different ways. In a critical light, the difficulty will spike in an inexplicably random way. There have been times where I’ve had to quit the game entirely due to downright unfair comet placement, too many times to be frank.

Impressively, the title comes with both a full Trophy set for the digital bragger within us all. Alongside Trophies, you can also find an in-game collectible. These collectibles, dubbed ‘Artifacts’, are miniature formations that can be found revolving around a random comet in nearly every level. In order to collect these Artifacts, you must simply zoom into it and voila, it will be added to your collection.

A feature I especially appreciate within the title is the addition of a ‘Fast-Forward’ button. Traveling, conquering, and populating asteroids are very very rewarding experiences during your first time seeing them. It’s a delight zooming the camera in to see your little seedlings whiz to an adjacent comet and wage war on the opposing forces. However, things can get extremely tedious and boring after seeing this process for the billionth time. Luckily the developers remedy this with little interference in the actual experience of playing the game. With a tap of L1 your game will speed up to 2x the usual speed, allowing seedling and Dyson Tree management to be handled in a much more timely manner. I found this feature to be extremely helpful without harming the overall ‘zen’ experience that Eufloria offers.

I love Eufloria. It does a lot of things right. You can easily lose hours in the soothing atmosphere and simple-but-challenging gameplay elements. At times, small technical issues arising from the randomization process in each level can get extremely frustrating but I can’t say that makes it an inherently terrible title. Eufloria brings a much-needed minimalist take on the ‘RTS’ genre and does so quite well.

7/10

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Version tested: PS3

Developer: Alex May, Rudolf Kremers

Publisher: Valve

Genre: Real-Time Strategy