Soup The Game
- Platform: PC
- Players: 1-2
- Achievements: Yes...well, achievement (singular).
- Steam Trading Cards: Yes
- Controller Support : No
- Retail Price: $1.99 (for now)
High Level Premise: Microorganism combat!
Graphics/Style: They do the job, nothing is confusing, even with dozens of things flying around the screen.
Music/Soundtrack: There's one atmospheric song on the title screen, and one song that repeats in game. Fortunately, I don't mind that song, so it's fine. It fits the game well.
Story: You play as either Bacteria or Nanobots, and your goal is to defeat the Virus. That's it.
Replay-ability: As it stands right now as a 1-player game, it is totally replayable until you win a match. At that point, I don't see why you need to play again (at least until more content is added).
Time Commitment: A typical match runs 3-5 minutes. Your time commitment to the game as a whole depends on whether you can win or not.
Value: The game is only $1.99, and it is in Early Access. The developers have stated that they intend to add more features to the game, and that each time they do, they plan on raising the price of the game. For $1.99, right now as it stands, I hesitate to recommend it. If the $1.99 gets you all the future content though? Then yes, it could be worth the early investment.
Favorite Element: Incredibly easy to learn control system. The whole game plays with just two keys on the keyboard. One key summons your units. Different units types are formed based on how long you hold the button down. The other key returns your units home.
Before I begin, I feel the need to reiterate that Soup: The Game is in Steam Early Access, so I'm reviewing the game as it stands right now. If things change over time, and I feel the need, I will update this with new information.
Soup: The Game is a very small war game. Players take on the role of either bacteria or nanobots in a battle to the death against an enemy virus. You fight the virus by summoning "units" which are ejected off the main mass you are trying to protect. So right off the bat, managing the number of units you create is a crucial decision. Too many, and you won't have enough mass to defend incoming attacks. Not enough troops, and you won't be able to grow large enough to be aggressive.
You have four types of units you can summon: collectors, mines, fighters, and nukes. Collectors are the units that go out and eat the tiny green blobs that act as food. Mines circle around like moons, and protect you from outside attacks. Fighters go out and actively seek the enemy. Finally, nukes are like guided missiles that can do massive damage to the enemy's weak spot. The game goes until one players' central mass has been eliminated. This usually takes 3-5 minutes.
Soup: The Game is a fun little romp, and it can be addictive, but it has problems. One of the biggest is there is no tutorial or back story to explain just what is going on. All of the controls are shown on the title screen, and that's fine to get you into the game. However, there's a meter at the top of the screen which seems to suggest health, except it has several other lines and icons on it I don't quite get. Also, besides the player's bacteria / nanobot and the enemy virus, there is a third "purple" army that exists in the game. It seems to attack both sides (although it seems to be way more aggressive towards the player than the AI). I don't have any clue what that is, why this scenario is happening at all, or why it's called Soup: The Game. A little more work in this area would pay huge dividends.
Of course, as I mentioned in the quick glance section above, the biggest issue right now is that there is only this one level. Once you beat the AI, that's it. The positive side is that the AI in this level is a beast, so you'll probably be playing the game a few times before you get to that point. I'm 8 games in at this point, and I'm getting to the point where I almost can win, except at that very moment there is always a mass attack by that nebulous purple faction that completely decimates me. As a side note to this, there is only one achievement to this game for now. It's for your first victory. However, it pops after your first game whether you win or not!
I've always enjoyed the games where you start small, and attempt to work your way up the food chain. Games like Shark! Shark!, Feeding Frenzy, Agar.io, and Osmos all share this similar basic play style. Soup: The Game uses these mechanics to create a unique war-like game. There's the seed of a very cool game here. I hope the new content begins showing up soon, and fulfills some of that promise.