Solar 2

Our coverage of the games offered in Humble Bundle 5 continues with a look at Solar 2, which has just made its debut on Android. This is an interesting game centered around the life of an evolving planet, flying around the solar system trying to grow and stay alive. Solar 2 has a neat gameplay idea wrapped in solid visuals and an appropriate soundtrack, all of the components necessary for a great game.

Read on past the break for a more in-depth walkthrough of Solar 2, a new game now available as part of Humble Bundle 5.

Solar 2

The best way to describe Solar 2 is that you're living the life of a growing planet, starting off as a lone asteroid and moving all the way through the stages of being a planet and eventually a star. The "world" you live in therefore is a solar system, one filled with other planets, asteroids and stars. Also in this solar system are different ships and beings that are fighting around the planets, complicating things further. You come to interact with the entities in space in different ways, whether its hitting other planets to grow larger or dodging the ongoing space battles around you.

The basic idea is that you will start off as an asteroid, and colliding with similar asteroids will grow your mass. Once you reach a certain point you'll turn into a planet, where you have a gravitational pull that will attract other objects that will eventually make you even larger still. But there's more to the game than just growing in size, there are also missions and achievements to be accomplished. You're given several missions at once, which are enabled by following arrows to a start point. Once you get to a mission start point, cues arrive that give you commands to follow. Your main goals in the game are to become a larger planet (and eventually a star) while completing these missions and achievements.

Solar 2

There isn't always the best direction for what's "supposed" to be happening at any given point, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on the player. If you're okay being on your own schedule and kind of wandering around, then Solar 2 will fit you well. If you'd prefer some more structure and casual play, you may have to tweak your thinking a bit to make it work. The lack of a map or indication of where you are in the solar system can be hard to wrap your head around as you float through your missions. Once you get a hang of the basic idea of the controls and what is going on when you approach other bodies in space, you'll feel more at home with the game.

Solar 2 has the components to offer hours of play time if you're okay with the "free roaming" format of the game. It takes the idea of an RPG to an interesting place by making the main character an evolving planet, something you just don't see every day. It can take some time to get into the game and understand the premise, but if you take the time you're rewarded with a great game. 

On the first day of its release, Solar 2 was only available as part of the Humble Bundle. Since then, it has just launched in the Play Store for $4.00, which is a good price for the title. If you're interested in buying more than just Solar 2, be sure to keep your eyes on Android Central in the coming days where we'll be looking at the rest of the games included in Humble Bundle 5.

 

Reader comments

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: Solar 2

7 Comments

I've been playing it ever since buying it through the Humble Bundle. It's a really interesting game despite it's (or perhaps because of it's) lack of a clear objective. It's very fluid even on my old single core 1ghz phone and the graphics are nice. My only criticism is that I'm finding the missions virtually impossible to complete. Maybe this is because I'm not really a hard-core gamer, or maybe it's that they really are that hard. Either way, it's still a fun way to waste a few minutes (or hours, or days...).

The game is fairly pretty and could be good, but it's been somewhat hastily ported from the PC, which presents some problems:

*) All the graphical elements are reeely reeely teeny tiny, and you have to squint to see what's what on a high-dpi device like the Nexus 7.

*) The controls are finicky because it was designed for use with a mouse. It's very hard to "sneak up" on an asteroid using your fat finger.

Also It's not remotely casual -- you have to concentrate hard to get anything done. Making the upgrade from a planet to a life planet is going to take you five or ten minutes of squinting and poking if you're not a dedicated gamer.

It's a pity the developer didn't make more effort to mobil-ize the game.

+1

I got to the point where I was a black whole, beat that portion and then quit. The missions are incredibly hard without a mouse and everything is really small.

I played the PC version and it's great with a mouse. The android version is probably best played on a tablet. With the screen being so small on a phone i do recommend using the virtual game pad setup so you can see what's happening with your solar system/planet/black hole/ etc.

This was my feeling too. If it hadn't been the humble bundle and I couldn't play on other platforms, I'd be quite pissed off. It's very obviously intended tobe played with a mouse, something you can see on the menu screen. It might be marginally better on a 10" tablet.

It's funny, I also downloaded the Windows version, and I actually prefer it on my 4 inch screen phone. The only small issue I've found is mistakenly hitting the menu button when moving your system towards the top of the screen.

True, it's UI is pretty much just scaled to the phone's screen and it would be nice if it had a more phone-optimized UI, but I'm not complaining. I'm up to a 9 star 10 planet system, so the UI hasn't seemed to hinder me.