Available On: Android Tegra 3 Devices
Price: Free, In-App Purchases
Download: Google Play
After being able to get the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T the first thing I did was pick up the exclusive Tegra 3 app called Auralux. Auralux is a very simplistic and minimalistic game that is extremely and I mean extremely addicting. Though it is minimalistic and very simple it’s one of the best games I have ever played on the Android operating system. When it comes to graphics it’s not a huge part of the game, in fact there are very little visuals aside from your planet and units. The visuals that are in the game are very beautiful, detailed and extremely vibrant making for some visuals that don’t get old.
As said before, all the colors in the game are minimalist and very simplistic. You’ll only be working with two objects which are your planets and your units. Even though Auralux is simplistic all the colors in the game are very vibrant. War Drum Studios, the developers of Auralux, did a fantastic job on the graphics and I really can’t believe they call these graphics minimalist. Sure there aren’t a whole lot of visuals in the game, but both the gameplay and the relaxing soundtrack make up for the lack of graphical content in Auralux.
When it comes to the graphics it’s obvious that many people might be turned off due to their liking and style but as a personal opinion, these graphics are fantastic. War Drum Studios did a fantastic job in this specific area of the game.
War Drum Studios says that Auralux is meant to be a relaxing and stress free game. It’s supposed to unwind you from a very long day of work or just traveling around. Sure, the gameplay helps with a lot of that, but the Audio is also very, very relaxing. For myself, I found the game to be very relaxing, especially after playing for around an hour straight. The audio isn’t full of some epic score but follows up with what War Drum Studios claims to be a minimalist and simplistic game. The music is very soothing and relaxing to the point that I would actually be interested in buying the tracks on a CD.
When it comes to genre, I feel like it’s a mix of a very light dubstep and techno mixed together. It’s very fluid with the gameplay and lives up to any expectations I had from it. The game definitely lives up to simplistic and minimalistic audio. Both in menu screens and in the many different levels the game offers players. Each level actually does not have its own soundtrack though. It’s still quite soothing and relaxing but you won’t be experiencing any new score or track per level. Since the game has 18 levels both extremely difficult and extremely easy it’s understandable as to why the game wouldn’t have a separate soundtrack for each and every level.
Overall the music is fantastic. It’s very soothing and relaxing and is also fluid, thus going very well with the gameplay.
The gameplay itself I found to be very simplistic. It’s very easy to pick up and there’s even a very short tutorial to guide you on how to play the game. Some games aren’t very fun when there’s this simple, but as I said in the beginning of this review, the game is extremely and I mean extremely addicting to play. I often find that it’s a very hard game to put down. What I think actually makes this game fun is the many aspects of strategy that were developed into the game. Not only that, but they did a fantastic job integrating the strategy aspects into the game. It wasn’t half way done. I can definitely say that War Drum Studios did not cut corners when it came to Auralux.
The goal of the game is to simply conquer the other planets or “Suns.” You have units that spawn every second from the sun and with those units you have to conquer and capture other planets. Each planet you capture will generate more units every second. If you don’t use correct strategy the AI will take over these planets and generate so many units that they will conquer you with ease.
Depending on the planets you take over, there may or may not be rings around the planet. Those rings indicate that the planet can be upgraded. These rings aren’t on every planet so you won’t be able to do it all the time. Each upgrade will generate more units every second. The first upgrade will generate two units every second, the third upgrade three units every second and so on. It makes for some very strategic gameplay.
What’s really fun is when you purchase the Tegra exclusive levels and the levels become about 10x more massive than what the normal levels are. This requires a whole lot more complexity and strategy to the game. There’s a lot of DLC for this game which you can often buy in packages, so after you finish the free levels you’ll be able to buy everything for $2.99. The Tegra levels aren’t included in the pack so you’ll have to shell out another $1.99 for those.
Honestly, the game is well worth it. I found that each level had its own uniqueness and fun aspect to it instead of just playing the same thing over and over again. The levels are also very creative. War Drum Studios developed the levels in a way that the planets could like a Spiral, Grid or even an orb.
It’s all very creative and you can definitely tell all of the work that went into the game. The gameplay is relaxing as the developers have said. I’d argue that they aren’t very relaxing but tenser on the levels that are labeled “Insane.” That’s to be expected though, especially if you really start getting into the core aspects of the game. It’s quite a challenge and a challenge that I really, really like.
The game is very well built and the overall quality of Auralux is superb, fantastic even. Most games are kind of difficult to play if you’re playing it on your lap without a proper surface. I think that most people will enjoy this game a lot more if they have a dock to keep the tablet (which this game is developed for) upright.
Aside from that, I love Auralux and would suggest it to anyone that owns a Tegra 3 device. Best of all, a lot of the game is free so you’ll be able to experience the full aspect of it before bothering to purchase any of the DLC War Drum Studios offers.