In most traditional video games, the stars are simply a background decorative element. In Solar 2, you ARE the stars, and they are nothing but quiet blinky little lights off in the distance.
You begin your heavenly life as simple asteroid, colliding with other asteroids until you’ve amounted enough mass to be classified as a small planet. From there, you can carefully attract more and more mass until your planet has enough raw material to support life. Life evolves on its own. It can, and will defend itself against other life forms you encounter in the galaxy.
If your planet takes on more mass, eventually it will become its own star, able to support multiple planets. Stars become larger. Systems can become binary systems. And your galaxy grows more and more as you advance in the game.
All that size and power comes at a cost, however. Other solar systems are aggressive towards you and will attack you if you enter within their range. The life within your control can help with destroying other solar systems, but sometimes you have to resort into colliding with their planets to knock them out of orbit. Be careful, however, enough damage to your main star can knock you back a few classes and you may need to rebuild all over again.
Luckily the game has a wonderful “save star system” feature so you can save and load up your favorite creations at any time.
As violent as this all sounds, Solar 2 is actually an incredibly peaceful game. The visuals are aesthetically appealing, the soundtrack is soothing and perfect for experience. And for the most part, Solar 2 is a pretty relaxing game. The gravitational effects within the game are fascinating and the larger your system becomes, the more gravitational pull you have.
If you’re familiar with Flow and Flower, then you’ll understand what type of experience Solar 2 can be. However, Solar 2 has a more dynamic emotional range than Flow and Flower. It can swing from a peaceful visit to the spa, all the way up to intergalactic warfare.
If you’ve grown tired of floating around without purpose, there are missions that can be played throughout the universe. The missions occasionally toss you into the deep end of the pool and can be quite frustrating to beginners. The wacky commentary provided by your guide seems to dissolve frustration.
The few minor complaints we have aren’t enough to take away from the experience and we still found ourselves losing hours at a time playing Solar 2. For starters, your planetary defense ships can’t seem to steer around your planets and if you move too quickly, you can temporarily destroy a good portion of your defense systems. We wish they were slightly more intelligent and able to fly around their home worlds. And secondly, we found ourselves spamming the B button to absorb more and more matter throughout the galaxy. It would have been nicer to be able to simply hold the button down instead of tapping it like mad when we found ourselves in a larger asteroid field.
All in all, we were very impressed with this indie release. Created by Murudai Independent Game Development, Solar 2 is the result of the hard work of a very small handful of people. It is available to download for both PC and Xbox 360 and we can easily say that it’s worth the sticker price.
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Name: Solar 2
Available on: PC, Xbox 360
Developed by: Murudai Independent Game Development
Published by: Murudai Independent Game Development
Release date: June 17, 2011
EG Score: 4 out of 5 / “Worth Buying”