Dyson is a classical take on real time strategy mixed with tower defense mechanics created by Rudolf Kremers and Alex May. The gameplay is simple with one unit type (seedlings) and two base building options (offense and defense). Base’s are built at nodes (called asteroids) that contain different qualities. These qualities like strength and speed will affect what kind of seedlings will be created by each node. As with all strategy games, there are deeper levels of complexity on top of the core mechanics.
Dyson is probably the most relaxing RTS I have ever played. The ambient music (which was turned off by default, turn it on in options right away! Props to Brian Grainger for the quality sound) and cool, calming aesthetics provide a unique experience. Bases are really flowers that produce seedlings that can be sent to fight and build (or grow) more flowers (bases). It’s fun, engaging and addicting once you start to move seedlings from node to node.
Overall I really only had one major issue with Dyson. There isn’t a good way to quickly tell what each seedling specializes in. Because some are faster and some slower, sending out a mass of seedlings against a large enemy can prove a little disastrous when the speedy but weaker seedlings get to the node far ahead of the stronger and slower seedlings. An option to select “faster” or “stronger” seedlings would have helped create some better strategy.
Dyson was a Independent Game Festival Finalist this year at the IGF and it rightly deserved it. This game is incredibly polished for an independent game, with solid core gameplay and a unique design. Dyson will be released on Steam in the coming months, but if you can’t wait it can be downloaded for free from the official website!