My name is Sean McGeady and I have an infectious disease – acute viral rhinopharyngitis.
The common cold.
The onset of symptoms was slow. The virus presented little challenge to my immune system. As the levels of infectious enemies increase, so do my efforts to contain them. My body is at war with itself.
From afar I appear healthy, but look closer and my sickness is revealed. Stem cells spawn white-blood cells which wage war against opposing pathogens. I am a battleground; my capillaries are the trenches. My cells are the soldiers.
On the outside, I appear inanimate. I am a factory in constant production of new micro-organisms birthed purely to reclaim my health.
Whilst regenerating my health is a high priority, it is not my immediate objective. My immediate aim is to explore and conquer an interstellar constellation of asteroids, trees and seeds, to reap resources and to nurture a colony of bio-mechanical plant life. My goal is to beat Eufloria.
Like my body, a marco view of Eufloria suggests a universe that's static. But my asteroids are an industry. As I zoom in, my micro view reveals a complex assembly network of trees and seedlings born solely to serve my will.
Seedlings are my army and my currency. They are my white-blood cells. Dyson Trees produce the seedlings required to explore and conquer my surrounding universe. They are my stem cells.
To progress I must colonize the asteroids within the belt, each of which possess statistical properties based on energy, strength and speed. Seedlings born from an asteroid inherit its properties. Currently I occupy several asteroids of different sizes and statistics. While my forces are growing, I cannot diagnose when the virus will begin its invasion. I must be ready. I must expand.
Planting a Dyson Tree costs me ten seedlings. They fly into the surface of my asteroid, exploding on impact in a burst of celestial confetti. Roots swirl and stretch to the core and the vivid colour of my tree sprouts from its grey surface. Each precious branch extends its reach and begins to birth tiny seedlings. The older the tree is, the stronger and more productive it becomes.
Like the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli aiding my respiratory system, it is these trees that provide the foundation of my strategic experience; it is these seeds that allow me to live.
My legions are varied, they continue to grow. For what purpose, I am unsure. Thus far the game has provided little challenge.
I direct several scout seeds into the void in search of the enemy infection. I find nothing but desolate asteroids awaiting colonization. Each time I colonize an asteroid my explorable area increases. The increased radius given by an asteroid is proportional to its size. With my increased exploration and occupation comes the frightening discovery that I am far from alone.
The enemy is all around me, and there is not just one. There are a multitude of infections in this world. I am susceptible to them all. Each new location reveals another level of hidden contagion; public bathrooms, escalator rails, restaurant menus. Everywhere I go I find myself surrounded by the virus. I cannot escape this. All I can do is fight.
The enemy can be extremely aggressive. Contaminants attack each other in both an advancement and a display of dominance. One virus has wiped out the other, gaining control of more asteroids in the process, providing them with more resources to expand their army. An army with only a single objective: eradicate me.
As the infection grows stronger, so too must my efforts to contain it. To take over an enemy asteroid I must amass an army large enough to overwhelm their forces, which takes time. I must also retain enough seedlings to defend my asteroids, should my enemy retaliate.
Planting Defence Trees assures that my asteroids always remain protected. These cost the same price as the Dyson Tree, and disperse mines that follow and destroy enemy seedlings. Cold and flu capsules assure I can combat the catarrh, but when the enemy attacks my resources will only last so long. I must be strong enough to fight it.
The virus has a foothold. It swarms inside me, around me, waiting, growing. With my defences in place and my attacking forces increasing, I too, can only wait.
I can see the infection growing; I can feel the infection growing. This is the calm before the storm.
From nowhere, the infected cells attack from all angles. I rush to meet the foreign threat, attacking with all my might. My hands tremor as I sneeze violently and repeatedly. My controller falls from my grasp and crashes to the ground. I am helpless against this infection.
I fumble around on the floor, convincing myself that it's not over; that I can still win. Even though it is clear that I am dying. At this point, there is no cure.
Enemy seedlings are burrowing into the core of my asteroids, draining them of their energy. Hordes of the infected chase my few remaining seedlings and eliminate my last hopes of survival. Depleted, I cradle my controller, lying cold and alone on my bedroom floor.
I am overwhelmed. I can no longer fight. I have failed.
All I can do is try again. All I can do is wait for my armies to accumulate, until finally I have the strength to win this war; to overcome this virus; to beat Eufloria.
Review originally published on http://pixelsordeath.com/