I’ve been playing a game on iPad called Colony Attack. The concept probably isn’t all that alien to most people. You build up your army, attack planets, harvest resources and improve your planet by upgrading buildings. One nice touch is that you explore a grid like galaxy looking for different places to attack. It could be asteroids, nebulas, swarms or debris to get resources, or attack pirates, the empire or other players. This means that you can spend more time playing by doing some “exploring” to find more places to attack. However the lack of anything visually interesting about the grid or locations doesn’t help. Its just a big image of space.
The problem I’ve found is that in combat, even if you win, the rewards often don’t cover the cost of units lost. I’ve found that unless I attack weak people, I’ll not make a profit. At the end of the day any resource centric game is focused around earning a profit so you can re-invest. This means that either you stick to low risk, low reward targets or end up with a lottery of having great rewards or more likely, rebuild your army. Earning 1,000,000T from a great victory isn’t all that fun if you need to spend 1,100,000T to replace the lost army! Even with a cost of 900,000T, the profit isn’t that exciting.
So yeah, I’ve tried grinding. To some extent it has worked and I very slowly have been able to up the level of enemies I can attack. However I see no real “end goal”. I’m miles off being able to compete for top spot in the leaderboards and just grinding the same old stuff gets old. Perhaps if the missions were better structured that would keep me but they are also pretty poor. They have gone from “try this, learn about this, upgrade this” to suddenly being tasks that require several levels of upgrades, each of which can take days. Bleh.
So yeah, aside from the idea of “exploring” to find the enemies this is a pretty bland and soulless game that lacks a hook beyond repetition.