When it comes to having a good strategy RPG you must have a few things. You need depth, a decent storyline, and balanced progression. Thankfully, Halcyon 6 Starbase Commander has all three and much much more!

Begun as a Kickstarted Square Enix Collective project by developer Massive Damage, Inc, Halcyon 6 has managed to blend the best aspects of games like XCOM, FTL, and even a bit of old school JRPGs like Final Fantasy. The result is an addictive strategy RPG that will satisfy the cravings of any Trekkie. Want to build a fleet of capital ships to explore and protect the masses? Check. Want to build your crew for each ship so that they all feel a bit unique (even if you build multiples of the same class ship)? Check. Want to send away teams to the surface with redshirted fodder by your side? Check! Oh, my sci-fi friends you can do that and so much more! Want to build up your base and the tech within complete with mini side missions? Check! Toss in a light hearted and funny storyline and dialogue and you have a turn based classic that will stand out in any RPG collection!

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So, I initially saw the review ratings for this game while scanning for the next strategy game that I would buy and play. I stumbled across Halcyon 6 Starbase Commander to encounter a pleasant pixelated art style that accompanied a familiar turn based combat tapping into my geeky soul. Starships with attacks like Attack At Will, Drone Strike, Broadside Attack, and more all flesh out what the ships can dole out. To make the combat deeper, attacks have status effects like crew panic, sensors down, engines down, and hull breach to allow for other attacks that can exploit those effects and do much more damage than usual. Of course, your enemies can do the same as well which keeps you on your toes even when you think you can overpower your foes.

Thankfully, that perception of ‘power’ is the game difficulty balance that pulled me in. Just when I thought I had the right fleet to handle everything, the game would up the ante and force me to expand my fleet or research more tech in order to get stronger. This constant reach for more commanders and more ships forces you to plan out better fleets (with a max of 3 ships in each) so that each of the classes of ships (Engineering, Tactical, and Science) will complement each other based on the status effects they inflict and exploit. Your foes will certainly do the same as different types and size ships constantly spew from various points on the map. Battles will be frequent and furious so that the action isn’t sparse.

beam down

The only catch here with the ships and such is that there isn’t a way to upgrade the weapons or attacks yourself. Instead, as your commanders and ships gain experience, the ship will gain bonuses (in the form of expert crewmen) that enhance aspects of the ship and your commanders gain skills that can be used on the ship or on the ground to take on whatever foe comes at you. While not a deal breaker, the longevity of the game would seemingly be more replayable if this feature was added. Still, this desire of mine is a bit nit-picky given the product as a whole is such an enjoyable and addictive experience.

Hold on to your space girdles my friends. Halcyon 6 Starbase Commander is here to frag your shorts off! Strategy and classic JRPG buffs who are into sci-fi will love this offering. While there is nothing here that will change anyone’s mind if they have reservations about turn based combat or JRPGs in general, this game is an addictive delight.

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 – Highly Recommended