Review Sandstorm: Pirate Wars
It's Mad Max meets FTL
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 13 Jul 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Features FTL-like combat, high customization, procedurally generated scenarios
Sandstorm: Pirate Wars for Android drops you into a post-apocalyptic adventure not completely unlike the one you might have watched in Mad Max. The difference is that people in this world are driving around ships that sail just over the ground, and it plays a lot like FTL, which is a rogue-like game you should play if you haven’t.
So as far as I’m aware, there isn’t much of a story here. You’ve got a nifty sandcruiser, you’re killing bad guys, but there’s really no context behind it all. Your goal is to perform quests and collect rewards for them. All that really means is that you’re going to do a lot of fighting.
The game’s fighting mechanics are really cool. Cruisers will engage by pulling up side by side. You can equip your cruiser with various shields and weapons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You’ll get an energy meter that fills up over time. Each weapon requires a certain amount of energy to fire. When you’ve selected a weapon to use and a target to hit then it will start auto-attacking for you. Whoever’s health goes down first wins.
There are also scenarios that pop up while you’re doing quests that give you the option to do various things. Sometimes you can get away with skipping a fight, and other times you’ll volunteer to fight at the chance of getting some extra loot out of it.
On a basic level, this game is really fun. I don’t quite think it captures the same sense of atmosphere as a game like FTL, but for mobile games it’s really great to see stuff like this coming out. Sandstorm: Pirate Wars isn’t the final piece to the puzzle, but it’s a fun one.