Element describes itself as “a realtime strategy space game for people who don’t have time to play realtime strategy space games”. I like where this is going. With a lo-fi feel and a reasonably simple setup, Element is a strategy game stripped back to the bare essentials. You only have a handful of buildings to create and only a handful of units to build, and games can be over in only a few minutes.
And yet… it’s just wonderful. Despite flaying the genre of so much of its guff, Element doesn’t actually miss out on much of anything save some cinematic cutscenes; it manages to retain the basic rush of RTS gaming with none of the tedium.
The scarcity of options at your fingertips is balanced by the size of the maps and the speed at which everything is happening, as you frantically try and balance your need to attack with a need to both defend and construct.
Here’s some gameplay footage to give you a better idea of how it works:
Plus! It looks cool and sounds cool (example: nice Com Truise selection in these clips). Element is currently in Early Access on Steam, with mobile versions coming soon and console versions planned as well.