In Blue Libra, the player commands the last remnants of a once proud civilization as they attempt to reclaim their home world of Tenerna from the ruthless Gardian Empire. To accomplish this, the player is given control of the Libra, a massive carrier that can produce any number of smaller vessels. During a mission, the Libra will automatically construct ships based on parameters set by the player. Captured planets and space stations can also produce ships, as well as increase the population cap. A mission can only be completed when all planets and installations have been captured and all enemy ships have been destroyed.
Blue Libra Gameplay
Blue Libra features a unique system for controlling ships. To move a fleet, the player need only hold down the left mouse button over it, and then draw the path that the fleet is to take. The fleet will then follow the path non-stop until it reaches its destination. Attacking enemies works in the same manner. If a path is drawn to a group of enemy ships, then the fleet will engage them via the shortest route possible. The fleet will pursue the enemy formation until it’s destroyed, unless it is told to go elsewhere. Opposing ships will fire at each other in passing, but they will not deviate from the designated path unless ordered to so. This system is interesting to say the least. I can imagine that it lends itself particularly well to the iPad. Drawing paths would probably work very well with a touch screen, though it feels a bit awkward with a mouse.
The drawing mechanic does have a few problems however. For starters, a fleet will always take a straight path toward objectives and enemy ships. To avoid obstacles, the player has to order the fleet around and then redirect them. This problem could be easily straightened out by adding a waypoint system. This would force the fleet to take a longer route to the objective with a single command. It could also be fixed by letting the player add to a path once it has been placed. There is also an issue with the process of dividing fleets. Ships are automatically grouped into fleets when they are built. The player can easily combine fleets by drawing a path from one to anther. To split a fleet in half, the player must draw a line across its diameter. Unfortunately, the game often mistakes this action as a move command, thus sending the fleet a little bit to one side. It almost always took me several attempts to break up a fleet. In the end, I would have to either waste time dividing my forces or advance with one giant attack wing, thus exposing myself to a counterstrike. For all I know, this process could be infinitely easier on the iPad. From my experience, however, it’s just irritating.