Dyson is one of the best free strategy games i have ever played. The simple concept, abstract visuals and the “procedural” something, which i dont know what exactly is, but probably has something to do with the game generating most of the actions instead of them being scripted (i could be wrong), makes it entertaining, easy to understand and yet very tactical and addictive.
I always enjoyed simple games like this one, where the fun doesnt come from the stunning graphics, the variety of units or scripted scenarios, but from the need to watch the evolving situation on the “battlefield”, the necessary planning and the tactical decisions you have to make. One of the games like this one was the old State of War, very simple in concept, but again, very entertaining. Also i loved the various “Use Map Settings” game modes for StarCraft, which when played over BattleNet, offered anything from a clone of Diablo RPG, the Battle of Helms Deep from LOTR to the “Evolves” series, simple but brilliant strategy games.
Two weeks ago, a new version of Dyson was finally released. It improves everything in the game. The graphics are still simple, nice, user friendly and extremelly effective as a strategic interface, while still meaningfull. The game is now divided into 5 levels, which still do have a good replay value, because the enemies always act different and the map is always different – the asteroids are generated to a certain degree. Its basically about asteroids being colonised by small seedlings. These can be used to plant trees on the asteroids and the trees in return produce more seedlings. There is now a second type of tree, which is defending the asteroid. The number of asteroids is big and they have different characteristics – there are three stats, strength, vitality and speed. The seedlings produced by the asteroid inherit these stats. In this version, the bigger the asteroid is, the better stats it has and also the seedlings demonstrate their abilities by the size of their nose (strength), body (vitality) and wings (speed).
A smaller number of bigger and stronger seedlings can win a battle against a bigger number of weak ones. And believe me, there can be many battles happening at the same time, because with more trees, the production of seedlings can be really fast. As the game progresses, its getting harder and harder to manage all the asteroids and your armies, watching the enemy movements and making decisions. The controls are very simple and effective and except for few minor bugs in this version, this is an excellent game that i hope will continue to be improved. You can visit the official Dyson website here and download the game.