Despite its simplicity, Flotilla
is a strategic turned-based game of space battle. Make no mistake, you are here to kill. First things first, you enter your captain's name, which brings you to the Main Menu. There are two types of play you can access on the Main Menu. There is Adventure 1 and Skirmish. Let's start with Adventure 1.
You can have a player join you on your adventure. On the PC, you will still need a "Game Pad." With this game also being available on LIVE, I wonder where I will get one. While determining if someone will sit next to you and play, you will also be presented with a button that turns on the Hardcore. As advertised, the adventure is longer and the enemies deadlier. Once inside, you are presented with a 3D map of your universe. You first stop is the planet Tutorial. I suggest you spend some time here. I will go over movement in just a second. From any planet, there are a number of choices of where to go. There is something to do on every planet. The choices you make when you travel to these planets can win you friends, gain you ships, or get you into hot water. There is no way to avoid battle. At some point, you are going to have to fight your way out of trouble.
It is time to talk about fighting, and about your ships. While traveling, you will encounter those who want to kill you. This happens to me all the time. You will then enter battle. Battle happens in two phases: The Command phase and the Battle phase. During the Command phase you will instruct each ship individually, one at a time. You have four commands. You can ATTACK (&) MOVE, FLANK (&) MOVE, FOCUS FIRE, or just be DONE with that ship. ATTACK MOVE allows you to move laterally and vertically in space, while firing. FLANK MOVE increases your speed, but will not allow you to fire. FOCUS FIRE will decrease your speed, but increase your fire rate. To move, you will choose a lateral direction and distance, vertical direction and distance, and then orientation to the ship. All ships have some shields. This shielding is usually weaker in the back and bottom. You are trying to maneuver your ships into position and strike your opponent.
Every move you make is stored in your Mission Log. The humorous "Choose Your Own Adventure" style of choices makes the game very entertaining, outside of just blowing stuff up. Each of your ships also has a story as you can see how many kills they have and what their "Veterancy" is. You will earn different upgrades for your ship. While in the map of the universe, you can click on Fleet Setup. This will take you to an interface where you can fill the slots on your ship with weapon and ship upgrades.
The Skirmish Mode allows you to have straight up battles. This mode is not networked on PC, so you can still only involve one other human player. There are two teams, with two player slots each. You can use this to hone your 1v1, 2v1, or co-op gameplay.