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Universe Rush: Bringing MMOs to Mobile

New game studio Rushlab looking to create a Homeworld-esque MMO for Android and iOS.

Does anyone remember Homeworld? It was a great, strategy space-sim released back in 1999 which invited players to collect resources, build huge space armies, and fight with competing space armies for control of the galaxy. This was before EVE Online took over the space-sim genre and multiplayer gaming was still at a crossroads; evolving from a niche market to being more mainstream. I used to play that game all the time and have been hoping for a sequel since Homeworld 2 released in 2003.  And while we have heard about teamPixel’s endeavor to revitalize the franchise, we haven’t heard much from them since last spring.

Cue the devs of Rushlab and their new Kickstarter campaign for Universe Rush!

What is Rushlab?

Rushlab is a new studio formed by a group of Unity developers who have a passion for gaming. Also known as Kercus Holding Inc., the team is focused on bringing great gaming experiences to both Android and iOS devices. According to their press release, they have high hopes for their new project:

“United by our ambition, we've been collaborating for the past months and have hadincredible results - including a fully functional pre-alpha of what promises to be a groundbreaking advancement in cross-platform gaming.”

What is Universe Rush?

Universe Rush can be described as a spiritual successor to Homeworld, except it’s made for tablets. I have only been able to try out the iPad tech demo for the game at this point, but from what I have seen, it looks like it will be one of the more graphically impressive games for tablets. Being able to quickly jump between ships, zooming in and out to gain a tactical perspective, and issuing commands on the fly looks to be the smooth experience anyone with a touchscreen device will expect and demand.

Functionally, it appears to be moving in the right direction. Since there is only a tech demo available to the public right now, it is hard to say if the gameplay will be engaging. One should expect the gameplay to be similar to Homeworld since it is the basis for the design:

“The Homeworld franchise’s stylish approach to battles and environments serves as the foundation and starting point for our vision. We are all avid Homeworld and Relic fans. We aim to bring back some of unique moments and go further.”

What makes Universe Rush stand out?

There are a couple of things that make this particular game stand out from the rest. First off, it appeals to older gamers like myself. All of us who remember the PC space-sim gaming scene back in the '90s should feel comfortable and a bit nostalgic playing Universe Rush. Mining resources, managing ships, and building a fleet will attract the EVE crowd. Perhaps though, the most important feature that makes this game attractive is that it's an MMO. Yep, you read that right. Universe Rush is a full-blown MMO where players will be able to pit fleet against fleet:

“The multiplayer aspect of Universe Rush is closely tied to a browser-based sci-fi strategy game called O-Game. “

Universe Rush looks promising and I commend the devs for the progress they have shown thus far. Although I hope they reach the stretch goal of releasing this on PC, I am impressed with what I have seen and who knows, this may be the first big MMO for mobile devices. If any of you want to learn more about the game from the dev team themselves, make sure to head over to the Universe Rush Kickstarter page

Published Jan. 6th 2014

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