Planting down roots in another solar system after humanity has laid waste to the Earth (we do seem to be really quite good at doing that), Centauri Sector sticks players into the well-shined boots of a space admiral who must spend his days destroying invading pirates who are hell-bent on raiding planets, ships and just about anything else that they can get their hands on.
Aiming to combine tower defense, top-down shooter and light management elements, Centauri Sector somewhat disappointingly makes a pigs ear out of all three. Where there was originally the potential for something great, we are instead left with a number of half-hearted elements which have just simply been executed to a far high standard elsewhere.
Viewed from a top down perspective with 2D visuals that wouldn't look out of place in the Flash games of yesteryear, Centauri Sector has players cutting about a far-flung solar system while intercepting pirates and destroying them. The initial fashion that this is achieved through the solar system view where, against a turn-based system, players can take their ship (and eventually their upgraded fleet) around the map and either engage enemy ships, take part in time-based battle events or upgrade their fleet.
Once some enemy ships have been engaged, the far-zoomed top down perspective shifts to a more intimate view where the game essentially becomes a really quite uninspired 2D space shooter. Here, players are tasked with destroying attacking enemy ships and can achieve this by either shooting at them with their hugely sluggish ship cannons, or, by deploying some support fighter craft to take care of the aggressors instead. While at once feeling both uninteresting and quite unresponsive, one nice touch however is the ability to redirect the ship's power to cannons, shields or boosters depending on the circumstances. But really, it's not enough to redeem what is otherwise a rather lackluster experience.
Finally, when Centauri Sector hits planetside for its tower defense segment, things fail to get any better. With a simplistic and unexciting take on the genre, these missions adopt the most rudimentary elements of it but utterly fail to expand on them in any sort of meaningful way. A hodgepodge of various elements sown up into an unsatisfying whole, Centauri Sector serves as a cautionary tale for those developers who are looking to elevate ambition beyond execution.
Centauri Sector is available to buy right now on PC via Steam for £6.99.