stratO is a game that I feel needs some advice given before even starting this review. There are a few strategies online (even by the developer) mentioning a few different tactics, but I have to admit that one tactic rises above the rest. That strategy is to pick one set of controls (like the left and right air brakes) and while not trying to fly through rings, just get used to what those specific controls do to the plane. Just focus on those buttons while trying to avoid the giant blocks. That’s it; rinse and repeat for additional controls. This should help the learning curve. It’s weird and feels pointless, but it does work.
That said, I was frustrated with the controls since I couldn’t configure them the way I wanted to, that and there seemed to be a lot of buttons. Changing the controls wasn’t exactly straightforward, but I eventually did figure it out. Instead of getting used to what the developer had set up, I was trying to set up controls that the game refused to let me use. I was trying to assign two different controls to the joysticks and while it would work on the control setup screen, it wouldn’t work in-game. Eventually I gave up and just used what I was given and I then got used to it and the 100 rings in a row achievement. I feel I could have done this a little easier with my idea, but you can only do so much.
There is no tutorial and point to the game just yet. Well “point” may be the wrong word. I think maybe “reason” would be the better word. Why am I flying here? Why are there random blocks jumping up in front of me? What’s with the rings? Why would I want to continuously fly through them? Is it just for the achievements? The short answer is that stratO is a game that the developer seemed to want to create around his control scheme. Figure out the controls to the best of your abilities and enjoy trying to get all the achievements. It can actually be quite relaxing once you figure out enough of the controls to not hit things.
The developer is also adding a new mode to the game named Salvo. It’s almost the same game currently but with a gun attached to your plane that automatically fires. I’m assuming that you’re just supposed shoot the blocks. This feels like an easier mode than the regular mode and can almost act as a bit of a tutorial. I’d almost recommend playing Salvo mode first. I’m sure that there will be more to this, but as it stands, it’s good enough since he’s still creating it.
More stratO Info: Steam / Official Page / Twitter