As we play offers the thought strands of the reviewer as they’re going through the game. This offers unique content for the reader so they can come to understand the conflicting feelings of the reviewer as they’re playing a game for the very first time. All feedback on this concept is welcome.
For those who think the batteries are running out in my Bluetooth keyboard, allow me to translate. Rymdkapsel (pronounced like “Rimmed cop seal”) means Space Capsule in Swedish. How about that? In one paragraph, you are a little bit smarter.
This game has been haunting Playstation Mobile since May 2013 and followed on other formats a few months later in August 2013. Rymdkapsel has captured the world’s attention and after a few hours play, I now understand why.
You’d be forgiven for looking at that screenshot and thinking, ‘Well, that looks rather dull!’ (or thoughts to that effect). To be honest, I did too. But coming from an era where gaming wasn’t all about graphics; where they mostly relied on stories or playability to carry them, I was more than willing to give it a chance.
Admittedly, story here is rather minimal. Build a Space station, harvest resources (see the pink squares), increase your crew, get to the monoliths and…. that’s it. Oh, and defend yourself from incoming enemy forces whose presence is indicated by a slowly moving red bar at the bottom of the screen. When this red bar hits the end of the line, you’ll be attacked and on each attack, the number of enemy vessels increases. Sounds all rather easy, really. Except, it’s not.
See, you’re lulled into a false sense of security and are gradually being introduced to what is required as a homage to Jean Michel Jarre gently plays in the background. Eventually, you’ll need to build corridors to connect to:- Extractors, Reactors, Gardens, Kitchens, Quarters (the living variety) and weapons. All of these buildings need spaces which come in the form of randomly generated 4 Square Tetris shapes. Still straight forward, except these can be a nasty pain in the arse when you want to shorten a run to the Weapons bay with a straight lined corridor and a fat square of a dogs-leg shape has been generated. Rather quickly, the game traps you, messes with your strategies and planning ahead as you try to reach one of the Monoliths (a la 2001) floating in space.
When you do reach a Monolith, a research option pops up and in order to take advantage of that, you need to send minions off to investigate. This takes a fair amount of time and with the red bar at the bottom of the screen swiftly moving along, I plan ahead to make sure I can get my little people to the weapons bay. If I don’t, they’ll be wiped out rather cruelly wiped by invading ships. The time between each attack wave is getting shorter, so I need to swiftly build more Quarters and Kitchens to supply my troops. As you might expect, it all becomes rather fast-paced and if you don’t react quickly enough, you’re going to lose your home and have to start right back from the beginning.
Mid-game, my middle daughter (10) came up and asked what I was playing. While moving like a virus through space, I explained the gist of what was happening. After five minutes of her watching me, I let her loose on it to see how she might get on.
She did extremely well, shortening routes to Weapon Bays, demolishing old Extractors when the resources in the area were depleted, therefore allowing further pathways to be built; she understood it and got to a high attack wave before losing. Although, that was kind of my fault because I wanted to take a screenshot in the middle of the game.
She commented after play that she likes it better than Minecraft (which is rather a big game for her), as she had to think about what she was building and why.
And to be honest, those thoughts mirror my own. I also rather enjoyed it. Yes, I know the graphics are rather erm… plain, but that doesn’t get in the way of what you have here. If you have a few pennies floating around in your pocket, you’d do well picking this up.
Areas for Development
- Occasionally, the game will not allow placement of some blocks and won’t tell me why.
- Difficulty curve gets too intense, too quickly during later stages. Perhaps implement an easier mode or assess the curve overall.
The music is spot on. The gameplay is immensely addictive and success is wholly gratifying. Slight issues aside, an essential Steam purchase.
Technical Competency – 9/10
Graphical State/Sound Quality – 7/10
Network Stability – N/A
Overall – 8/10
(These grades assess our playthrough, taking into consideration how many (if any) bugs were encountered, whether there were any interruptions in gameplay and the product’s final technical state. These scores, coupled with the Final Analysis and Areas for Development, are suggestions for future patches and updates which the developers could (and in our opinion, should) explore. These scores are separate to our DLC/Expansion Reviews but link into our Patch/Firmware Reviews.)
(These scores are not designed as a grading system to determine the entertainment value of a product and should not be treated as such..)
Issues you’ve encountered
- Stuttering and lag when multiple enemies come on-screen. Serious frame-rate issues (Dev has confirmed this will be improved in future update)
- Keyboard Shortcut support to speed up gameplay (Dev has confirmed this is being worked on)