Updated: Dec 27, 2020
So Let’s Put Our Helmet On And Do Some Space Detectiving
There Is No Opening Scene Cut, No Big Spectacle. In A Way I Kind Of Like That, It Fits In With The Simplicity In The Whole Design Of The Game.
Not the whole game is out to scare you though, occasionally you get humorous insights to the personalities of the crew members and their day to day lives before the incident. You also get to learn about the world we are playing in, where gold is practically worthless due to the abundance and many other sneaky worldbuilding nuggets that you can find by sleuthing it out.
This Is A Puzzle Game, And Like All Puzzle Games, They Sneak Up On You With Gradually More Difficult And Tricky Problems.
Five buttons are all you need for the entire game. We have the standard WASD controls for movement and the SPACE bar for everything else. You can grab objects, pull switches and interact with computers and logs while you search for the truth of the disappearance.
The first time I came across a bomb, I died instantly, the second time I was more prepared.
A-HA! I said as I threw a crate into the bombs to explode them at a safe distance. You soon come across many other obstacles to be cautious about and by the time the first enemy is introduced, you should have enough grasp of things to be able to think on your feet as the cat and mouse chase continues.
I wouldn’t call this an easy game, but also it isn’t a hard game. It has just enough challenge to keep you interested and coming back. The damage to certain parts of your suit comes in to play several times, this has to be my favourite feature of the game, the urgency to find a medkit or repair kit when you know there could be danger around the corner. It can almost be a sci-fi game of Pacman, now that I think of it.
A feature that did not do it for me, is the paranoia trait. I love the idea of the character growing more and more paranoid as the game gets more dangerous, but I feel it was utilised poorly here and thrown in as more of a hindrance than a mechanic. Several times I found myself in poor situations because this trait would seize up my movement, leaving me like a fish on a hook.
In Space There Is No Sound, It Is A Vacuum
Keeping to this, they have added as little amount of sound as they could, making this very tense at times. Working together with the lighting being limited can force you to think before running headfirst into rooms (especially after the first death by a bomb). This isn’t a negative point, the minimalism in the game serves its purpose in creating the atmosphere you play in and I really enjoyed it. My only take away is the lack of variety in environment design. It is a mining station, probably made prefab with boring parts, but people naturally added personality even to the most mundane rooms.
A small poster here or even the cliched writing on the wall would have added a bit more to the character of the Mining Station.
There is not much to say about the music either. It is eerie and serves its purpose, chiming in when danger is about, but after two hours of the game, I needed more.
As far as I can see, there is not much replay value. Levels are entirely created by hand rather than randomly generated and once you’ve solved it, that’s pretty much it.
Running theme for this game in all its aspect is the simplicity and minimalism to its design. The controls are simple, the music and sound are dialled back and the design is kept uninspiring with the odd splash of colour from red alarms. This isn’t a bad thing it gives its main quality, the story, the opportunity to take centre stage. I don’t know if that was the developers’ intention, but it works. My attention was more focused on the story than on anything else.
Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed finding all the breadcrumbs (oh wow... I just noticed this is Pacman meets Deadspace), the story was underwhelming. I had fun with this, not a lot of fun, but I had fun. It is worth checking out, I just wouldn’t go rushing to get it.
+ Simple, easy to use controls.
+ No UI makes it atmospheric and immersive.
+ Great sound design.
+ Fun puzzles.
+ A growing narrative and worldbuilding.
- Paranoia mechanic is frustrating.
- Boring repetitive environment.
If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here through my contact form.
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