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Average User Score: 5.6May 4, 2013A triumph of style and ambition over sense, logic and good design. In other words: it’s pretty but I found it painful to play. My quickA triumph of style and ambition over sense, logic and good design. In other words: it’s pretty but I found it painful to play. My quick verdict: don’t bother, and get FTL instead.
This is what would happen if you took the aims of FTL (command a starship) and rejected all the great design decisions FTL made, and crammed the result into a very pretty façade that features some of the most tedious micro-management of fiddly-to-control characters I’ve played in a while.
So many poor design decisions:
- there’s no tutorial that explains how ship weapons are fired, so look forward to spending at least the first couple of battles struggling to get what you’re supposed to do. Clever stuff.
- crew can only do one job at a time, and in order to switch their skill you have to slooooooowly march them over to the room that matches the skill you want them to have, then sloooooowly march them back to the area that requires attention. When you’re flooded with invaders and need to fight back, enjoy marching your team through the ship just for a change of wardrobe, then back to the invaders. God it’s tedious.
- rooms that require the production of specific ammo will not just keep making that ammo for you. You have to re-initiate production after each and every unit they produce. If you forget, which it’s incredibly easy to do, you’re stuffed. Why do this?
- the text style they chose is hideous and really hard to read. Fits the retro-look, but there’s a reason we don’t present screens of text like that any more: it’s horrible on the eyes.
- and God help anyone attempting to play this on an iPhone. I know plenty of people are doing, but they must have the patience of a saint, or incredibly high tolerance for frustration.
And that’s before we get onto the endlessly repetitive missions (go to a planet, sit through the screens of text, enter battle. Every time. No variation), and the fact that it’s perfectly possible to just send all your crew into one room, ignore ALL the damage your ship is taking, even the hull breaches, and wait it out until you grind the enemy shields down eventually.
But hey, it LOOKS nice…
In my personal opinion, despite lovely(ish) presentation and a whole heap of atmosphere, it eschews sense and logic to produce a game that just throws one frustration after another at you to draw out the play-time. I’ve no issue with hard games in which dying and starting again is all part of the appeal. That’s why I love FTL.
But this is just a mess of frustrations and after a couple of games, neither of which were ever much fun, I have no desire to play any more and an overwhelming urge to fire up FTL and run a starship with proper crew who don’t have to change their jersey just to fire a phaser.
Go get FTL for your PC or Mac, and don’t waste £2 on Star Command.… Expand