20 years after the original game came to PC, the spatial planning of Spacebase Startopia returns to the fray to give way to a Tower of Babel alien spirit of Las Vegas. Certainly a curious mix of resource management, city building and combat.
Hand in hand with a good portion of humor we will get to the controls of a space base that will serve as a service area and casino for all the extraterrestrial races that swarm there. Our goal will be to keep them happy and, hopefully, to ensure that our visitors are not such pigs in the process.
Imagine owning Area 103 space in Spacebase Startopia
In Spacebase Startopia we are put at the controls of a space station with three different levels. The former serves as the satellite’s underworld scene. It is where we will find what every good truck driver and traveler needs after a long journey: food, bathrooms and a place to sleep.
Everything related to the engine that keeps the ship alive is also located there. It is where the huge amounts of garbage that the very pigs throw on the ground are recycled, where the security buildings, the loading and unloading area are located, and also where all the resources that our robots have collected go.
The second floor gives way to luxury. The casino- style area of Las Vegas has nightclubs, a cafe with cats, slot machines, amusement park, hotel with all the comforts. If your visitors are getting bored, this is the area to expand and improve.
Finally we have the outer cover. A glass floor in which to maintain different biomes so that the aliens feel at home and, incidentally, take advantage of the fruits collected from the trees and the oxygen generated by them to craft objects and condition the station.
The danger of falling into the “not bad”
If you are a fan of management games and you do not get a little excited when reading all that, something strange happens, but even stranger is that, with such a good base, Spacebase Startopia gives so many blind spots until it is in dangerous limbo.
Converted into one of those games that are only capable of awakening a “not bad“, it is difficult for those who come here excited to shake off the feeling that something has failed. Even more worrying is that these flaws are quite evident.
The thing starts off on the wrong foot from the hand of a very heavy tutorial that plays so few clubs that passing through it takes too long. You finish it, in fact, thinking that there can’t be much more to scratch, but then comes a second tutorial in the form of a campaign that helps to take flight.
Shortly after starting its story mode, the game ends up clicking in your head and it begins not only to make sense, but also to be fun. Keeping the different alien races happy generates money that, in turn, you can invest in making the station bigger so that the wheel does not stop turning.
Good wickers, but lacks depth
There is crafting out there to promote automation, research for improvements, a large selection of buildings that range from trading with third parties to assembling your own giant robot with which to fight space pirates and monsters emerged from one of your biomes…
Milks, is that it is really good, but it is not known to sell in the face of the player. Soon the slowness seen in the tutorial begins to affect a campaign with timid variations that will continue to introduce concepts in a clumsy and tedious way.
But far from maintaining a certain continuity with half the levels, the game forces you time after time to create the same initial scheme until you reach the expected news.
A slow and heavy process that, with the help of a most inefficient AI for your construction, collection or cleaning robots, and an interface that is a toothache (especially on console, but I can imagine where it falters on PC as well ), it gets even more uphill.
It ends up becoming regular for him to want to play too many clubs – leaving aside combat, trading and multiplayer systems that turn out to be very poor – in his attempt to add some variety to the mix. A real shame, because it has the necessary wickers to shape something much more polished and ambitious.
For a good handful of hours I have forced myself to use Spacebase Startopia and, although insisting on looking for the positive side of all its mechanics I have finally found something promising, the sticks on the wheels that the game offers at the level of usability and efficiency throw by ground any hint of hitch that it may produce.
If you are facing an early access, this would be the typical game case that I recommend you to keep track of very closely because with four settings it can improve a lot. Being a final version, the only thing I can do is not lose hope and wish that a generous coat of sheet metal and paint will end up placing it in the place it deserves.
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