Space is always an interesting topic and in Starship Corporation you manage the galaxy and it’s fleet with in depth crew management and ship design whilst exploring and negotiation the worlds you find.
But does it take you to the final frontier?
- Developer: Coronado Games
- Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
- Genre: Space management simulation
- Release Date: 3rd May 2018
- Platforms: PC
- Reviewed on: i7-4790 @ 3.6GHz, 16GB Ram, GTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card
- Game Supplied by: Evolve PR
I blew my ships up and blew my budget all too easily, Starship corporation may provide a lengthy tutorial but it’s clear more work needs to go into this to make it both easier to understand and more engaging for the player.
As a fan of management and strategy games I had high hopes for this despite what I had read elsewhere but unfortunately the core concept of the game might be good but it’s execution is to be desired.
In essence you must manage your fleet and complete contracts from each world in order to gain more money so you may expand your fleet and it’s capabilities like mining, defence, transportation.
A lot of the time goes into designing your ships and it is enjoyable working out the best plan and most cost-effective way of laying out your ship however despite it being a hugely integral part of the game I found it more laborious than enjoyable.
I think this was due to how the objective criteria works, there are multiple objectives for each contract you take and it forms what is required in your ship from the engine power and fuel to shields, mining lasers and many more, the issue is they don’t all appear from the beginning. I.E. until you add some pilots no air or water is required but it’s impossible to run the ship without them so a necessary objective really. I would have liked to see this from the beginning not evolve as i lay out the ship only to forget some integral part and not have space where i want it or need it.
Some may argue well that’s the fun of it and yes to a point it is however for me I found it more annoying even after i had built 10 or so ship blueprints and used them in some cases as templates for my next mission.
Once you have a good blueprint it’s time to run a set of checks to determine the ship’s viability for the mission and see how it scores on each section from standard activities to red alert scenarios and ship durability and offence. I found the crew missions quite annoying mostly to the control and deployment of the crew and how the button config works it just didn’t feel natural deploying them setting them into groups and putting them to task, perhaps I am just too familiar with other game systems but I ended up running auto crew missions to determine my ships viability and whilst this is less efficient and may not get me such high scores it certainly sped up time for me and allowed me to focus on building and completing the missions.
Once you have a ship blueprint confirmed its time to explore the galaxy and worlds you have discovered to accept a contract for your new ship, build it, assign a contract and then set course to earn your reward.
That’s the real nuts and bolts of the game but despite having a desire to create better ships, larger more exotic builds and designs I really found it lacking that edge to make me want to return.
Perhaps it was down to the interface controls feeling a bit off an unnatural, perhaps it was the excessive loading times for what seems a quite easy to run game especially on my setup.
Graphics certainly didn’t help the space map is boring with a bland screen everything seems to be the same colour palette and it offers little to no redeeming features.
As you build the ship there is more to see but it just needs that bit extra when it comes to the style to make it look appealing.
Sounds are possibly the worst part, no voice interaction, just a few odd space sounds (effects you associate with space exploration) no music to speak of and menus that have harsh ringing tones when things are selected and changed twice as loud as the rest of the sound effects.
During your campaign aside from designing and building your ships and accepting contracts to earn max profit there is a kind of side story taking place where governments on each world will ask you to support them in full or in part to run a successful campaign choose wisely though as i only once got a reward from doing so and in the end stopped supporting any of the governments which strangely led to a few years of getting no further messages (in-game years not literal ones).
What i found strange it aside from a cost benefit there seemed to be no bearing on the games campaign at all.
Despite achieving all the missions on a planet there was little to drive me onto the next one or a voice in my ear offering advice at any time at all. Again for some this might be just what they ordered but i found it like in other parts of the game lacking depth of interest to keep me playing.
Despite all my gripes with this game it’s not a complete crash, it is fun in places to design, use research budgets to unlock upgrades on the components and bigger and better fuselage to create those galactic class ships we all yearn for but it’s lack of polish and diversity had me quite underwhelmed after 14 hours gameplay.
Whilst the concept is good and it’s playable for what has been produced it’s lacking in a lot of areas that could make this a great sim game.
Perhaps bare bones is fine for some but for me it didn’t take light years to get bored with it