Game Review: Space Run
Space Run is a fun and unique title that takes the best parts of real-time strategy, spaceship construction simulation and tower defense games and twists them into a fresh and challenging experience unlike anything else out there.
In the game, players take on the role of Buck Mann, a space transporter who is doing the best he can to make a living by hauling valuable shipments across space. The only problem? Space can be a very dangerous place. You’ve gotta stay on your toes and think fast with huge asteroid fields regularly crossing your spaceship’s path and pirates with heavily armed star fighters and spaceships out to destroy your vessel and steal its cargo. Not to mention, you’ve also got the other space transporters who are competing against you to worry about.
Space Run gives players the task of constructing, managing and protecting a spaceship and its cargo against the constant hazards found in deep space. The result is a rather enjoyable experience that should satisfy any fan of tower-defense and real-time strategy games.
Missions begin with the player determining where the cargo containers and initial thruster will be placed on a blank, hex-based spaceship. After take off, players can build new ship modules and upgrades on the remaining blank hexs. These modules include things like additional thrusters, missile launchers, laser turrets protection shields and power generators for powering advanced modules. Modules can be recycled or re-positioned as needed throughout the delivery mission. So the position of placed modules can and most likely will need to be changed as new threats present themselves over the course of each mission. Existing modules can also be repaired as they take damage from asteroids or enemy vessels.
During each mission, your ship travels to its destination, but it will cross multiple hazards along the way. So it is like a tower defense game in reverse. Instead of having waves of baddies coming to you, you’re heading towards them. A onscreen HUD let’s players know where and when threats will pop up and that information helps them plan where modules need built. The same HUD also let’s players know how long they have to complete their current run.
Building and repairing modules cost credits, which are dropped anytime an enemy ship or asteroid has been destroyed. Collecting the dropped credits involves hovering the cursor over them momentarily. So in between building, repairing, or re-positioning modules, and tracking where and when hazards will arrive, you’ve also got to keep an eye for floating credits and collect them. The results is a hectic, fast paced gaming experience that is fun and never gets boring. During the harder missions, you’ll always be busy doing something.
Since the action in Space Run is so fast-paced, it is a good thing that they have made the controls very intuitive and efficient. Bringing the cursor to an edge of the screen will pan the camera in that direction, a press of the space bar will center the view back on your spaceship, building modules happens by selecting the appropriate on-screen icon and clicking on any empty hex on the ship and there are short cut keys assigned for various module management tasks. The controls in Space Run are easy to learn and work great.
I have been playing the Space Run over the last couple of weeks and I’ve really enjoyed my time with it so far. Truth be told, I’m quite impressed with what Passtech Games has accomplished with their first game. The graphics are as good as they need to be, the game loads fast and runs very smoothly on my machine, I haven’t encountered any bugs, and the game offers a satisfying amount of depth and replay value thanks to loads of unlockable upgrades and different strategies. Passtech has already updated the game a few times since it was added to my Steam library. So I expect to see it continue to get better as time goes on.
So is Space Run the game worth it? In my opinion, yes! I think that anyone who enjoys a good tower-defense style game will be happy with the fun twists Space Run brings to an otherwise increasingly stale genre.
Space Run will be available for purchase from Steam later tonight and will retail for $14.99 when it does launch. For more information about the game, head over to the Space Run Website. Also, be sure to check out its trailer below.