When it comes to sci-fi settings that stretch beyond the stars, it feels like the stories too often land on a spectrum between Star Trek’s pristine bureaucracy of benevolent space colonialism and the mythopoetic swashbuckling of benevolent space colonialism in Star Wars. Star Dynasties, the latest grand strategy from Iceberg Interactive and Pawley Games, tries to have it both ways by using a galaxy-shaping disaster as the excuse to dive headfirst into the administrivia of intergalactic feudalism, texturing its space colonialism with a tangled web of shadows and political intrigue.
Comrades In Space
HIGH Original and unpredictable.
LOW The levels with asteroids, ice on the components and incoming fire.
WTF How are they growing potatoes out here?
The original Everspace – which I Did Not Review back when it came out – was something of an oddity. A space combat roguelike, it inserted some pretty stunning production values into a subgenre that, at the time, was largely confined to low-budget indie projects. We got the gorgeous vistas and exciting dogfights of a modern Freespace successor, but folded and fitted into a digestible run-based structure.
Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
The subject of this installment: Spacebase Startopia available on PS4, PS4, XBX/S, XBO, Switch and PC, developed by Realmforge Studios and published by Kalypso.
34BigThings Does What Nintendon’t
HIGH It’s Starfox 64 with humans and modern quality-of-life updates.
LOW No open-flight mode for free-play dogfighting.
WTF Honestly had no idea what character I was for the first 30 minutes.
Some People Call Me The Space Cowboy
HIGH An addicting and ambitious space combat and trading sim.
LOW It could be friendlier to newcomers.
WTF This is probably the closest we’ll get to a Cowboy Bebop game.
I Can Totally Hear That Screaming
HIGH Coming back from a grueling mission and seeing home base.
LOW Losing a ship and all the crew.
WTF Why do I not keep my lower-grade purchases?
HIGH Excellent emulation quality. Some great console rarities included.
LOW No supplemental material, no sound test mode.
WTF A Darius collection without Zuntata’s music front and center?!?
The Longest Journey
HIGH The years of constant dev have paid off.
LOW Bugs and glitches blocking progress are too common.
WTF The Starbirth quest is almost literal torture.