Developed by Passtech Games. Published by Focus Home Interactive. It was love at first sight for me and this game, just the first couple of screenshots I saw before agreeing to review it told me exactly what to expect . Space run is an innovative take on tower defense with the polish and fine tuned gameplay balance you expect from triple A developers, yet also the level of originality you expect from a good indie title. (Tambourine) “In the year twenty five twenty five.” sotto voce ” if man is still alive?”, this game is full of little humorous references that some of you kids might have to Google.
However, in this 2525 you are very much alive, but you are broke. You play Buck Mann a fearless pilot in the style of Han Solo or Mal Reynolds from firefly and your mission is to shift the dodgiest cargoes for the shiftiest clients whilst avoiding being destroyed by some of the most hilariously inept space villains in all the galaxy. Star Run bills itself as being a mixture of strategy, tower defense, and ship construction and it does a great job of melding those elements into a sum greater than the parts, which is handy because that’s exactly what the game requires you to do in building and utilizing your space truck. Space Run bears are deeply reminiscent of other titles such as “Space pirates and zombies”, “Gratuitous space battles” or even to an extent “Faster Than Light” and while it adds a tower defense element to this it’s uncompromising one size fit’s all difficulty level stays very true to the roguelike sentiment of other titles.
Cut scenes and dialogue punctuate the game and explain the limited but entertaining story line, introducing you to a succession of enigmatic and amoral businessmen from whom you will receive delivery missions. These missions all starts in the star dock where you must outfit you hex based ship with an array of useful ship components ship components, this is effectively a deployment phase and you can generally place your cargo, one engine, and perhaps a power device. The components are based on four areas, namely weapons, defensive items, power and thrust, and cargo pods. All but the cargo can be upgraded as it’s unlocked by spending the credits you make running your cargoes.
The faster you manage to complete the runs the better you are paid, the trade off being that space is limited and enemy attacks must be considered right out of the gate.This in a way allows you to set your own difficulty level as you play i guess? You can go for a very secure weapons and shields approach against the endless waves of asteroids and ships or hope you can play skillfully enough to be able to afford big engines for a big bonus. One of the best elements of Space Run’s mechanics is the upgraded abilities that you buy. The skillful use of abilities makes all the difference because it can drastically boost a unit’s effectiveness and later abilities can even heal the whole ship or add power to everything on the ship so that you can chain abilities to previously unpowered weapons.
Sensible placement and use of abilities is the essence of the game, but that’s not all you have to do, many of your guns will need to be reoriented in play and space credits will have to be manually picked from the sky it can get joyously chaotic. Space Run was developed by Passtech a small indie team of around five developers, however, they have managed to add a high level of polish to every element of their game aside from its well thought out mechanics and challenging but fair difficulty levels the art, UI, and sound assets also have a similarly high standard. The characters are nicely fleshed out with with space opera dialogue that ever so often strays into the satirical as we meet passive aggressive pirates like brown beard.
Yes, it’s all drawn written and voice acted very well and set into a user interface that felt genuinely intuitive and at no point left me wondering where things where or how i did things. The options screen was serviceable with as many graphics options as you would expect on such a simple top down format, there is key rebinding which is handy. It has real steam achievements which is always a nice touch. Criticisms as such would be leveled at the aspect of manually collecting the game credits, i always feel this is a pain in tower defense games as do many other players.
Given also that we are constantly repairing towers and re orientating weapons, it seems just a bit over the top to be scrambling to change as well. Any one should buy this game, it’s a great indie title at a very reasonable price point if you are a tower defense fan or enjoyed any of the previously mentioned games, then you should certainly buy this it’s brilliant space carnage with more re-playability than you might initially give it credit for.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.