Space Incident

Space Incident is a very, very short adventure/management game with various possible endings. Free on Kongregate, but paid on Steam, this little game by Vogd3 has a lot of potential packed in a rather disappointing package.

I read the introduction and it sounded promising: You play as the AI of a ship stranded from Mars to Earth and have to help the crew figure why you’ve suddenly stopped and get back on track to return to earth with hopefully no casualties. I was expecting something pretty big, so I was a bit disappointing in finding that playing through it once takes less than an hour in whole. In fact, once you’ve played through it once and read the options, any consecutive plays to unlock the various endings end up being pointless and taking less than ten minutes. I wasn’t motivated enough to run it more than twice.

Now, the art of the game has that typical retro pixel style. I have a love-hate relationship with pixel games: I know how hard it is to do pixel art and how much time it takes, yet at the same time it seems people do it less out of a “retro” look and more out of a simple “too lazy or poor to hire a proper designer” reasoning. The pixel art works quite well for this little game, though, and I’m really fond of the detailed ship backgrounds, but I’m not into the way the characters look, at all.

The music is pretty basic, sort of background sound effects, and though it’s not bad, after a while I just muted it because it annoyed me. The menu, btw, is pretty simple, having only a few options, and at the end you’re shown all possible endings, which include various combinations of who survives and what happens to the ship.

Interaction with the characters isn’t of your own choice. The characters, each which have various levels of needs such as hunger, psychological state, tiredness, etc, must want to talk to you in order for you to interact, and are otherwise autonomous, making their needs almost pointless unless you send someone who is starving into space and they have no time to come back. The only need that truly comes into play is when they start panicking, because if you don’t deal with it the right way they go into a temporary full-panic suicidal mode… but it’s not like you can actually do anything about that after you’ve botched calming them down, so…

The options offered in dialogue are poor and pretty obvious on which way they will lead you with the person- if it’ll help or not. The characters themselves all kind of blend in with eachother, at least two out of the three do (and the third is just annoying), and the story in a whole is, although not entirely bad, also not at all imaginative. In fact, it kind of leaves the only interesting thing (the reason behind why they were stuck in the first place) without a proper answer.

And finally, the english text… ah… it seems alright for parts of it, but suddenly the punctuation will be off by a bit, or the translation in whole, grammar and spelling alike, were outright bad.

At the price tag of a whooping $7 (on sale at the time of writing this), there is no way I could recommend it as worth it. But as a free casual game it’s actually not all that bad.