Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

+125.7

Gender: husband

Age: 46

Online: since 06.10.2005

Comments: 657

October 10, 2019

15K

The Kaliningrad studio Tortuga Team is known for the Braveland series — these were cute strategies, which I called a lite version of King’s Bounty in my reviews. They looked like typical “casual games” for mobile devices, but in fact they offered quite serious tactical battles and not the most primitive leveling of the hero. Approximately the same thing happens in Spaceland from the same studio, only the reference here is no longer King’s Bounty, but XCOM, Incubation and Laser Squad.

Don’t take what you can’t take

Fantasy and sea adventures have given way to science fiction – according to the plot, two space rangers receive a distress signal from one of the planets, land there, find corpses, monsters and surviving soldiers of the Alpha special forces who were carrying out some important mission there. Together, they try to find out what happened here. And gradually more and more fighters join them.

After reading this, you might want to believe what the game’s Steam page says: “The story is inspired by the golden age of science fiction, from Heinlein’s novels to iconic comics.” And it also mentions “the best traditions of science fiction.” But in reality, we are dealing with an unpretentious and thoroughly cliched story for children of primary and secondary school age. The images of the characters, their conversations and jokes – everything is not written without emotions, it’s just too banal and predictable.

The heroes chat about everything and nothing (in a special menu, topics are opened for conversations for life between different members of the squad), speaking at the level of “A real military bot! I’ve only seen this in the hypermovie Planet Wars 7.” And there is nothing wrong with that – like in Braveland, the plot in Spaceland plays a secondary role and is made at the level of such cute “casual games” for mobile phones. This is the style of the Tortuga Team, and in Braveland it did not annoy at all – simply because no one there promised the best traditions of the golden age …

Remembering the old and adding the new

History, I repeat, acts as a background, and most importantly in Spaceland – these are turn-based battles. The authors write that the combat system is inspired by the “old school” strategies – Incubation and Laser Squad, but this is not entirely true either. Because what we have before us is not tactics in its purest form, but a puzzle focused not on creative tactical thinking, but on the precise execution of those actions that the designers foresaw.Spaceland game review

Branches from the main path are sometimes found on the map.

On the one hand, everything is in place: on your turn, you can perform two actions, move, attack, or use some kind of skill like a kick, teleport, or overwatch. There are shelters – by the way, destructible. Shots have different chances of hitting depending on the distance to the target and the presence of obstacles on the way.

limited stock

On the other hand, each mission is full of conditions and restrictions. For some task, you can take only two fighters, for another – four, and two of them are chosen according to the plot, that is, they cannot be changed. Survive 17 turns while the elevator goes down; manage to get to the remote control in 16 moves; quickly move to the exit, throwing dynamite at all the monsters’ lairs, otherwise they will devour you; kill the boss by pushing fuel barrels towards him and exploding them – almost all missions are written in this spirit.

The main small arms of each fighter has a very limited amount of ammunition. Some also have weak cannons with infinite ammo. Boxes of ammo come across or are dropped in certain places and not as often as we would like. Even rarer are boxes for treatment. And of our wards, only one girl-engineer knows how to patch up wounds for herself or others. You yourself understand what conclusions follow from this – all the way we are trying to survive in the conditions of absolutely artificial restrictions that the developers put before us.

Cons and pros

Is this good or bad? It’s not the same for everybody. On the one hand, I would like, of course, more freedom and tactical battles in the spirit of Incubation and Laser Squad. On the other hand, there are no identical missions in the “Kill them all” style: all tasks are unique and interesting in their own way. And the game constantly throws a challenge, forcing you to correctly plan absolutely everything – from the composition of the squad for the mission to who to send to the boxes of ammunition and on what course.Spaceland game review

The farther the target is, the less damage we will inflict on it.

In addition, the ammunition limit is really invigorating – you have to decide when to use the main weapon, so that it is as effective as possible (that is, closer to the target), and when it is better to get a fart, give a kick or send one of the fighters with a sword behind their backs reptile. By the way, many enemies are invulnerable from one side or another, which only increases the complexity. And it works just fine.

They are so different, but still together

Pleases and a rich selection of fighters. One can throw normal grenades and specializes in shotguns, another shoots with a plasma rifle, heals and throws freezing grenades, the third knows how to shoot bursts, use a jerk and a sword – a total of seven different characters are recruited.

All fighters pump their skills for the stars, which are given out the more, the faster and more efficiently we complete missions. And for this, you also need to look for secrets. Finally, when new schemes appear, you can use earned coins to buy cooler weapons and armor. By the way, equipment for the most part is also unique to each. If there is not enough money and stars, you are always free to replay an already open mission and try to fulfill additional conditions – find a secret or meet a certain number of moves.

Not all tactical games have boss battles.

***

The authors of Spaceland were clearly trying to reinvent the wheel by mixing their own ideas into the time-tested tactical mechanics. It turned out differently, and the game can again be treated differently. But it is worth remembering, for example, the Commandos series, which was also a kind of tactical puzzle, which did not prevent it from breaking a standing ovation. Spaceland, of course, is a bird of the wrong flight, but if you relax and agree with the proposed rules, then this game can also please you with interesting missions and difficult battles.

Pros: an abundance of unique missions; a wide choice of fighters; really difficult fights; good opportunities for character development; nice graphics and music.

Cons: simple plot; too many platitudes in dialogues and characters; someone will not like the many artificial restrictions in battles.

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