“What do you mean we’re getting shot up? Didn’t you deploy that nice shiny new gun we just built?”
“Of course Captain, but the gun we just deployed is on the wrong side of the ship.” My mechanical companion droned in typical deadpan fashion. Just once I would like to hear some panic out of this pile of tin when things are getting bad. I know that will never happen, but one can hope.
I pull my ballcap a little lower on my head, note to self: my hair needs cutting, and get busy at the controls. “Damn pirates anyway, always causing trouble. Why can’t they get a crappy job like I did to earn a living?” Oh well, I guess the die has been cast, no help for it except to push onward. I at least hope I’m not going to be outrun by anyone else this time, damn frustrating is what that is. Oh well, such is life as a Space Trucker…
This game is not just about what you transport from place to place, but how fast you get it there and if you can survive the experience. Of course, you start out small until you get a few runs under your belt — then more corporations will hire you to transport their goods. Sometimes it’s just boxes, other times it’s nuclear, and it can even be pods of passengers out to tour the galaxy. Whatever it is, it has to get there quickly and in one piece. However, you’re not the only one in the race. There are two other hired transportation specialists (or space truckers) that you are competing against, and depending on how fast you get there determines how many stars you are rated, which determines how big of a bonus you make on the run.
You begin each transportation with a different ship — some are small, some are large — but you have to strategically fit all of your components to begin. The corporation that you work for will determine what you are transporting. Each mission starts with the placing of cargo of some type and one engine to get out of the safety of the space dock. Where you put the engine doesn’t really matter, so long as it has a way to point astern and not be blocked. The cargo (unless it’s the foolhardy tourists) should all be in the middle so that you can add lots of guns or shields to the outside of your ship to deal with obstacles. Whether said obstacles are asteroids, pirate fighters, or other freighters depends on the mission, but you will see them all. Every attack is broadcast to you by big red pointing arrows and a countdown timer. You cannot steer the ship at all, so watch the indicators and make sure your guns are pointing in the right direction.
Upgrades are life out here in the cold blackness of space, so never leave port without checking into what new gadgets you can afford. Everything you can deploy has some type of upgrade path for it. Whether it’s the ability to rotate your turrets or improve your shields, they will all come in handy at one time or another. Bigger engines will get you there faster to beat the competition, bigger guns will get you there in one piece, and of course shields will get you there safely.
In a lot of missions, beating your competition to your destination in one piece can be quite the challenge. But don’t worry, you can try it again if you fail or just want a better score. I ran the first mission a couple of times just to get a good feel for the game and how the mechanics work in this unique tower defense type game. The voice acting is fun and very reminiscent of the 1980’s, but don’t let it distract you from the challenge that this game throws at you. The graphics, while not top notch, are more than adequate for a title like this. It’s really the gameplay and the voice acting that puts this game on my radar, and it’s the challenges and fun that kept me coming back for more.
In conclusion, is this game worthy of your hard earned money? Yes. So jump on Steam and grab your copy today and in no time at all you’ll be a Space Trucker with too many contracts to choose from. Good luck out there and remember to take a jacket; space is cold.