Space Pioneer - When a game is done right...Almost!
Although there are a number of new games for various platforms that are launched every week, very few actually pique the interest as effectively as Space Pioneer. The space-action theme has largely been monopolised by the Star Wars & the Star Trek franchises.
The gameplay involves you, the Pioneer, and your trusted companion, a tiny robot that also quotes well-known dialogues from films during loading screens, roaming in new planets and clearing it to set up a colony later. You are given a gun that overheats and “jams” if you shoot constantly for 10 seconds, so you simply cannot point and spray. Luckily, as long as you are within range, your Pioneer will aim automatically. You just need to point them in the right direction. For each level, the pioneer is given a few objectives which he must clear in order to return back to his base. In each world, you will find a number of different monsters that stand between you and your main objective. You are rewarded in coins, which can be redeemed for skills, guns, armours add-ons such as grenades, firing turrets etc.
Consequently, many titles that each individual franchise has come up with is easily forgettable, thanks to the monotonous and essentially, and the exact same gameplay that each title offers. Therefore, Vivid Games’ latest offering comes as a pleasant surprise for one and all who have looked up at the stars and been left awestruck, both, as children, and as adults.
The gameplay is nothing short of wonderful. That’s it. There are no other words to describe the joy one experiences when playing a clean, and aesthetically pleasing game such as this one. Don't get us wrong, there are plenty of other games out there that are far more engaging and fun than this. But whatever that Space Pioneer does, it does it precisely right. The gameplay is tight, taut and well defined. Even though all the stages are exactly the same, with the exceptions of the Boss Levels, if a game is as intuitive and simplistic as this one, one does not mind doing the exact same thing, over and over again.
The graphics are great, nothing out of this world (get the pun? wink-wink). But they are definitely better than many AAA gaming titles from the major video game giants. The graphic experience is neat and clean, without any over the top designs, which again, is a surprising change from many of the space-based games that we have come to enjoy over the years. Add to that the retro-themed music that serves as the background and, and the overall retro-feeling sound design, and what we have is a game that has clearly been designed keeping the childhood of most twenty or thirty-somethings in mind.
That being said, there are a few flaws as well. The main menu options are very tiny, and lined up only at the left-hand side, with only one menu option at the bottom-right corner. The colour scheme felt washed out on some levels, and was perfect in some; there was no consistency in this regard. Also, unfortunately, there is no multiplayer option, even though, the game demands an active internet connection.
Space Pioneer is a gem of a game; hats-off to Vivid for such an amazing delight. Playing the game is an overall enjoyable experience, and we are sure, everyone at the FHM office here, will surely get back to it, at some point or the other. I for one, will not be uninstalling the game, just because this review is done
No energy to play concept.
Wonderful amalgamation of graphics and music
Not too demanding on the hardware.
Free to download, with reasonable IAP
No Multiplayer Mode
May seem repetitive or monotonous after sometime
Advertisements a little too intrusive.
Image source - Vivid Games