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According to Spaceforce Captains, a new turn-based sci-fi strategy game from Croatian developer DreaMatrix, there’s a lot of debris in outer space. So much, in fact, that you can literally block an enemy spacecraft’s passage through the galaxy by parking your own ship in the narrow gap between two asteroid fields. See… he’s stuck! Got him cornered.
This illogical scenario only occurs because Spaceforce Captains exists in 2D space. A floating chessboard of sorts where all movement - exploratory or combat - must follow a strictly linear path through a flat-as-a-board grid of coarsely rendered space stations, mining outposts, and nebula clouds. Captains might have worked as a kitschy turn-based board game experience if its design wasn’t so horrible and its combat mechanics weren’t so dismally uninspired.
Every chapter in the game’s three-stage multi-mission campaign requires you to upgrade an unmodified space station with technology and shipbuilding modules while recruiting and employing new “Captains” to explore the maze-like surroundings with their personal fleets. The quickest way to win is to bash away at the “next turn” key repeatedly until you’ve accrued enough money, technology, and ships to locate, attack, and destroy the hidden enemy base. Curiously, your opponent will never harass your ships (not even the unarmed ones), so you needn’t worry about silly concepts like tactics or planning. When you eventually assault their home base (or one of their fleets), the resulting engagement is essentially an automated pissing contest with spacey pyrotechnics.
Throw in some cringeworthy voice acting, assorted bugs, and perpetually empty multiplayer servers, and you’ll soon realize there really is a lot of junk in outer space.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 38% (Don’t bother)
May 9, 2008