SpaceStationSim review

  • The game's sense of humor
  • Plenty of modules to pimp your station
  • A budget title with NASA approval
  • Character customization is lacking
  • Astronauts are needy geniuses
  • The graphics aren't pretty

SpaceStationSim is budget title that you can freely take at face value. Its mission statement can be entirely inferred from its title: A true to life re-creation of maintaining a space station - which, as it happens, resembles a cramped college chemistry lab way more than it does the interstellar mechanized death-moon from Star Wars - and a slight rip-off of The Sims.

Whether or not the gameplay itself will set your world on fire depends on just how many times you've been to Space Camp. You're charged with the upkeep of an orbiting satellite and all its equipment and crew. No matter how minute the detail, everything must be tended to otherwise your crew could mutiny, and you'll wind up with your tainted name emblazoned across newspapers. Scandalous.

Houston, we have a problem... a humidity problem? In SSS you'll have to manage even the most mundane of details - including zooming (probably not a NASA sanctioned term) back to earth to pick up a humidifier using currency accumulated amongst NASA and other space-faring nations. You can then order your astronauts to activating said humidifiers, as well as repairing CO2 scrubbers, performing science experiments and even use the space toilet (Visual Conformation Denied! The world may never know how to pee in zero G.)

SSS is an officially "NASA certified" venture, the culmination of five entire years of development and cooperation between game designers and real-life astronauts. And nowhere is the span of years more apparent than in the antiquated graphics. Of course, this doesn't matter much since the game has no problem rendering the clunky equipment of our aged space program. But the characters move awkwardly, banging their wrists around in spite of the blocky hands.

Tasks are carried out in the order they're assigned. This can be a painful process to witness as your crew will take forever to do something as simple as turning on a machine, floating rigidly about the cabin like disobedient amoebas.

Meaning no offense to the family of the game's producer, who appear to make up half of the game's voice cast, but the voice acting actually made us miss Simlish, the nonsensical language of The Sims world. SSS's astronauts will obnoxiously let you know of every little thing bothering them, and even juvenilely squabble amongst themselves. Settle down, scientists! And surprisingly, given their degrees in engineering and bioscience (viewable in their bios), your astronauts will electrocute themselves on plenty of occasions.

For all we know, armed with only a passing familiarity with the space program and single digit viewings of Apollo 13, this may be the world's most perfect space station simulator. But just as we don't want to play Yankee Stadium Bathroom Janitor, realism doesn't automatically mean this point-and-clicky game is that much fun. Go figure that a realistic simulation of mission control tedium could seem so, well, tedious. But if you've got a stack of rejected astronaut applications, or have been struggling to save up that 20 or so million to hitch a ride up with the Russians, SpaceStationSim could be just what you need.

More Info

Release date: Nov 28 2006 - PC (US)
Nov 28 2006 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Enlight
Developed by: Enlight
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Crude Humor, Mild Violence


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