A solid space sim with promising potential
When faced with an early access game, there are two main factors you must consider. First, whether the current content is immersive, entertaining and fun. Second, what the game promises. On both fronts, The Spatials Galactology delivers. If you’re looking for a solid space simulator, you could do a lot worse than The Spatials Galactology..
Last year, Spatials was released on Steam to mostly positive reviews. The Spatials Galactology is a sequel/re-imagining of the original game. Galactology’s main feature is base building. Hopefully, the full game will have more items and variety to the building, but overall the building was fun. It’s easy to create your space station and micromanage your spacemen’s lives. You simply select the style of the room and drag your mouse over the space you wish to build, and your workers will (slowly) build the walls and floor. Once the rooms have been built, you just add the items and objects you want into the room. That’s about it.
Besides base building, you also explore other planets for resources. It’s generally fun but has very little depth. You simply drop down on a planet and place an extractor for resources. You can also build storage units to recruit more people and store resources. New planets also connect to your space station, so you can share resources and people. The planets are also interesting to explore and with a variety of animals, environments, and humanoids. Ideally, the full version will add more depth to the exploration.
There are several mechanics that are currently unavailable but look promising. Ship building and choosing a crew looks like a good idea. The research mechanic looks interesting and could create different play styles, which would enhance replay value. You control your crew and can hire new workers from other planets. As of right now, though, there is no hiring process – it’s just a simple button press.
The artwork looked fine. Your crew members are unique enough that you won’t be seeing a ton of clones at your station. The planets are visually interesting, as well as the lifeforms and environments on them. There are some bugs/glitches. I recommend you save often, as I had a few frustrating playthroughs where I lost a lot of progress, but it was generally stable. Nothing was gamebreakingly bad.
While being generally good, The Spatials Galactology has some faults. Your workers’ laziness/downright stupidity is a major irritation. There were several instances of workers refusing the tasks they had been assigned. They’d just stand there, despite my orders. Nothing makes you feel less like an omnipotent space station creator god than your tiny workers going on strike. This was especially irritating when I absolutely needed them to work, like during a fire! The tutorial also gives you a little too much credit. I hadn’t played the original game before playing Galactology, but a lot of my initial experience was on the job training. Not being able to rotate the camera (maybe I’m just dumb) was also a tad bit annoying. Finally, all the unavailable features make the game repetitive and dull at times. Base building can only be interesting for so long. You need to have some tangible goal, and I didn’t feel like I had one a lot of the time.
All in all, though, The Spatials Galactology is a solid space simulator with a lot of potential. If you didn’t own the original game (and therefore didn’t receive this for free), it’s well worth it’s $12.99 price tag. There’s enough content to be fun and engaging. Also, there’s a lot of promise for when the game is actually completed. The price will spike once it’s completed, so this might be a sound investment, even if you’re leery of Early Access games.