There is a huge amount of space games available. in some of them, you’re in charge of a powerful spaceship defending the stars from hostile alien forces. In others you may be leading a rag-tag group of space misfits through an engaging storyline where you ultimately save the galaxy from the big-bad. This game is different. Firstly, now you’re building and outfitting the powerful spaceships yourself and secondly, your biggest, and worst enemy is your bottom-line. Welcome to Starship Corporation developed by Coronado Games.
The main purpose of Starship Corporation is to pick up the ship-building contracts and make sure you fulfill that contract to the best of your ability. Sometimes, you’ll be able to build and distribute the ship straight away. In other cases, you might need to build a brand new ship that fits their requirements. Regardless, it’s this business that is the very lifeblood of the game. It is a business simulator after all, and if your bottom line starts showing too much red, then your corporation will fail. If you want to make the big bucks then you’re going to be making some pretty goddamn big and complex ships. You can crew your ships with cybernetic organisms?
For new players it is definitely worth going through the tutorials, as they will take you through the main areas of Starship Corporation. The first tutorial is basically a quick look through some of the screens. Kinda dull to be honest but brief and you only have to read a few screens. The remaining three tutorials are in my opinion essential and they take you through, the basic map screen as well as ship controls, and contract management. The second tutorial is all about designing and building your ship. While the third tutorial is about crew management and testing upon the ships. The complexity of these tutorials is a great indication of just how much there is to get a handle on when you play the game without the training wheels on.
The main map is where you can see an overview of the galaxy, as well as any planets, shipyards and all of your own personal ships, and their locations. On this screen you’ll research and investigate anomalies, mine asteroid fields all the while fending off deadly space pirates and other brigands. This is why your own fleet is just as important as the ships you’ll build for others. If you let your own fleet get out of date or not grow it sufficiently then they’ll be nothing to stop all those astral Ne’er-do-wells playing merry hell with your shipyards.
Not everything is available straight away, some technologies and ship improvements need to be researched before they can be implemented within a design. Research is done, simply by allocating an amount of money for researching that particular field and waiting the required amount time. Of course, if you have the cash you can just buy the research instantly.
Now let’s move on to the shipbuilding part. One of the better parts of the game, I think. Once you have your contract depending on the type of ships already available, you may need to design and build a new ship. Once you’ve chosen your basic ship size and shape, you can start fitting it with all the things that you’ll need to get that ship not only up and running but also worth of as higher rating as possible.
There is a whole raft of things you need to make sure are covered when you’re building. Sure, there are obvious things such as power units and bridges, but you’ll also need to make sure there is adequate cooling, power distribution, corridors and hatches plus enough crew quarters and crew buildings to ensure that everything. There’s a list of around 20-30 things which go from red (absent), through orange (need more) to green which indicates everything’s covered. Obviously the more you put in the ship the more it is going to cost, so you might want to cut corners in the name of business and the almighty dollar but that’s your decision.
New spaceships aren’t just built and sent to mass production it’s important that they are tested. After all, how would the corporation know how well they function. It is this testing that not only tells you, the player just how space worthy they are, but will also allocate the design a number of stars according to just how efficient your design is.
This testing comes in the form of a series of crew tests and procedures, that you will have to manage by sending the crew to the right areas, managing malfunctions, fires, blown hatches and medical emergencies. You can pause the action at any time, and when the crew are being fully tested sometimes you just want to be able to pause the action and take a breather while you plan your response. You can always take the test again or make some changes to your design first and see how the amended blueprint works differently.
As you can see it’s a full game, and there’s plenty to do in Starship Corporation. If you’re looking for a fast-paced action game that will keep the adrenaline pumping, then boy are you in the wrong place. However, all of us who like a full and original space corporation simulator should be pleasantly surprised with Starship Corporation
Looking at SSC on a surface graphics and sound point of view. It’s not awesome, but then again what business simulator does have stunning real-life graphics. Visually it does everything that’s required. The graphics are distinct and it’s clear at all times just where you are and what you’re doing. If I had one grumble it might be that you don’t actually see your crew members during testing, just faceplates that float around. Though fair play, as each faceplate has a real person’s face on it. I guess they were the developers. No real complaints anyway. It’s like ordering your favourite pizza and not liking the colour of the box it come’s in.
In regards to difficulty when starting a new game there are many different settings that will influence just how difficult the game is going to be. You can amend the amount of money you start with as well as the available credit you can get. You can even specify just how involved you want to be in the testing procedure.
As with most simulators, Starship Corporation has a tremendous amount of replayability. After all, there’s no storyline to get old, and every game has the propensity to be completely different from your previous one. Having said, that although the game will be different there won’t be any gameplay changes. The game will still play out as your previous one, only the route will change. However, with the different difficulty settings, if this type of game is your thing you’ll be able to squeeze out a few more playthrough’s simply by trying different difficulties.