Carl Armstrong / Oct 30th, 2003 No Comments
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if someone had taken the Sims and placed them in space? Well, you’ll probably end up with Space colony for the PC. A futuristic adventure that asks you to take on the role of Venus Jones and you work for a space industrial company, well sort of, taking on tasks such as gathering minerals, plants, and even grow space chickens (Looks like KFC has some future plans for us) Each mission different tasks and surprises at every corner.
When a mission starts you start with you and a couple of characters and your agendas on in the main deck of your ship (or the main menu) that tell you what ’s up with the mission as well as it gives you in-depth stats on your oxygen levels, the amount of power your ship has and how much money you have in resources and equipment.. Your space colony consists of several domes that look like mini metronomes the Minnesota Vikings play in and in these domes you can customize what items, equipment, objects you want in them. Each dome varying in size so for instance if you have a lot of staff for a certain mission it makes since to have one giant room for them to sleep in which makes it easier to find them instead of having separate rooms with only a couple of beds. Along with completing certain task another important feature that can be the difference between mission success and failure is the relationships your crew has with one another and how you keep them happy. Their are several ways to keep your characters happy throughout the different missions, and there’s a reason why but later.. You have to watch out for each persons, money, food, entertainment, talking, rest, cleanliness, and health meters. Each character posses certain strengths and weaknesses that affect these meters and players have to observe this. For example a big character such as stig needs to eat and will get hungrier faster then other characters, Hoshi and Kita are very close to each other and have to keep talking to each other. These individual meters affect their performance meter, this meter or pie chart, in the individuals personal menu, tells us how much time each character will dedicate to a task you assign them. So the happier they are the more time they spend working and vice versa. There are also monsters and space creatures throughout the missions trying to stop you from completing your tasks so for the shooter in you, you can have your characters drop what they are doing and go out and take care of those space menaces. If you cant though and you have to have your task taken care of you can place security fences, bombs and even robot dogs throughout your colony to take care of them for you.. All this in a effort to make your company the best around.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Very detailed maps are hindered by their size but the animation is pretty basic. The sound is nothing to jump at with Direct X 8.1 support but it doesn’t take down the over quality of the game. Of course hearing your characters complain while you attending to other task can get annoying real quick.
The whole idea of controlling different characters and making you do your bidding is always cool. Customizing your colony to your liking and making hooking up your character with one another is also fun. Can you say girl on girl action? Yes, but the game cant.
Some of the tasks can be ridiculously hard for example the game will ask you to investigate another station and what’s wrong with it but you will have to walk across the entire map, which is full of space creatures and disposing of them is not like Crimson sea for the xbox when your able to hold your own against 1000 plus enemies, to get to it. And it doesn’t help that your character moves like and escaped elderly man from an old folks home. The loading time at the beginning of the game has got the slowest I’ve seen on a pc game period, you can do you laundry and taxes by the time the initial game is loaded. Attending to the needs of your characters becomes a headache, its real tough to keep them happy for a long time and it translates into finding someone who will actually do the jobs the mission asks for. In certain missions I just wanted my characters to just die and rid me other their complaining.
Space Colony, even though it can be tough from time to time, offers some variety, as some of the animation such as the little transport units that grabs minerals that you mine, is pretty fun to watch. But you will find yourself with little time to enjoy the environments of other aspects of the game due the difficulty of the missions and keeping your characters happy. In one mission where you have to harvest a rare plant that will be used for medicinal purposes (no guys not that don’t even think about it) the only problem is you’ll have only 3 characters to complete the task and it will take more then one person gathering to complete the task so you’ll find yourself sacrificing more then you should to finish the mission. There are several mission like this throughout the game in the end I found myself wanting another game so I could exert the frustration Space Colony made me go through.
FINAL SCORE: 68%