Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Starship Corporation Gameplay Review

I'm playing Starship Corporation, a spaceship design company simulation by Coronado Games and Iceberg Interactive.

The game features a campaign mode, which is mostly the sandbox mode with fixed starting conditions. The same map is used each time, along with the same missions, resulting in low replay value. Running your corporation consists of accepting contracts, designing ships appropriate for those contracts, and testing them out. Ships can be moved around the galaxy map to research new areas, mine asteroids, perform roadwork, or engage in combat against pirates. Ship design involves placing rooms (the bridge, navigation, sensors, engines, power, cooling, weapons, shields, storage, crew quarters, mining equipment, medical bays) and connecting them with hatches and corridors. New items can be researched for an up-front fee or paid for monthly. Design is essentially free-form, although some rooms must be placed along the outer hull. Generally, it is very difficult to physically fit all of the components required by a contract while staying under budget. After the design is complete, a real-time “crew management” phase tests your ship in a variety of different scenarios. The efficiency of your design (namely, how long it takes the crew to get from room to room) determines your rating and whether it is sufficient to fulfill the contract. The interface makes it tedious to place rooms and interact with your crew, although the verbose error messages during the design phase are useful. While Starship Corporation is a great idea with high levels of detail in certain areas, tedious construction, tough building requirements, and a lack of polish hold the title back.