Dark Light
Space Colony Review

When I first booted up Space Colony, I was a bit taken aback. The interface was raw, the graphics were very 1990s in their plastic like presentation and the whole thing seemed slightly off? And then I realised what it was, I’d played this before! Firefly Studios had remastered Space Colony, an older game from 2003, and updated it with a spiffy Steam Edition, bringing it up to somewhat modern day standards. How did it fare? Not too bad. Not too bad at all. Oh the nostalgia wave that hit me as I played, realising the last time I’d booted this up was when I was 25 years old (I’m nearly 40… dear god almighty…)

Visuals:

I love how this looks. Seriously. Fourteen years on and this game still looks goddamn beautiful. There was a point in time, where the sprites on a PC simply could not be beat. They had a completely different look to them than anything you could find on a console, something that couldn’t be reproduced. Space Colony carries that look over with it. The high definition look to everything, the beautiful primary colours popping off the screen, and although the animation may not be the best, the beautiful detail in the sprites more than makes up for it. This is a visually gorgeous game. It might not be the most fluidly animated game, but visually, it’s great in its older style, PC quality sprites with a great colour palette to back it up.

Gameplay:

So Space Colony, as its name suggests, takes place on… a Space Colony! You play the ever omniscient hand of fate, guiding the direction of the workers as they trudge around their daily lives, cleaning, harvesting, talking, researching and everything that makes a space colonists day worth enduring one more for. This hit around the time the first The Sims was hitting its initial peak craze, a bunch of add-ons had released, a bunch of clones had hit the stores and part 2 was still a year away. Space Colony hit, mixing elements of Command and Conquer (resource harvesting) and the Sims (relationships, furniture, house management), resulting in a Space base management game that never truly hits stratospheric heights, but remains a lot of fun in its own right.

Controls:

The controls are mainly icon driven, click on the character, click on the relevant icon to get them to do something (talk, socialise, do something), or click on the character, then on the item you wish them to interact with. This is a fairly intuitive interface, as everything feels logical, everything feels like it makes a fair amount of sense. Basebuilding itself feels decent, with everything feeling like a faux-Sims game, (this is a compliment fyi) with a scifi twist. It’s rewarding to watch your base grow, your resource pads fill up with Iron Ore and your base defences fend off enemies, it’s quite satisfying indeed.

Firefly Studios has done a great job in updating Space Colony for Steam and keeping the original feel to the controls, resisting the urge to change them up dramatically. It’s as fairly smooth as it ever was but some tweaks to the control scheme would’ve been nice in updating it to today’s operating systems.

Sound:

The sound is crisp, the music is more an aural selection of tones rather than actual music, yet quite pleasant in their execution, giving you an otherworldly feel. Voices themselves are cute, with over 20 different colonists in the game, each is voiced individually with a different personality, from the gruff Sven, to the ditzy Candy, to the confident can-do attitude of Venus, everyone bleeds personality in their own way. Space Colony is a quality production in this area.

Value:

For $14.99 on Steam, you could do a lot worse, honestly. For a 14 year old game, I’d say this fits the right pricing point. I don’t know if I’d pay more? I’d say it’s got enough value to justify this pricing point. Replay value is there after all.

Conclusion:

Space Colony Steam Edition is an incredibly capable updating of a game that was never quite a classic, but a pretty good Sims/Command and Conquer hybrid. A space base manager, it’s a damn good little timewaster, you won’t regret picking it up and Firefly Studios has done a decent job in their updating of this property. While not an earth shattering game, it will fill in a few hours here and there, giving you something to do and you’re not likely to regret it. So, fittingly all up, I have to give Space Colony Steam Edition:

Pro’s

  • Solid gameplay
  • Nice sound
  • Great sprites even 14 years later!
  • Great updating to the original game.

Cons:

  • The animation is showing its age.
  • The controls, while nice, could still use some updating.

 

Available On: Steam

 

Similar posts plugin not found.
Comments are closed.