- Beautifully minimal art style
- An original twist on the RTS genre
- Great price and endless replay value
- Soothing, electronic soundtrack
Thanks to modern technology, almost everything is simple these days. Take cooking, for example. Back in the olden days, it took years of training and a discernible skill set to rustle up a culinary delight. Then the microwave oven popped into existence, allowing any old simpleton to frazzle a cheese and tomato pizza in less than two minutes, and humanity wept with joy. Some things in life are so unthinkably complex though, that – despite our best efforts to simplify them – we further expose their complexity. That’s Rymdkapsel in a nutshell, basically.
Almost everything about Rymdkapsel – from its non-threatening pastel colours to its soothing electronic soundtrack – conveys the illusion of simplicity, and yet it’s arguably one of the deepest real-time strategies in recent years. There’s no exposition, no cutesy dialogue, and little explanation as to what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re simply abandoned in the inky blackness of space, and left to build a space station or face certain death.
Houston We Have A Problem
Surely enough, things start pretty slowly. You’re bestowed with only two minions at first, so it’s really just a case of building Tetris-style corridors, onto which you can construct essential buildings. This requires a great deal of thought, as you’ll need to venture out into space to obtain rare materials – as well as scan monoliths for additional perks, such as increased speed.
In order to boost your chances of survival, you’ll also need a healthy assortment of buildings – but it’s much easier said than done. You’ll need an extractor to collect resources, a garden to grow tasty sludge, a kitchen to process food, and quarters to grow more minions. To make life even more difficult, most buildings are dependent on another one – so you have to think carefully about their placement, and make sure they’re accessible to your minions at all times.
Build It and They’ll Come
Perhaps the biggest challenge and motivation to keep building, though, is to defend your base from enemy attacks. At the bottom of the screen, you’re presented with an ever-increasing bar, alerting you to incoming threats. Each round only lasts a few minutes, so you’re constantly keeping an eye on your resources, building up your army, and preparing for the worst.
To make matters worse, each round escalates in difficulty – so you’ll need to build plenty of weapons rooms in order to come out alive. It’s an intriguing concept, and one that requires a fine balancing act between growing new minions, building rooms, and preparing for war. And should you die? It’s game over. No second chances.
Rymdkapsel’s minimal approach might cause confusion at first, but the game’s art style is so achingly beautiful that it’s hard to complain. What’s more, the simplistic controls are impressive for an RTS of such complexity – keeping up with the action in a smart and sophisticated manner, without ever getting in the way.
Rymdkapsel: Final Verdict
Rymdkapsel is a beautiful, absorbing and original take on the RTS genre. Its minimal art style separates it from the crowd, and the simple controls make for an essential purchase, even if you don’t typically enjoy strategy games.
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