In my recent history of reviewing games, the title has said it all. Draw Slasher had me drawing and slashing, Nun Attack had nuns attacking, and Poker Night 2 was all about playing poker at night. With Rymdkapsel, I had no idea what the hell this was going to be.
How Much Is It?
What’s the Story?
There isn’t one. You just jump right into the game and start building, with the help of a few tutorial messages.
What Do You Do?
The best way to explain Rymdkapsel is Tetris mixed with SimCity, delivered to you as an RTS. The basic premise has you starting to build various objects with your little minions, growing your empire and collecting resources. A with Rymdkapsel is that your pieces are Tetris shaped and you have to make them fit properly together, forcing you to plan out where you want each structure to go.
Once you start building and your little minions create defenses and more, enemies start to attack, something that happens when the red meter at the bottom of the screen reaches the top. To keep you interested, the waves of enemies get increasingly harder and more frequent as you go along, forcing you to research 4 objects known as Monoliths to gain extra abilities. Then, once you research them all, it’s pretty much just about surviving as long as you can.
Also, as a word of advice, you can run out of the resources required to build your structures, forcing you to restart. So to avoid this, make sure you build the resource collecting areas first.
What’s the Objective?
Well, there’s three actually: Research all Monoliths, Survive 28 waves, and Research all Monoliths in Less Than 45 Minutes.
Researching every Monolith is standard fare and doesn’t take too long once you get the feel for the game. Being able to do this in under 45 minutes is definitely a tall task if you haven’t mastered every aspect of Rymdkapsel, as I only managed to complete this feat in 44 minutes and 50 seconds on my third try.
However, both of those pale in comparison to surviving 28 waves. No matter what, this will take you over an hour to do on a single playthrough. To Rymdkapsel’s credit, trying to complete this was a tasking experience and showed off how good of a strategy game this is at times, with you having to think ahead at every step. Once I finally managed to beat this, I felt accomplished because the enemies come at you every few seconds in the later waves.
How Does it Look?
This is one of the most minimalist games you’ll ever play, with your minions looking like the paddles from Pong and everything else being displayed in simple block form. Despite the basic nature of everything, it seems to work with the vibe of the game and I don’t really have any complaints as to how it looks.
How Long Is It?
Thanks to the somewhat heightened learning curve of Rymdkapsel, it took me about four hours to get through all three objectives. If you master the gameplay quickly though, you could easily do everything within about 2 – 3 hours. After that, it’s just trying to survive as many waves as possible, which gets to be stupid difficult after about wave 35 or so.
One thing I was very disappointed with is, aside from the fact that there’s only three objectives, Rymdkapsel doesn’t feature leaderboards of any kind. It was a huge missed opportunity, and partly because of this, I didn’t feel the urge to keep playing once I completed everything.
Is It Hard?
At first, yes. Figuring out the intricacies of Rymdkapsel can be a little daunting at first, but once you get into the rhythm, it’s all pretty straightforward, with the enemies becoming tougher and tougher with each wave.
Is It Fun?
While Rymdkapsel has its fast-paced moments, it can be very boring. Thanks to the lack of a fast forward button (you’ll wish you had one before long), sitting through the first 10 waves of the game is a major snooze fest. The minions move very slow, you only have a few minions to work with, and enemies attack at a snails pace. Those early waves may be crucial for your success later on, but starting a game fresh means you’ll be bored out of your skull for about 30 minutes.
Is It Worth the Money?
Sitting at $4.99, I do feel that it’s over-priced and should be sitting at somewhere between $2 – $3,especially when it can be finished in a few hours. Things don’t get better for Rymdkapsel’s high price tag when you also see that something like Men’s Room Mayhem, a full blown PS Vita title on the PSN, is $1.39.
Should You Buy It?
If you have the $5 to spend and want a minimalist RTS that does have its good moments, you should buy it. Just be prepared to watch some very slow pong paddles walk around when you wish they would go much faster.