Anyone who was there in 1994, will most undoubtedly have heard of the amazing game by MicroProse called XCom Enemy Unknown. And who couldn’t? That catchy intro said it all. Aliens invade earth, kill a few human beans with their cabbage color like skin, and then… Warning. Yup… Those were the days! Eventually, a revamped version was blasted onto our frontal cortex, together with a slew of lookalikes. Well, today? Tortuga Team brings us one of these lookalikes called Spaceland. In this turn-based sci-fi adventure, you’ll have to fight your way through a slew of alien critters of an unknown origin. Search for the surviving crew in an overrun settlement on an unknown planet and get your ass off of this unforsaken boulder! Will you make it? Or will you become alien food? Find out in this review of Spaceland!
What we liked!
- Looks Great!: Right off the bat, Spaceland conquered my heart by how good this thing actually looks! The colors and environments look great, first of all! Each with their own vibe and personality too it. None of the outside buildings look a straight copy-paste of each other and have their own rooms for you to explore. Then, the units in themselves? They have also their own look and are made to be their own individual with their own specialty. These too, look perfectly crafted. As if sculpted by a loving hand! So whoever did the visuals here? Wow, kudos to you people! The visual effects as well? Spot on. It’s not too shouty, it’s own self-contained explosion of fun!
- Relaxed Gameplay: Throughout your session, you’ll notice that nothing really feels rushed. Sure, at the end of the level you’ll get a timer score. But that’s really it. You’ll have the time to think about your moves because tactics really do come into play here. So take your time, set up your units in the right pattern to defeat certain enemy types. Don’t feel as if you are rushed to quickly run through the entirety of the thing. That’s not really what this game is all about in my opinion. Rather, it’s an experience for you to enjoy. You could even call it X-Com Light for all I care!
- Nice UI: A lot of these Turn-based games have an extremely shouty UI, with gadgets and doodads everywhere. Hidden options, tucked away under buttons that you wouldn’t even have thought it would fit under. Not here though! Everything is as clearcut as anything you’d ever think about! Your options are straightforward, and it’s all highlighted perfectly! It’s clearly obvious that Tortuga Team had 1 path in mind. Make a game as easy to get into, as possible. And they succeeded tremendously!
- Unique Encounters: Like I stated in the relaxed gameplay portion. Spaceland has got a few aces up its sleeve. Namely your enemy types! I’m not going to lay it all out, but there is one creature out there, that’s only hittable from behind. So, you’ll have to think ahead about your moves, and turns, if you want to take down this beasty! It’s so enjoyable to see that effort was being put into creating these enemies. Not just mindless cannon fodder for you to empty your magazine at (yup, that’s a thing!). No, these enemies are handcrafted and tailored for a tactical mind, instead of a guns-blazing kind of mind!
- Limited Ammo: One of the peeves that I had with Spaceland, was the fact that you’ve got limited rounds. So, take care of what you waste your ammo on! I wouldn’t have mind a reload mechanic, just like X-Com does. But really? Limited ammo for everything? Factor RNG into your shots as well, and you’ll quickly come to notice that this might become a nuisance! Sure the closer you go to your enemy, the higher your hit % goes up, but come on! If you’re already running with a limited amount of ammo? And some of these guys really do take a punch? That’s just a recipe for disaster! You CAN refill your ammo, with those ammo crates that you see up in this screenshot. But that’s just for the guy that opens up the crate!
- Sometimes glitchy sound: I don’t know what it was if it’s just me or what. But I had some glitches happen on me after I loaded into my saved game. The first level that I played never had any sound effects. But that was just in the first few levels, after that? It didn’t occur anymore. But during my regular gaming, I had a few occasions that the sound kind of like looped, or double started. Weird, but a rare thing to have happened to me. Not that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the game, not in the slightest. It just felt kind of… odd, you know?
What we disliked
- Ab-so-lutely nothing: Yup! That’s right. I said it. There’s nothing wrong about this game, at all! It’s got enough mental challenges for you to keep your mind focused, it’s got good graphics, a somewhat decent storyline. Thoughts and effort was CLEARLY put into this game and I praise it for their efforts! Tortuga? You did good!
Tortuga Team, a standing ovation for the obvious love and dedication that you guys put into Spaceland. Not only is it an enjoyable Turn-Based strategy game, but it’s also an obvious homage to one of the greats that sculpted this genre! With a more relaxed approach, you’ll find this an amazing enjoyment to play. Spaceland immediately took one of my top 10 spots in this turn-based genre, and believe you me! I rank those high in my Top category since these were one of the first games that I even played on a computer way back.