Videogames reviewed in 10 straight-to-the-point questions, every Wednesday
Game: Idle Space Tycoon
Platform: PC (Kongregate)
Time to beat: Depends on the time you want to put into it, because it’s an idle game.
Q1: Who’s this videogame for?
- Fans of idle games, which require limited player input to play
- Fans of browser/mobile games
- Anyone looking to learn what it feels to become a tycoon…in space!
- Anyone that needs to learn how orders of magnitude work (when you start counting in quintillions, you know you’ve played a while)
Q2: What’s the story like, and does it require any pre-existing knowledge?
The context of the game is very straightforward. You land on a planet, and immediately start mining, re-investing your earnings, and building schools, hospitals, factories and spas. 3 hours later (like in my case), you’ve built a massive club run by an alien version of Skrillex called Grillex.
The game does not require any prior knowledge to be fully enjoyed.
Q3: What’s the learning curve like?
Like most idle games, the gameplay is fairly straightforward and easy to pick up. The main challenge in learning is understanding how to collect money, re-investing it, developing your civilization’s “brain-power” and enlisting the help of ambassadors, but the game does well in pacing how these things work to avoid overwhelming the player.
My one comment here is that if by mistake you miss an explanation (or click too fast), you may have a hard time finding it again, unless you start over.
Q4: What are the controls like?
You only need to click/tap to play this.
By selecting a property, you collect the cash earned. Eventually you are able to automate collection, which shifts your focus from collecting to investing.
Buttons are chunky, colorful and easy to use, so overall the game controls well.
Q5: Does it have split-screen?
Q6: How’s the online component?
The only online functionality at this point is the leaderboards, which track your build level. I made it to level 15 after a couple of weeks on and off, and the leaderboard seems to be capped at 31 right now.
Q7: How’s the presentation?
The game is very colorful and vibrant. You can tell the developers had a good time making the game, as the character designs are hilarious parodies of real-life celebrities, ranging from Kim Kardashian to Donald Trump.
From a sound perspective, the game has a simple soundtrack that manages to avoid being too monotonous. Sound effects are crisp and adequate. A personal favorite is the sound the “farty aliens” make when you click on them.
Q8: What are similar games / alternatives you’d recommend?
There are plenty of idle games out there, like Idle Adventure Capitalist, Cookie Clickers, or Nonstop Knight. The closest thing I’ve personally played similar to this was the Jurassic World Park Builder game.
If you want to see more games from indie developer FaeryDust Games, keep an eye out for Spellcards, Winter Bottle Flip or Feed the Penguin.
Q9: Anything you wish you knew before going in?
Nothing, really. Due to the “Earn Brainpower” mechanic, you get to always start your empire from scratch, but at a higher earning rate, so you get to experiment.
My one pice of advice would be to hold on to crystals, and spend them on permanent improvements, rather than higher earning rates that may get wiped out on your next reset.
Q10: Should I buy it?
The game is free to play (you can find it here), so no need to buy. But if you do enjoy the game and can see yourself spending some time with it, please do support indie developers. It’s our responsibility to vote with our wallets and support games we like, so we can see more of them in the future.
When I first tried this game, I ended up playing 3 hours straight. I rarely get hooked on games like this so quickly, but the simple gameplay and the satisfaction of seeing the money roll in kept me coming back.
8 out of 10 farty aliens.
I've been a gamer since the SNES days and Donkey Kong Country was the first game I ever owned.
I currently work as a management consultant, and my console of choice is the Nintendo Switch, which I carry with me during my travels.