Indie Review: Space Pirates and Zombies
Space Pirates and Zombies is a space exploration RTS with enticing space battles, loads of micro-management and enough zombies, and pirates, to satisfy any eager RTS nut.
- Worth The Time?If you're a hardcore RTS fan, then yes. If not, don't bother.
- Things LovedI enjoyed the space exploration segments of the game and the space battles.
- Things HatedI hated the constant need to micro-manage my whole mothership, and the heavy learning curve.
- RecommendationFor fans of Sins Of A Solar Empire, Gratiutious Space Battles and Home World.
- Name: Space Pirates and Zombies
- Genre: RTS
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: none
- Platforms: Steam
- Developer: MinMax Games
- Publisher: Impulse, GamersGate and BMT Micro
- Price: $ 14.99 (R121)
- Reviewed On: PC
Disclaimer: I tend to dislike RTS games. Especially, ones that involve spaceships. Sins of a Solar Empire and Home World are not my friends. You have been warned. However, I do enjoy Starcraft 2
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Space Pirates and Zombies is an RTS game developed by MinMax games who seemingly wanted to develop a game following in the footsteps of Sins of Solar Empire, combining combat elements from Gratuitous Space Battles in the mix. What you get is a space exploration RTS game where Asteroid-like combat and micro-management is the colour of everything the game has to offer. Just like Civilization 5, in S.P.A.Z (like how I feel when I play the game) everything has to be expertly micro-managed. The story follows that two factions have been at war as the human race has advanced into space. In the midst of all this space exploration, and the war between the factions, pirates began to appear, and zombies soon followed after the outbreak of a Borg-like disease. You control a mothership which has become stranded in space, and is in need of repairs.
The basics of the game involve maneuvering your ship throughout the known galaxy (“warping” from point to point) collecting resources with a variety of ships (you can build at your disposal) and can continually upgrade. Research trees and upgrades are available to you as captain of your very own galactic rust bucket, and so new content is always available on the fly. In the mothership, are hangars where you can build and upgrade spaceships, and then deploy them to battle enemy spacecraft whilst collecting resources needed to repair your rusty old tanker of a ship. Intially, you’re limited by the size of your hangars and the current pace of your technology tree and upgrades. But this changes as you progress through the game. In battle, after defeating enemies, you have the ability to scan enemy ships and build them from spec. As such, you’ll soon be building a space fleet to fit your own dastardly desires. As is the case, since I’m not suited to RTS games, I died many times in-game and was killed by zombie space craft, and a variety of swashbuckling space pirates. There was a tactics option available but I winged it and ended up with many of my mining ships destroyed, and my awesome little fighter as a space pirate’s chew toy. I was inextricably “owned”, yet such is life.
Aesthetically, the game is overtly 2D in design reminiscent of old-school shoot em’ ups like Gradius, Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun in style. S.P.A.Z has such great design and effort crammed into such a small release. It’s astounding and little touches mean everything is so well characterised in the game with unique characters, a well developed story and dialogue throughout. This gives the game a gleaning shine and helps to sell the game as an overall package. I’d argue that for the price, and if you’re fan of these types of games; it’s a really good deal and won’t leave you disappointed. Give it a try if you have a taste for the final frontier, but I should mention that the game is not “noob friendly”. So it’s your choice and yours alone. I did warn you earnestly.