There’s nothing quite like a space adventure, right? I love the idea of assembling a crew and heading out on epic and often dangerous missions, where anything could go wrong at any time. It’s something that I especially enjoyed in the likes of the Mass Effect series, where action was at the forefront of the experience.
Sometimes though, it’s all about making the right decisions and looking after you crew, and that’s where Hyperspace Delivery Service comes into the mix. This isn’t a modern space adventure full of explosive action and visual spectacles though, but rather one that’ll feel familiar to those that played video games on their PCs in the late 80s and early 90s.
Hyperspace Delivery Service sees you leading a spaceship across a variety of escapades, with plenty of different tasks to complete on the way (including delivery missions, duh) and a crew to look after. It’s all presented in an old-school style too, which will certainly spark plenty of memories for those who spent a lot of their younger gaming days playing classic DOS titles – you’ve only got to look at some of the screenshots to see what I mean.
It’s all pretty open-ended in design with the game not forcing the player to follow a specific route and introducing plenty of random scenarios into the mix as they progress, which ensures that there’s a unique adventure to be had with each playthrough of the game. Sure, there is an end goal in sight for you to work to, but there’s a lot of freedom in place as you head towards it.
One of the first things you’ll do in Hyperspace Delivery Service is assemble your crew, with players able to customise their appearance (there are plenty of zany looks) and assign them their roles. Each crew member has their own health and stamina bar for you to look after, so it’s important to keep them in a good way if you want to run an efficient spaceship. With plenty of ways for them to come into harm on your journey though, this is easier said than done…
The big focus in Hyperspace Delivery Service is on exploration, with players travelling between different planets, interacting with each one’s inhabitants, trading supplies, and completing delivery missions along the way. There are other tasks to partake in during your journey too, with a level of unpredictability brought to the mix given the random nature of the scenarios you face. You can’t do anything without supplies though, so you’ll always need to make sure you have enough food, fuel and oxygen. The obtaining of these resources ties in with the game’s missions, so as long as you keep on top of everything and keep yourself busy with jobs you SHOULD be fine…
Whilst a lot of the gameplay is based around browsing through menus, interacting with others, and looking after supplies, there are moments throughout Hyperspace Delivery Service that are a lot more action-orientated. There are first-person sequences where you’ll head out shooting enemies for example, whilst you’ll also get to take part in space battles. It’s the sort of stuff you’d expect to see a Star Trek crew partake in, so it’s great to be able to divulge in these sequences yourself – even if the gameplay mechanics associated with them are very simple in design.
As mentioned, Hyperspace Delivery Service features plenty of random scenarios that can come at you at any given moment, so you’ll really be kept on your toes when playing and have to expect the unexpected. You could have a crew member go ill, you could face a showdown with space pirates, you could face an onslaught of asteroids…. there are plenty of ways for things to go wrong for you during your treks through space, and believe me, they will. Whilst this ensured that Hyperspace Delivery Service had an extra sense of unpredictability to it, it could also act as a bit of a hindrance. Sure, I enjoy a challenge and the risks involved with space travel, but when my established crew ended up facing completely random and unfair scenarios in the middle of a mission, I couldn’t help but to find myself feeling a little bit annoyed. It’d just be nice if something GOOD could randomly happen once in a while, you know?
It’s also worth noting that Hyperspace Delivery Service can get pretty repetitive in places too, with the player expected to do a lot of the same things over and over throughout their journey. Your goal pretty much remains the same throughout and with simple gameplay mechanics making up the experience, it can be easy to find yourself getting a little tired of doing the same things over and over. That doesn’t mean you won’t have fun playing the game because it’s certainly rewarding to establish your ship and head out on missions, but there will be times where you’ll wish there was a bit more to the experience.
Hyperspace Delivery Service really manages to nail the old-school vibe with its presentation, whilst the simple yet enjoyable gameplay mechanics ensure that your space-delivering adventure is fun. It’s just a shame that it could feel a bit repetitive in design, whilst the random (and unfortunate) events you face could get a little tedious too.
Those who fancy a classic space adventure will certainly get a lot out of the game though and it does feel like a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. Just expect to need a bit of patience and a lot of luck to survive Hyperspace Delivery Service’s many challenges.
Developer: Zotnip Games
Publisher: Zotnip Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC