Star Story: The Horizon Escape ImpressionsDecent Spacefaring – Gameranx (blog)

Posted: July 12, 2017 at 9:49 am


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Mildly repetitive adventure that adopts unique personality-based alignment scale.

Game:Star Story: The Horizon Escape

Developer: EvilCoGames

Publisher: EvilCoGames

Reviewed: PC

Im a sucker for anything to do with space, so EvilCoGames cartoonish adventure about a space archaeologist battling space shrimps sounded too weird to resist.Star Story: The Horizon Escapeisnt spectacularly engrossing by any stretch of the imagination, but does manage to find its rhythm after a sluggish beginning. Its purely mouse-based gameplay that mostly consists ofturn-based battles, slightly too linear exploration, and crafting resources into weapons, bandages and so on. The story itself is a bitclichyour spaceship crash landed on an unknown planet, forcing you (and your AI buddyV3R-DaNA) to survive seemingly insurmountable odds and escape in one piece. Fortunately, a refreshing twist exists within the combat department. Rather than using levelling up to propel progression like the typical RPG or MMO,Star Story: The Horizon Escapeuses a personality alignment scale that affects your characters resolve, insight or goodwill depending on how you handle situations, and that does help break the linearity. Its tied to higher level skill and weapon tiers, which are unlockable if you gather sufficient resources like iron, copper and irridium, so the game loop sits tightly in place.

Combat offers a nice repertoire of weapons includingbare fists, smoke, a Blaster UX-n7 Minor andcorrosion grenades, but tends to betooeasy in the beginning. Since HP regenerates after you nap in your spaceship (accessible after any battle/puzzle solving encounter) its hard to enter a fight wildly unprepared, but beyond that, the aliens I was facing felt consistently underpowered. I was glad to see the difficulty level ramp up with later battles, not just because it better emphasises the importance of crafting and gathering resources, but because ultimately this is what grindy RPGs rely on to keep them interesting increasingly powerful enemies that sometimes give you a run for your money. Visually, the aliens (called shrimps in the game) aregrotesque and awesome-looking, and thats true for the art direction as a whole. The backgrounds burst with colour and detail, and the music is smooth, atmospheric and creates a relaxing aura as you chew through those long passages of text.

There are many opportunities to solve puzzles, too, but like combat, theyre a bit on the easy side. Failing a puzzle three times can result in damage, which creates some tension and excitement initially. However, in my playthrough I encountered one particular puzzle repeated a couple of times with almost identical decoding methods, which made things feel predictable rather than enjoyable.Star Story: The Horizon Escapeis mostly glitch-free, barringan isolated issue usually youre meant to be able to click on items in the environment to unearth hidden resources, but in my first run, clicking on them didnt reveal anything; this problem didnt manifest again but does require you to restart the game, which is no problem since the loading times are lightning-fast.

Despite its more redeeming qualities, Star Story: The Horizon Escape feels too easy. Its a fun game to relax with, especially if you want something thats sci-fi themed and has interesting, often funny dialogue, but it needs greater diversity in puzzle design and more engaging combat to capture player interest over a longer period of time.

Interested players can get stuck intoStar Story: The Horizon Escapetoday for $9.99 USD (PC, Mac).

A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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Star Story: The Horizon Escape ImpressionsDecent Spacefaring - Gameranx (blog)

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