Spaceship Architect & Commander Review

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Our Score 8/10
The Good Well-balanced programs, a rewarding gameplay loop
The Bad Steep issue curve on the default settings, fiddly digital camera that may be a hindrance
Release Date October twenty fourth, 2022
Developed By Walternate Realities
Available On PC (Steam)
Reviewed On PC, Steam Deck

Space. The closing frontier. Or so the saying goes. Cosmoteer: Spaceship Architect & Commander does a stable job of placing the ultimate frontier at your fingertips, providing you with the required instruments to discover and develop your budding starship enterprise.


Cosmoteer places you answerable for constructing and increasing your starship, earlier than setting off seeking loot and glory. Each new playthrough provides up two gameplay modes to select from – Career or Creative. The former is the mode I spent essentially the most time with, whereas the latter is precisely what you’ll anticipate, after which some.

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Cosmoteer hits its stride in Career mode. From the off, you are given the selection of three beginning ships, however do not fret over this an excessive amount of as they’re simply one thing to get you began. You will quickly have your ship custom-made to your liking as you become familiar with the fundamentals of maneuvering, managing, and sustaining your spaceship, and this all comes pretty rapidly. From right here the galaxy is your playground as you monitor down bounties and full quests inside every system to construct and develop your ship additional.

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Traveling between factors of curiosity is as straightforward as clicking the mouse – it’s a PC game, in any case -, however getting from A to B isn’t with out its fair proportion of peril. Zooming out provides a transparent view of the varied factors of curiosity on the map, and as you unfog every space extra areas reveal themselves. There’s a lot to see and do, too, from ship graveyards able to be picked clear of their items, to deserted ships that may be boarded, looted, and added to your personal fleet and put to work.

Cosmoteer provides an honest number of actions to maintain you busy with out tying you down to 1 explicit avenue or playstyle. I tended to flit between buying and selling and finishing bounties, so I constructed certainly one of my first ships up as a normal all-rounder with loads of weapons and storage, however as I elevated my fleet by boarding after which capturing deserted ships, I used to be capable of set every one to serve a selected position.

Space wouldn’t be area with out its fair proportion of pirates and ne’er-do-wells (in line with the movies I watch, anyway), and the identical is true in Cosmoteer. You might be bopping about minding your personal enterprise earlier than instantly coming beneath hearth from a ship that’s something however pleasant, and also you rapidly notice that to succeed it’s best to plan accordingly, or else your little beginning ship will not be round for very lengthy.

Upgrading and advancing your ship prices credit and Cosmoteer provides you loads of alternatives to earn them. Mining asteroids for assets earlier than promoting them to different ships is by far the best, and sometimes these assets turn out to be useful in the case of upgrading your ship. Another fast and straightforward technique to bump up your financial institution stability is by finishing Bounties which might be activated and handed in on the varied Space Stations dotted round every galaxy.

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This cycle of gathering assets, finishing bounties, gaining credit then bulking up your ship kinds the core gameplay loop in Cosmoteer, and as soon as I acquired by way of the tutorials, I rapidly discovered myself hooked by its easy however efficient programs. Each of the game’s programs really feel purposeful and rewarding, and there was by no means a second after I felt not sure what to do subsequent as I used to be all the time striving to make sure my programs had been working effectively and assets had been effectively stocked and correctly aligned with each other.

It can’t be overstated how effectively Cosmoteer nails useful resource administration – it’s fine-tuned and well-balanced. As you’ll anticipate, including elements to your ship drains assets, which can impair your ship in the case of performing different actions.

This means the game turns into a tremendous balancing act between what you need to obtain and one of the best ways to go about it. For occasion, throughout an early session with Cosmoteer, I constructed my ship out with the plan of constructing as many credit by way of commerce as attainable, allocating each inch of area inside my modest beginning cruiser with storage decks to accumulate as a lot as bodily attainable. Things rapidly went south after I encountered an enemy ship for the primary time. In my eagerness to turn out to be the subsequent space-faring Bezos, I’d utterly uncared for any type of offensive or defensive capabilities which left me vast open for assault. My poor little ship did not stand an opportunity.

I briefly dabbled in Creative Mode to get a way of what it supplied, however even after greater than 20 hours in Career Mode I nonetheless felt slightly overwhelmed by all the things it needed to provide. Creative Mode additional expands upon constructing a starship by taking it one (or 5, six, possibly even seven) steps additional by permitting you to create a galactic playground of your very personal to run amok in, with customization choices starting from the assets obtainable to the scale and placement of the planets, and all the things in between. I used to be shocked on the depth, however with out devoting hours and hours to mapping out every System inside the Galaxy all the things ended up feeling slightly empty.

Granted that’s extra on me than the game, as I’m certain many creators will go wild on this mode, however I felt that the game sacrifices its route with the intention to provide up full inventive freedom. Building out your ship on this mode is kind of enjoyable to start with as you stack your ship with each bell and whistle on provide – build up one thing in minutes that may take hours of grinding within the Career Mode. On the flip aspect, with out the necessity for bounties or useful resource gathering, there is not a lot else left to do until you then flesh the remainder of the galaxy too, and this merely did not really feel as enjoyable as Career Mode does.

A aspect observe for curious Steam Deck house owners: I used to be capable of spend chunk of my time with Cosmoteer enjoying on my Steam Deck, and I really most popular enjoying it on the nifty handheld somewhat than slumped over my PC. Aside from a number of minor digital camera points, Cosmoteer runs extremely effectively and the controls map with out a hitch to the touchpad and buttons on the Deck.

Cosmoteer is a surprisingly deep and satisfying area sim. Its many programs complement one another superbly, and, though its grinding gameplay loop will not be for everybody, I actually loved the time I spent with it. Exploring is enjoyable, and fight is straightforward but satisfying in its execution. The meat of the gameplay is present in how effectively you handle and assign your assets, and as soon as these programs get their claws into you, they sink deep.

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