There’s something about space simulators that really gets to me. I don’t care if it’s about combat, exploration, or commerce, space truly is a search for the unknown. Cosmonautica, a newcomer to this illustrious genre, is destined to be a fresh addition filled with innovation and light-hearted comedy.
In this new title developed by Chasing Carrots, players become captains of a spaceship, hire a crew (up to 8 members) and decide among a series of activities ranging from trading and completing missions to being space pirates of sorts. The game may seem pretty simple at first but as economical needs increase and other planets become available, it proves to be deep enough to satisfy players looking for a challenge.
The first thing to be noticed about this title is that it’s pretty funny. This overall feeling is made up by the general aesthetics and a whole lot of jokes to be found on dialogs, general situations and even on planet’s names. Cosmonautica has a lot of heart and even though it can get a bit silly, it’s constantly entertaining.
The experience begins in a planetary station. All planets have the same facilities: a recruitment agency, a trading post, a bar (in which missions are offered); in a less frequent fashion, some of them have shipyards in which space ships can be modified or bought. In addition to these features, each planet produces and consumes different items, key information for a good commercial exchange.
Eventually, as missions or trade goods are acquired, players need to travel to different planets on their journey to space richness. As planets move on their orbits, the time needed to reach them varies depending on the obvious distance and how they move naturally around the central star of the system. This is important for two main reasons: some missions have deadlines and the crew is paid on a daily basis.
In a similar way to the Sims franchise, crew members have moods and personal needs. Their morale can be checked and issues can be dealt with by adding specific ships facilities to satisfy their requests. As staff members get experienced and are kept happy, they can be promoted which eventually gives them useful skills.