No, your eyes are not deceiving you. No, I didn’t accidentally fall asleep at my keyboard resulting in a random spew of letters. “rymdkapsel” is actually the name of the game, which is Swedish for “space capsule”. The name honestly doesn’t do this game justice for as soon as I booted it up, I found that I had actually hours trying to master it. Either I was the victim of some type of time paradox or I had simply lost track of time…needless to say my first impressions were great. Before we head off into the review, I want to quickly thank Martin Jonasson from Grapefrukt Games for providing me with a free press copy.
Explaining this game might take some doing, but if I were to sum it up, I’d have to say that it’s a cross between “Tetris” and something out of the station-building genre, with a bit of tower defense mixed in for good measure. Confused yet? Don’t worry, I was at first too…though I was quickly on my way within the first ten minutes. It’s honestly not all that difficult to learn. There’s three different modes too: normal, plus, and zen. I recommend zen mode for your first time out, as you won’t have any enemies to deal with. Normal does contain a tutorial, in case you want to experience the whole package from the start.
You’ll start off with a few workers and some supplies…not much, but it will get you started. The interface along the top is your build menu. There is no tech tree, so you’ll be able to construct whatever you’d like assuming you have the resources for it. Each room’s cost is displayed next to the name. Building a room (or corridor) is as simple as dragging from the icon to the location you’d like to build, though you’ll need to connect all rooms to corridors. The kicker is that there is a block que, similar to that of “Tetris”. The room or corridor you’re attempting to build will be whatever shape is listed currently in the que. This will make you think a bit as to how you want your station to appear later in the game.
Resources are necessary to do just about anything. Gardens grow sludge, which are then carried to kitchens to produce food. Extractors, well, extract nearby purple bundles of material…similar to the way a peon will mine gold or harvester mines Tiberium in an RTS. Once you run out of materials, you’ll have to put an extractor near a new patch. Reactors provide power, which is the last resource you’ll have to worry about. The amount of food, material, and power are displayed in the lower right. Other rooms like weapons and quarters, provide you with a means to defend yourself and more minions, respectively.
As your grow your station, you’ll start to notice monoliths scattered about. Connecting corridors to these monoliths will allow your minions to research their perks…usually it’s some sort of passive buff. While you’re doing all of this however, bad guys will show up in waves (except in zen mode) forcing you to stop what you’re doing and assign some minions to defense. The waves get progressively harder and more frequent and I think I made it to wave nineteen my first time out. One of the objectives is to survive twenty-eight…needless to say I have some work to do.
On average games take between one and two hours, depending on how far you get. If you screw up and don’t build any defenses, you’ll obviously fall a lot sooner. There are no levels from what I can tell, though there’s still a bit of replayability. If you’re tired from a tough day at work, zen mode will keep things nice and relaxed while the calming music plays in the background. Even if you play normal mode a few times, you’ll find that games do play out differently, namely because of the way the “blocks” randomly generate. Rooms and corridors change shape as a result, though you can rotate them before placing them with the right mouse button.
Short and sweet, “rymdkapsel” is quite a feat despite its simplicity. I find that it has an addicting quality about it, almost begging me to find the perfect station layout even though the block shapes randomly generate in the que. It’s simple enough to where the learning curve is light, but challenging enough that I feel compelled to do better the next time around. While this game has been out for over a year now on other peripherals (Android, iOS, etc.), I’m very glad that it came to the PC as I probably wouldn’t have known that it existed…considering how much I enjoy playing “rymdkapsel”, that would have been a real shame. My only gripe is the lack of game modes and options…after a game or two, you’ll see all there is to see. Still, do yourself a favor and try “rymdkapsel”…you might not be able to pronounce it, but by gosh, you’ll more than likely have fun playing it.
Final Verdict: 9/10
You can learn more about and purchase the game here: