Developer: Massive Damage Inc
Publisher: Smiling Buddha Games LLC
Price: £14.99 / $19.99
I’m a massive fan of all things sci-fi and retro gaming, mix the two together add a dash of turn-based combat and you come out with the delightful Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander Lightspeed Edition on Nintendo Switch.
Once the game loads and we are past the logos for Massive Damage we are greeted by the main menu screen and whilst it’s basic the music is fantastic, a real 80s retro feel going on and who needs a crazy ass menu anyway? So we choose new game and you’re greeted with a HUB where you can choose your rank ( ranks from lieutenant up to Ur Admirax), there are other options such as Start Game, Main Campaign and Skip Prologue. It’s good that you can get your choice straight out the way and hit the ground running once the game starts.
The story is soon set as we are introduced to the Halcyon 6, a space station on the edge of space. Pretty soon we have a distress signal come through and the Commander decides to answer the call. Once they get to the distress signal co-ordinates they are soon set upon in an ambush by the Chrull (a mysterious alien race) and our Commander and his team are no more… With no way to contact the Earth to tell them what happened a new Exploration team is sent to the Halcyon to investigate.
As you continue through the game the story will unfold at different points. You will be faced with a moral dilemma – will you choose to save others or not? Your actions may reward you depending on your choices throughout the game. I have met different races on my travels such as the Yabling and the Voraash. The story could be something straight out of seminal BBC classic Doctor Who.
Control Your Destiny…
The controls in this game are very simple, as you might expect for a turn-based RPG. There are two main areas that the game breaks into during gameplay, combat is one and your Galaxy map being the other. The Map view is where a lot of our time is spent. The space station Halcyon can be built up and you can use the rooms inside to house different functions that will aid you in your fight for survival in the deepest depths of the galaxy. You can access so many options from the Galactic Map such as checking missions or other signals. You can speed up time should you wish when crafting things such as other ships for your fleet.
Some of the features that you will have in the game are listed below:
- Base Building: spend resources to build station facilities (rooms) to enhance your production and technological capabilities, or build ships to help you control more territory
- Exploration: assign your fleets to nearby star clusters, where they can handle emerging enemy threats, do missions for alien factions or secure bonus resources
- Crew Management: assign crew to station facilities to greatly improve their output efficiency, or to ships where they can contribute in unique ways to combat, missions and events
- Deep Tactical Combat: fight tactical ship or ground battles to resolve hostile events, create a foothold in the sector and ultimately defeat the enemy mothership!
- Story Events: based on game criteria like rooms-built, alien diplomacy scores or officer traits/skills, the game will produce story events (often with multiple choice outcomes) that can lead to combat, time-related applied bonuses/negatives, officer attribute changes or any number of crazy in-game stories.
The game is engaging and really feels polished when you play it. The soundtrack is phenomenal and has a real 80s feel to me that really kept me feeling every beat. The music adds to heighten the sections of the game you are playing much like a score in a Hollywood movie. The Whole package including the 16-bit graphics work together brilliantly. It may not be photo realistic graphics but do you really need it when the depth of story and gameplay is there, the answer is a massive no. The beautiful way in which this game is presented is enough and with the current retro resurgence, I am sure most people will love the look and feel of Halcyon 6 as much as I did.
Check out the Trailer below: