Epic Astro Story Review
- Balanced sim gameplay; each facet of the game's varied elements hinge on each other to succeed.
- Unique exploration system; semi-RPG elements require a strong team to survive.
- More geeky/sci-fi references than you can shake a Ma'Tok staff at.
- Limited emphasis on the town-building; restrictive spacing and reliance on unlocked tech means the early-game feels quite dull.
When it comes to Kairosoft, you know just what you're getting in to, but Epic Astro Story takes things in a new direction thanks to a balanced blend of town, tourism and exploration management features, all couched in an amusing sci-fi setting.
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Over time, that spark; that special something; that novelty, if you will, of a Kairosoft 'sim' game started to wear off, even despite refinement of the genre from its rough beginnings on the iOS with Game Dev Story. Seeing the same elements again and again brought an ugly sense of deja vu, but Epic Astro Story breaks the cycle, daring to re-purpose ideas we've seen before to create something novel once again.
At first the player is greeted, almost like an old friend, to the familiar layout of a town-management sim from Kairosoft, complete with townsfolk that work in fields; carry resources to the docks; and end the day in a cosy home. The cute, miniaturized sprites and familiar touch-based menu interfaces have also returned, so fans will find themselves jumping in with little prompting required.
However, aside from the basic setup, things quickly evolve in to something very unique. For starters you're limited in how much space you have available because you've just colonized a new planet. You also have friendly aliens popping in to check out the quaint humans who have just settled, kicking off a tourism industry as well. In order to expand in to a true metropolis, you'll need to explore the lands around you by forming groups of colonists, sending them off to automatically explore and encounter random events... including automatically resolved battles.
Exploration rewards the player with money as well as 'research' points, both of which can be used to develop new technologies that extend either the trade, tourism, or exploration gameplay elements. The more you explore, the harder it becomes without better equipment and more experienced colonists and you'll soon find yourself being crushed by 'boss' creatures if you expand too quickly.
Thankfully more recruits can be found by exploring other planets, simultaneously improving relations with the other races. Unlike some prior releases, you will encounter one new colonist at a time, making the decision to hire them and return back to your planet, or stay and explore some more - potentially unlocking a new technology - a pivotal choice that can determine the success or failure of your colony.
Being stuffed with sci-fi and generally geeky references doesn't hurt the game either, making it an amusing experience on top of everything else.
If you've been hesitant to jump back in to a Kairosoft title - hesitate no longer; this one is a keeper.
DescriptionReady to test your mettle against the final frontier?
Pioneer an untamed planet, building roads and houses for your fellow denizens of the future. Cultivate your quaint colony into a stellar space citadel, and you'll pull alien tourists from everywhere this side of Alpha Centauri!
Careful though, not all intelligent life seeks souvenirs. Prepare to engage in heated battle with all manner of cosmic creatures! Win--and you just might be rewarded...
Strap into your spacecraft, all systems are go for an epic astro adventure that'll warp you to light speed and beyond!
Turn your device to rotate the screen, touch to scroll, and pinch to zoom in and out.
Supports iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Note: Screen rotation and zoom are only available on iPhone 3GS and later, iPod touch 2nd generation and later, and iPad.
The game now lets you switch between English and Japanese.