Genre: Tower defence, space, strategy

Release Date: 2016 

Developer: Passtech Games

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Story:

“Buck Mann, ya, you da hero?” In the year 2025, it’s nice to see that people still dress in early 21st century fashion. Space runners transport cargo through the galaxy for a fee. Captain Buck Mann starts at the bottom of the ladder, a lowly courier working two bit deliveries. Transport your cargo safely , reach your destination in good time, and get the credits. Easier said than flown, as asteroids, smugglers, pirates and demanding clients await.

Playability: Straight run

Space run is overall simple to steer around. The game largely consists of filling hexes with turrets, missile launchers, lasers, shield generators, power plants, thrusters and other modules from a satisfyingly varied high tech arsenal. The explanations of what each module does, and of its strengths and weaknesses are not particularly clear but you’ll soon get the gist as your spaceship slowly disintegrates through the silence of space. Despite the convenience of a warning radar that points to the direction of incoming threats, it is relatively easy to get overwhelmed by forces vastly superior in number or in technology. While the first few deliveries are as easy as space walks, the difficulty quickly increases.

Annoyance: Repetitive space injury

At some stage, as you get swarmed by pirates, you might feel the urge to overload your Adaam-12 android sidekick’s blabbering circuits. You don’t get to choose your “ships” either (the platform of your hexes), which means the game might arbitrarily assign you an odd shaped oval on a run, then a Millennium Falcon looking platform on the next. Space run will have you perform the same runs over and over again. Faster! Faster! Faster! More reputation and credits will allow you to work with higher tier clients and purchase advance engineering modules.

Beauty: Cartoony hexes

Space Run’s comic book characters have promising bios and names (Buck Mann, Susanna Siren, Branson Richards), but remain largely undeveloped heroes. The drawings are great but there are far too few of them. A little animation with the occasional cut scene would have provided great incentive for forging through the campaign. Small hexes filled with barely visible engineering modules do not really make up for heroes in the flesh.

The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Mundane space fun 6/10

The lack of a gripping page turning campaign makes Space Run hard to fasten to for much time. This feels like mechanically engineered tower defence for the sake of it. The cartoon characters are well drawn but remain shallow and stereotypical. Space Run’s novelty soon fades making the game easy to consume mundane fun.