By – Jarrett Riddle

Rymdresa Review He

Space, the void between celestial bodies throughout the universe. Since mankind first gazed up at the stars, we’ve been wondering about what may be out there. Our own Milky Way galaxy is but a mere speck among everything that exists in the known universe. As mysterious as it is massive, outer space as we know it is seemingly infinite, much like the capabilities of the human mind. RymdResa, created by a Swedish couple-turned development team by the name of Morgondag, attempts to link the stretching darkness outside the world with our deepest thoughts and imaginings. Exploration, resource management, and a relatively combat-less experience with melancholy poetry linking everything together aim to make this title more than just a fun space game.

RymdResa is broken up into three chapters, each with their own unique goals and the last of which taking place in a different universe entirely. The opening area involves simply flying around and finding signal locations scattered across the procedurally generated area. In the second chapter, supplying a home base with materials found during exploration is added to the task list. The final stage combines the basic objectives of the first two, requiring the player to navigate incredibly large distances in search of items to open a portal, all the while supplying a mother ship with materials.

Quite a few ships can be used to carry out each chapter. Each has its own stats such as speed, acceleration, and resource capacity. From the start, only the bare-bones Embla Colonizer is available. This is because the ship doesn’t require any spacepoints, the game’s currency, to purchase. As money is gathered between excursions, new and better ships can be unlocked. After selecting a chapter, your ship is launched into the abyss. Here you may open your objectives list and pursue a goal, manage the inventory and equip components onto the vessel, or simply fly around looking for areas to explore and gain experience.

Rymdresa Review He

Experience is gathered from completing objectives and for surviving years in space. Time is always ticking away during a chapter, whether you’re floating aimlessly in the ocean of stars or actively pursuing the ultimate goal. Each new year brings a certain amount of experience and spacepoints. Occasionally, a random diary entry is narrated by the protagonist, conveying his mixed feelings of love, loneliness, and curiosity. Where some may consider the setting a cold and distant one, these entries help bring a personal touch to the whole experience. Diaries are often repeated though, and can become irritating after hearing them multiple times.

Acquiring experience points leads to the pilot of your spacecraft leveling up. When this happens, you’re able to allocate 5 points into the categories of your choosing. These are Exploration, Scouring, Technology, and Survival. Each of these stats play a vital role in your success in the harsh universe, from increasing benefits gained for completing objectives to finding useful items in your journeys. As leveling stops at 40, there’s no way to maximize every single statistic, but stat points may be reset at any time for the cost of 25000 spacepoints.

Items gathered along the way during missions come in 2 variants: ship attachments and usable devices. The former consists of items that can be equipped as in any traditional RPG. The ship’s abilities can increase or decrease in areas depending on what is installed, and can even take on a different appearance based on style objects. Expendable items have a wide range of uses, from collecting all nearby spacedust, each one providing experience points, to defensive tools that clear out any hostile objects on the screen. Both types of items carry over into each playthrough, no matter if you die or complete the mission. Because of this, a large amount of gear may be built up in a relatively short amount of time. Thankfully, you can break down unwanted things to fill up a crafting bar. Once this is full, a random new item is added to the inventory.

Rymdresa Review He

As mentioned earlier, each chapter has an ultimate goal to achieve. Between accomplishing these tasks, however, you’re free to go anywhere you please within the universe. Upon encountering objects such as planets and space stations, you have the option to investigate, resulting in a text prompt that describes your findings, should the exploration prove successful. Discoveries can yield impressive benefits like spacepoints and resources. Resources are crucial to your survival, as they’re not only the fuel you use to jet across the galaxy, but also the health bar; once resources hit 0, the playthrough is over and you must restart the chapter over.

The overarching goal of the game is never clear and leaves itself open to interpretation. Some may find each chapter just a long, relaxing ride through the cosmos, while others could discover a deeper meaning within the poetic diary entries that play out as years go by exploring space. This narrative is expanded upon in the third chapter, where confrontations with strange machines take place in multiple-choice question format. These alien entities each have a personality of their own, and won’t hesitate to damage your ship or even destroy you when they deem your answer wrong. This leads to some frustration, as it nearly becomes a game of trial-and-error and remembering all of the correct things to say to get through these extraterrestrial therapy sessions.

While most of RymdResa’s setting relies on large voids with just your lonely ship and some fleeting star dots, there are some impressive visuals to take in as well. Wandering planets, suns, and other strange objects have many unique appearances from each other, and are quite appealing when combined with excellent lighting. Each stage is procedurally generated and thus huge, possibly infinitely so. The universes are separated into tons of differently named quadrants, all unique from one another in both their background color and the chance of objects, whether good or bad, appearing there.

Rymdresa Review He

The HUD and menus have a clean and futuristic aesthetic, never getting in the way and doing a wonderful job of supplying all needed information. The only true criticism I can give to the graphics department is that no matter what you do to your ship, it’s always a bland, white sprite. This is possible symbolism for the ship not being a literal spacecraft, but there is great artistic contrast between it and the often busy backgrounds. That being said, the graphics scale up nicely to the 1920×1080 setting I used, and many other mainstream resolutions are available as well in both windowed or full-screen modes.

To match the relaxing, non-aggressive gameplay, the game’s music consists of soothing, ambient tunes that aid you in your feeling of loneliness and need for discovery. Sound effects are minimal, with jingles or low-volume bangs sounding upon collecting stardust or hitting solid objects, respectively. What I believe to be a wise choice by the developers concerning sound direction is that using the normal thrusters to navigate the stages makes no noise at all. I’m guessing that the constant sound of rocket propulsion would become quite irritating after a while, so I’m thankful that most everything is kept quiet. The volumes of music, sound effects, and diary entries can all be tweaked or silenced entirely, even if they were a problem.

Keyboard with mouse and a gamepad are both perfectly viable ways to play. If you’re familiar with the controls of Asteroids (and if you aren’t, then I suddenly feel very old), then you should be able to get the hang of navigation in this game very quickly. Aside from the mouse/joystick being used to turn the ship in 360 degrees, very few keys/buttons are used, such as when items are spent. During my playthrough, I almost exclusively used my Xbox 360 controller and never ran into trouble. Likewise, those used to just using basic computer hardware shouldn’t experience any difficulty in handling the ships or menus either. The developers’ apparent interest in porting the game to consoles in the near future is likely the reason for both input options being done so wonderfully.

I hit just a couple of bugs along the way during my time with RymdResa. Though I had it set to 1920×1080 resolution, each time I launched the game the playable area only occupied a small corner of the screen. Upon checking the visual settings, my resolution was still selected, but I had to save the settings again before the game would reset and appear the way it was supposed to. One other thing I discovered was toward the end-game, as very long treks into other areas became mandatory, my resources were often low. Here I found that sometimes when opening the inventory menu and exiting, my resources were completely replenished, making this an obviously unintended advantage toward completing the final chapter. These are small nitpicks, and will almost assuredly be fixed either by time of launch or shortly thereafter, as the developers seem to be quick on supplying updates.

Rymdresa Review He

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Those looking for an epic, universe-scale storyline and revolutionary mechanics may be disappointed with what RymdResa has to offer. I was able to complete all three chapters and fulfill most side objectives in just 6 hours, and that was while playing at a casual pace. While the stages have their own set goals, they feel very same-y and boil down to doing the similar actions, though sometimes in a different order. Due to the relatively high asking price, short primary quest line, and repetitive nature of gameplay, I must advise that you wait until a sale hits before blasting off into RymdResa’s universe.

RymdResa Technical Summary:

Rymdresa Review He

  • Time Played – 6 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Few
  • DRM – Steam
  • System Specs – 3.7 GHz AMD A10-6700 , 768MB Radeon 8670D, 8GB RAM
  • Control Scheme – M/KB, Xbox 360 gamepad
  • Saved Game Location – SteamApps\common\RymdResa
  • Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No
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