A lot of things will happen in space video games. There can be starship battles, alien attacks, and all sorts of things. Despite being so big, I feel like I’ve almost never been bored playing a game with a space setting. That would be until The Starship Damrey.
Level-5’s newest 3DS adventure game set in space, the intro explains to you how there are no tutorials and you’re supposed to figure everything out on your own. An experimental game, sure. Maybe even a survival horror game, sure. If anybody is a fan of point-and-click games, it’s this guy. I love the feeling of exploring every little thing I can in a weird setting trying to figure out how I need to progress even if it gets to the point of me developing a headache. I was fully expecting all that from this title. I didn’t get any of that.
Your character wakes up inside of a sleeping capsule from which you cannot exit. The opening sequence of the game is you activating robots through a computer console. While the computer sequence was a little bit complicated and perhaps got you ready for the road ahead, that was about as complex as the game got.
Through operating these robots, you try and essentially piece together what happened while trying to save yourself. There are bodies and debris everywhere which block paths for your robot. The robots you control can only turn in one direction at a time and it really complicated things. There were many times when I was too far away to an object I was blatantly staring at trying to figure out if I did something wrong. Robots can only carry one item that can’t be dropped, and this told me that I needed to use it. When I think of great point-and-clicks such as the Monkey Island series, I think of tons of useless junk I didn’t really need to use; or at the very least a bunch of useless junk that wasn’t made obvious to me I need to use it.
I must say I was creeped out by the environment with a pair of headphones on at times. Being on a big, dark abandoned ship has never exactly been the friendliest setting in entertainment history. Exploring the halls with nothing but a flashlight as you take turns into a new corridor not knowing what to expect probably sounded great on paper, but it isn’t done correctly this time. The robots are also, well, robots and I didn’t get the same sense of being alone trying to frantically solve puzzles (that are pretty much explained to you anyways) since my human was safe and snug in a pod.
For $7.99, you’ll definitely get a unique experience that lasts probably about three and a half hours. That isn’t terrible. Although I thought it was not the greatest mechanically and held your hand too much despite no tutorials, the atmosphere is creepy and will at least keep you exploring. I could totally see this branching into a bigger project and maybe it will.
The Starship Damrey is available now on Nintendo 3DS for $7.99 from the eShop.