First to start, i have to admit i never played the other games on this series. People told me this is a series of “crews” game.
Space Crew is a real-time strategy with element of management game, most of the interactions are automated and you just need to pick the target, and the crew will do the rest. At least at first… The more you get into the game, the more you realize this is not the case. Everything has to be micromanaged.
I was hoping this would be a free roaming endless management game, but not really. Instead you play levels and mission. And the crew have no AI. meaning they will just follow orders blindly even if it would kill them.
For instance, if you send a crew outside to repair the hull without ordering them to equip a spacesuit first… they just jump out there and die. It’s hilarious at first but later starts to get annoying. It basically means you have to micromanage everything. While I’m sure there are people who loves it, it’s just not my thing.
Another example is in the first tutorial mission, where you have to target a cargo, pick it up, send a crew to a transporter chair to transport the device, send said crew to repair the device, then send him back to the chair to transport the device back. all in all 5+ different commands just for a simple objective.
You have a crew of six team and a ship, each crew has their own specialization, which means if you assign them to something else, you will lose one of the ship capabilities, such as if you assign the security officer to help in turrets there will be no one to operate the shield. If enemies appear you have to target them yourself or the weapons team will just stand there dumbfounded like idiots even with the enemies in close proximity.
You can customize your ship and your crew, you can even customize how each crew member looks like, which get you attached to them… sadly.
This is a roguelite-ish, after all. Your crewmates can level up and get better at their jobs, but If you lose a crew (death), or lost the ship. You will lose your crew and you have to start fresh with a new crewmates.
What i hate
The biggest limitation in this is probably console buttons, you have to memorize what each button does, or what hold ZL + Y does because there are so many commands and so little buttons. Not to mention all the numbers you have to look at which is only accessible if you select a certain crew, for instance: to look at weapons data you need to select the weapons crew first.
However, with all of that said this game has a very, very steep learning curve. And most missions just feels the same and can get repetitive, especially since almost every mission seems to have one combat minimum.
The first couple missions feels like a Star Trek episode (without any of the story or dialogues) and it can get pretty intense. But the more i played, the more i realized i’m just basically repeating the same things over and over, and it could get boring fast.
Graphics and sound
The artstyle is cartoonish and can be quite endearing, its simple but works, the animation did help in making the crew feels alive and not just a stiff 3d model. The music feels like the old Star Trek era music and that’s actually a good thing.
If you’re into roguelite management strategy game like this, then this could be your new thing. Sadly there’s not enough here to keep me hooked.
Big thank you to Curve Digital for the codes