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The Scynthians fly to Hadea's moon - Haya - in a desperate mission to start a colony that will build an interstellar teleportation device and then use it to escape the cataclysmic death of their star. 

You, as the mission commander, will oversee this colony: you will look for resources, construct buildings, research technology, and defend against the various strange and nasty creatures on Haya until the last Scynthian gets evacuated to safety.

BUILD, DEFEND, ESCAPE - That's the mission!


HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea is both a tower defence and a man and resource game on a planet encapsulated in a floating, poisonous, purple gas. Once you land your Mothership on the Haya it anchors and cannot be moved from the chosen spot so make sure you take some time to scout out the landing area best suited to begin the Colony. If you look carefully through the mist you will see there are some open, unaffected, flat areas large enough for your Mothership to land, and you will also see small rockpiles, mainly coloured Orange, Red and Green, which are the easiest resources for you ro gather, though you need to make a Driller first.

Before creating the Driller you are required to build a Crib (house) a Grubhut (food supply) and a Hydrator (water for all life) and as the code for Steam comes without any information it is a case of trial and error to discover how to create, research and build. On Haya (the Moon of the Planet Hadea) there are creatures who are not happy with your invasion. To begin with these are minor irritants known as Pixers which your ship's Drones can easily take care of, however, as you begin to learn how to survive the Hayan Creatures become stronger, with Boney, Threeeye and Toothee being the first instances of defenders (or attackers if you believe that you are the good guys).


Everything you build has a specific purpose and to complete your missions you have to find a way to make the gaseous fog subside. You can do this with Purifiers but before you can build them they require power from the ship which you get by building Relay Posts. The good thing about buildings is that you can stack-build them and this is important because the moment you place any one single component anywhere near the gas it gets enveloped and begins to slowly deteriorate. Therefore you need to build, or at least place your buildings, quickly. This is possible if you stack-build and you don't place the constructions too far away from the Mothership to begin with.

Each building has an area of effect which is shown by a circle as you hover over the chosen area. You can also only build where the land shows a green construction base circle, which you will be used to if you have played any of this type of game before (Command and Conquer, Warcraft, Starcraft etc). Buildings appear floating above the Mothership once they are completed and you need to click on them (one at a time, no dragging numerous items and objects) and hold the button down and move the mouse forward, allowing the mini menu for the building to appear - selecting the Move action allows you to select an accessible area on the ground and then the building will fly itself there. Once it lands it immediately activates, though the early turrets you get seem to take their time shooting at the enemy as they swarm over and around your buildings. 


The Purifier draws its power from the Relay and quickly dissipates the gas within its circular area of effect, showing you clearly what the terrain is like, along with the flora - not much in the way of fauna I'm afraid. Generally, in your first explorations, you need to next build a Driller - placing it over one of the rock piles - it will automatically Drill and Collect the resource.

I have tried playing by expanding fairly equally around the Mothership and I have played spreading out in one direction from the Mothership but neither have proven to be particularly more successful than the other. This is one of those games where you are merrily going along building and expanding and then suddenly you find that you are out of Energy so you cannot build any more until it is reimbursed. Of course this is when the alien creatures attack at their most deadliest and in a swarm instead of the aimlessly wander like the actions of the first of these creatures encountered - the Pixers.


When you build Cribs as long as they are within the control area of an Hydrator, a Grub Hut and a Relay they will slowly fill with colonists, though you only get to see these as numbers rising on a sheet, you never see them (at least I haven't seen anyone yet). Everything happens at set points in the game, although when it comes to various actions, buildings, research etc you have control over when and where you access them or build them. As you reach (unseen) progress points you find that more buildings become available to you and with the new buildings come even newer possibilities. If you have, as I said earlier, played any of this game genre before, you will find it all recognisable though in different surroundings and with different names etc.

HYPERNOVA Escape from Hadea is a good game to begin with if you haven't played this genre of game before, mainly because of its slow build and learn as you play possibilities. There will be some hit and miss, start and restart, games until you find the best combination of building and expanding, but this means you'll have a lot more enjoyment while you try to figure it out. 


Different elements of the game, and I am including the resources, cannot be accessed until you have reached certain areas of expertise or research. Others, particularly resources, can be located but not collected until you have the proper equipment, Drillers cannot collect or drill every possibly needed resource. The mouse can be used to move buildings (left button) or spin the map around (right mouse button) but using the keys to move the map is more efficient and easier to control. There is a lot of gameplay hours in this game as well as the entertainment of seeing your constructions flying along and erecting themselves. There is the danger of sameness and through-the-motions play if you spend long sessions playing but having said that it is also easy for time to slip by unnoticed if you get on a roll of locating resources and working out how to safely get to them.

There is nothing actually new here but that doesn't mean there is nothing different per se. It's fun and enjoyable, entertaining and frustrating, but it plays well, somewhat in the manner of a boardgame and that's enough there for me to recommend it, unless of course you have played so many of the games in this genre and then perhaps you will be looking for something new and different, which you will find here in quality but not find here in enough quantity.




  This chart shows how much energy you are using and where it is being consumed.

 Skill Table. Green hexed skills are known, Yellow can be researched.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015