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STARSHIP CORPORATION

Sometimes, especially if you are totally into science fiction strategy games, you can install a program and instinctly get straight into it.  Starship Corporation is not one of those games. You would need to work for NASA to be able to go straight into this without going through the tutorial and even then I'm not sure you could do it.

The tutorial is long, interactive and extremely detailed. Under this heading are Gameplay Overview, Sandbox Game, Galaxy Map, Market/Contracts, Market Selling, Technology, Ship Design and Crew Management. Then there is the Single Player mode: New Sandbox Game, Ship Database, Load Game, Save Game (two of which, Ship Database and Dave Game, are only available once you have completed other parts of the game or have saved at least once). Under Options you can adjust the sound, the graphics, gameplay, key mapping, language and for the USA/Europe/Local Number Format.

There was no way I was going to pass by the tutorial, piece by piece, which thankfully is how it's designed to be played. I chose the Single player Sandbox and went for it. First off you get to Name your Company; then select your Starting Funds $100K, $40K or $25K. Having read the possibilities for funding you need to accept a Credit Limit; $100K/$10K or $1K. Finally there is a selection of Winning Conditions and again you need to pick one; Accumulate $10.000.00 or Fully unlock all Technology or complete the Trans Orion Racer contract.

Having gone through the tutorials I needed to go through them again and despite how clear and well detailed they are, the game itself is extremely complex and there is a lot, an awful lot, to remember. It's a bit like learning how to play the guitar - each note/section follows the next in a logical order and although you know what to do, doing it at the right time is another thing altogether. You definitely need to follow tutorials and learn. If you can take in everything required then this is a game that will keep your interest for far longer than almost any other game, certainly other than an MMO I cannot at this moment think of another game so deep and with so many possibilities.

STARSHIP CORPORATION is not just a game of exploring and/or conquering, building spaceships, building bases and other constructions, well not in the same way as say Sim City or Starcraft. The player(s) is/are in charge of a mega corporation that designs and constructs Star Ships of all shapes and sizes for other companies across the Galaxy ... and beyond. You have complete autonomy over every minute detail, interior and exterior, crew, missions and more. This is more of a vocation than a game. It needs more than a few short sessions of playing at it, it needs more time than most players can allocate for it, because life is going along at a speed where if you can't do it yesterday (whatever "it" is) then you move onto the next thing. Just look at the games for the new games consoles, the ONE and the PS4 - they are massive, filled with action and in your face visual excitement plus they are the best thing since sliced bread, that is for a month or two and then the next big game comes along. These games are being designed to grab you, get your attention and hold it long enough for you to complete the majority (if not all) of the missions in as short a time as possible and then move onto the next game.

STARSHIP CORPORATION is not like those console games, it is designed to grab your interest through its thoroughness and then hold it through its inventiveness. There is so much to do, to take in and understand that if you are not careful it will take over your every spare moment. 

As a reviewer I have many games to play. Some I like, some not so much, and others where I simply do not have enough time available to do the game justice. STARSHIP CORPORATION deserves far more time than I have been able to afford it. Luckily I have been able to save my progress - not as far as I would have liked but that's my fault not the game's - so I can return to it inbetween playing the shorter, in and out type of games. It is one of those enigmas where I could say that the worst thing about the game is the length of time it takes to play, I know there are separate and different missions but they don't feel to be whole games, just portions of the main event, and then I could say the best thing about the game is the time it takes to play. Each mission adds to the whole and the galaxy is so grande that there is always something new to create/build and somewhere new to explore and open new workshops, ready for new and exciting business.

My recommendation would be that it could well be the game that long term strategy science fiction buffs have been waiting for, but if you are after a space opera style arcade game then forget it, don't even come within a parsec of this. To compare STARSHIP CORPORATION to a game like STAR WARS (for example) is like comparing an oil painting to a photocopied print - both have the detail and the colour and are about the same subject but one is reality and the other is a fun thing of little intrinsic value.

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About Coronado Games

Coronado Games ( www.coronadogames.com ) is a small independent game development company based in Berlin, Germany. Founder David Murent started working on his first title “Starship Corporation” in 2012. The game turned out to be a crowdfunding success on Indiegogo and later on Steam’s Project Greenlight. Currently Coronado Games is a three man team, dedicated to taking space strategy gaming for PC to a whole new level.

About Iceberg Interactive 

Iceberg Interactive is an independent video game publisher founded in 2009 by an international group of games industry veterans and is located in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Staffed with avid gamers, Iceberg works closely with an international assembly of game developers, both midsize and indie. Garnering attention with acclaimed releases over recent years, including Endless Space, Endless Legend, StarDrive 2 and Starpoint Gemini 2, the company has an exceptional line-up, including Oriental Empires, Killing Floor 2, Starpoint Gemini Warlord, Dawn of Andromeda, Lord of Rigel and Stars in Shadow – with further promising games in the pipeline.

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© Chris Baylis 2011-2015