Space-based games are my thing. From my middle school days from freelancer currently finished Alien: Isolation I enjoy space in its many genres on my Twitch channel. When then Base one slid across my virtual desk, I had to take a lap with it.
Base one is a space station simulation game with survival elements and RPG mechanics in which you are the intrepid explorer at the other end of a wormhole that opened near the Earth’s moon, tore it apart and caused extreme weather on Earth.
The disaster has limited the planet’s ability to sustain the human race. Things don’t look much better on the other side of the wormhole, however, as you’ll learn in the first chapter of the campaign, which does a good job with a progressive tutorial system to help you get through the basics of the game.
Base One Review: A standout addition to the survival RPG genre
Your launch crew consists of two technicians – the people who build and maintain the modules and equipment on the space station – and a lone scientist, your researcher, who works in the lab to unlock more technology for upgrades, module efficiency, and new technology areas for the big ones Choice of crew members.
Aside from technicians and scientists, there are nine other crew member classes that you can set for your station depending on your currently researched technology and unlocked modules. Before we get into that, though, let’s get back to the launch hub and base building.
The Start Hub Module covered the bare minimum of basic functionality, but it’s far from ideal. The game’s element of survival begins once you start expanding the size of the station. Modules need heat and oxygen to be habitable, so for that you need to build a life support module and then one ELD within the module and as battery to propel it. But what drives the battery? Well, nothing at first – until you build one Solar collector Module and connect the battery.
This is the beginning of the strategic big picture mode of Base one.
Modules have finite space for internals, so your basic life support module can only contain four upgrades, which means you can run a maximum of three ELD and a battery before you run out of space. You can research a larger life support module later via the tech tree, but you still need to plan the design of your base with expansion in mind – and you need to expand to survive.
Because of this, you will find that in the early to mid game, when it comes to power, you will likely need to do a little micromanagement. Turning devices on and off to ensure you don’t run out of power until you have a little more than day / night-dependent solar power.
Aside from that top notch builder gameplay, Base one goes one step further with the crew members themselves.
Your crew has certain jobs, personalities, and traits, both positive and negative. This means that you have to weigh the pros and cons of hiring certain people. Technician James may have excellent assembly and repair skills, but his jealous quality makes for sour work shifts with technician Sarah, who has the gifted quality.
You can make up for this a bit by scheduling staggered work shifts for the crew, which is helpful when saving materials in the early game. Day / night shifts enable your crew, for example, to create âhot bunksâ in order to reduce the number of crew quarters required.
The Base one user interface is pretty straightforward, with all of the primary navigation taking place on the bar at the top of the screen. It didn’t take me long to figure out how to navigate it, and it’s not overly awkward or intrusive to keep what’s happening on the screen in your station center stage.
The music and sound effects are pretty normal and pretty simple in that nothing really stands out. It’s not poor quality or poorly made, but it’s not something that will be particularly remembered like Endless space 2 or Danger of rain Rain Soundtrack.
One area that could use a little more attention is the voice acting. The spoken dialogue sections are unemotional and monotonous, paired with the slow transition between the screens, as in the interaction with the missionaries in the transmission Screen feeling slow and monotonous.
Graphically, Base one is a pretty game. The designs for the various station modules and fixtures look good. The character models are a bit on the cartoon side, however, where they feel a little ridiculous, especially in the crew overview UI. But it’s not really an issue that affects gameplay.
Base one Plays like most other Builder / Management games and has a very similar loop of Build> Research> Collect / Produce> Upgrade. As you expand your station, you will hire more crew members, which means that more crew modules such as gyms, quarters and lounges will be served.
More advanced modules and internal upgrades require more building materials to either buy or build. Random events can also occur, like defending against an incoming asteroid storm, exploding an internal upgrade due to too much wear and tear, or one of your crewmembers pooping themselves for not making sure water flows into the showers and toilets you built them .
When you play in Freeplay mode, you will find that you have weekly performance charts where you collect loyalty points for cheaper promotional prices and cash rewards. Even on the verge of destruction, someone has to pay the bill for goods and services.
Base One Review – The Bottom Line
- Intuitive user interface
- Attractive graphics
- Good progressive campaign
- Flat audio and speech output
- Possibly too much micromanaging for new players in the genre
Base one is a good survival RPG game set in space. There is some strategy when it comes to crew selection, technical research, and the construction of your station. It feels like some areas could use a little more attention, especially the voice acting and audio, but otherwise the controls and core game loop feel good.
According to developer Pixfroze, DLC is already planned so you’ll have more to do on the horizon if you try.
A total of, Base one is an enjoyable experience to play for a few in-game cycles or a few IRL hours of casual play. It doesn’t really bring anything new or innovative to the table, but does well performing the familiar game mechanics that make up its loop.
[Note: Pixfroze provided the copy of Base One used for this review.]