Do you ever wonder how in your favourite sci-fi movies and games, how the colony’s built upon space stations came to be? Well, Space Haven not only answers that question but allows you to manage its progress, growth and success with you at the helm. It terms of how this one plays. It has many similarities to hit indie title FTL but also borrows a lot of assets from colony management titles such as Rimworld or Dwarf Fortress. It’s the concept of the former with the enhanced and expanded scope of the latter. Offering a brand new and interesting experience.
The final frontier
The gameplay is exactly what you would expect based on this. The core gameplay revolves around keeping your inhabitants happy, productive and most importantly alive. All the while, trying to grow and expand operations to create the most sustainable and powerful vessel in the galaxy. It soon becomes a game that is more or less Sims in space. You are constantly managing the wellbeing of all your personnel, with considerations such as morale, comfort, noise and being able to provide life essentials such as food and water dominate your thinking and make you second guess every decision you make.
Meanwhile you have to be constantly on the lookout for raw resources to build and expand or simply maintain your vessels functions. Though, in case you haven’t been to space, its not exactly chalked full of goodies and loot to plunder. Resources are scarce and how you choose to use them is vital to your survival.
So, with this need for resources, the core gameplay loop has you ransack derelict space hubs and asteroids for anything useful. This will usually lead to fighting off terrifying alien abominations and have you introduced to the combat for this title. It’s a competent but pretty standard RTS format that serves the title well. The focus is placed elsewhere and that is to the games benefit.
The game also features space dog fights because it wouldn’t be a game about travelling through space without them. These play out much the same with other added caveats such as targeting weaker areas of enemy ships and also bargaining with them for prisoners when they have chosen to surrender.
Although we as game enthusiasts love nothing more than a detailed and thorough presentation. Space Haven seems to take this to the extreme, providing a wealth of superficial and inconsequential information that only serves to confuse and alienate players. Though other details seem to suffer when really they deserved more time and thought to be invested. Things like living quarters being coupled with toilets like in a prison cell and the whole colony simply allowing this as if it’s normal. It’s a small detail but one that is hardly immersion building.
Shoots for the moon, reaches the stars
Space Haven is by no means a bad title. In fact, for what it is, it achieve a lot of the things it sets out to do. Though the main question to ask is was achieving these goals necessary. The joy of FTL, a game that Space Haven clearly takes inspiration from, comes from its quick and replayable nature. Though this one feels sluggish, offers a wealth of detail and the action is sporadic at best.
If you are looking for a slower-paced and less high stakes FTL experience, Space Haven provides just that. Though if you are looking for a well-constructed colony game which ticks every box and ties each faculty together symbolically, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- Decent art direction
- A wealth of things to do
- Fun resource management
- Overwhelming details
- Sluggish pacing
- Lack of self awareness
Download Space Haven
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP