Ahhhh Space, the final frontier! From Star Wars to Space Balls, Mankind has ultimately always left this rock to bigger and better destinations. Usually due to overpopulation, extraterrestrial interference or other means. In Genesis Alpha one by Radiation Blue, space is the only frontier we have left to turn to for salvation. In a universe that really REALLY wants you to be dead, what are you going to do to make sure you survive?
Genesis Alpha One is very unique as far as space games go as it is a marriage of multiple types of games. It is, in a loose form, a roguelike game, but we will come back to that. You play the game in first-person and brandish different types of weapons, so of course, it is a first-person shooter. The game is also a base builder as each game starts off with you building your ship from the cockpit up, you have to manage your resources wisely as you will find that you will spend them quickly!
So, that being said, let’s start at the beginning of a new game! As I mentioned, the very first thing you will do is design your ship. The only piece you have initially have is the cockpit, so you can do whatever you want from there. The game provides you with just enough resources to be able to build a ship that has the most basic of wings. A Greenhouse is needed so that you have fresh Oxygen, a Living Quarters for your crew as well as a Tractor Beam so that you may salvage debris floating around in space. As you collect more materials from your tractor beam, you will eventually get to build other room such as a Cloning lab as well as a Hanger. The Hanger is where you can board a ship to go to a planet to look for resources, better be quick though because the life on those planets is not exactly friendly, I found myself dying quickly!
Speaking of dying, as I mentioned, the game has rogue-like tendencies. Thankfully, if you die, it doesn’t mean it is immediately game over. As the Captain of the ship, if you die, someone else becomes the Captain. It is only once you run out of people in the crew that you will get a game over. Every fresh run provides you with 5 people, and once you build a Cloning facility, you can really add to your team. You have to be very careful how fast you progress in the game though, try to scoot along too fast and you will watch as your ship gets boarded by aliens and your whole team gets decimated quickly!
The best way to avoid all of that though is to make sure you are properly armed via your Workshop. In here, you can build different weaponry that will help you on the offensive as well as setting up defensive measures, such as turrets, just in case you are boarded. The weapons that you make are, obviously, very important to your success as well. Try going to an alien planet with a standard pistol and you likely will be meeting your maker pretty quick. It’s important to load up on enough resources to invest in your weaponry before thinking about going out on a planet.
As you collect resources, you will also be collecting enemies DNA and biomass, after you collect enough of one species of alien, you will be able to actually make that species in your Clone lab! This will help balance out your crew as they will have different attributes than a human, who are pretty much just balanced out. You can have your alien close be assigned to certain duties on your ship that they excel at. As with everything in this game, it’s all about balance.
Genesis Alpha One is definitely not for everyone. It is not a fast-paced action game by any stretch of the imagination. The graphics are not great. It feels like the developers took a lot of different ideas and put it into this game, but not done the best they could be, they are just there. However, if these elements of gameplay are your cup of tea, then this is a game that you could spend a lot of time invested in.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*