The Spatials: Under the radar but worth a look

Craig Gettman, Staff Writer

4/5 stars

Once in a while, a game comes along that practically begs for attention. “The Spatials” is such a game.

An under-the-radar indie game, The Spatials focuses on building a space station and managing the citizens who operate it. The goal is to create a thriving tourist spot, starting from a small, barren asteroid and expanding from there.

To achieve this goal, you are tasked with two categories of missions; “bounties” and “planet-based.” Bounties consist of passive missions that require only that you select your crew and send them out to various locations to gather resources or intel. Planet-based missions are almost exactly like Star Trek away missions where you select a crew, go shoot some bad guys and collect loot.

While the base-building portion is fun and interesting, the real appeal lies beneath the surface. All of your crew members have their own unique personalities, needs and wants. Thus, keeping your crew happy becomes critical to your success as a space station manager.

There’s also a wide variety of upgrades for your station. Unlocking them requires you to venture out and complete missions on different planets and asteroids. To have the best space station around, you’ll want to take full advantage of all the technology you can get your hands on.

The planet-based missions are repetitive: most of them consist of the same “go here, kill/destroy this” formula. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself talking to someone, but it’s rare. Also, it would be nice if you could manage the outcome of the bounties: unless you have a stellar crew, your chance of success as the game progresses reduces drastically.

Still, to build a successful, thriving station, you must complete these missions. Planets contain valuable resources to produce food and goods, and completing bounties allows for gaining valuable experience or intelligence for your crew. All together, there is no part of this game that feels unnecessary or unfair.

Overall, the game is a well-polished, enjoyable experience. It’s a great deal for $12.99 and is currently available on Steam for both Windows and Mac.