Review Of Tiniest Shark’s First Game: Redshirt
28 Nov 2013 Jeff 0
New Indie developer, Tiniest Shark, which is comprised of one single person, released its first game a couple weeks ago, titled Redshirt. The game is a social networking simulator in a sci-fi setting. Players pick from 1 of 5 races all of which should seem familiar to sci-fi fans. For my life on the space station Megalodon-9, I went with an Emoid, which reminded me of a Borg.
After you pick your race, you’re off on your on to do whatever it is you want, from hanging with friends at a restaurant to spending a quiet night at home. You’ll also have to keep your health and happiness meters up while dealing with random encounters that occur throughout the game. You’ll make friends and enemies all while trying to figure out what catastrophic event is going to happen to you and your fellows in space in 160 in-game days.
I really wanted to like this game. I love sci-fi, and I proudly declare myself a Trekkie but this game was absolutely nothing like I thought it was going to be. All Redshirt really feels like is a Facebook simulation point and click game with a sci-fi flavor. You don’t actually get to walk around the station, or do anything interactive at all, for that matter, except make selections and see what happens.
Everything on the station revolves around using the stations social media network “Spacebook” to make plans with friends or send premade messages that you piece together to them. And, while engaging in dialog with premade scripts to other characters in game is the way it’s most commonly done, in Redshirt, it just feels cold. You’re supposed to be interacting with other people on the space station on a personal level but you don’t learn anything about them except for what’s listed in their bio. It’s hard to relate to other characters if you really can’t get to know them, and that’s what a simulation is supposed to be about: immersing yourself into the game world.
I constantly kept finding myself bored with reading messages that weren’t that interesting, being tagged with posts that again felt cold, and would just click whatever I could to sleep through the night to see if anything interesting would happen. From time to time, one of my Spacebook friends would meet an unfortunate end on an away mission but with the text scrolling too fast to read what was happening, I lost interest. However, on a second character play-through, the text speed was readable, so that may be just a bug. In any case, it’s hard to be emotionally impacted by the loss of a character I didn’t have any connection with.
My biggest issue with Redshirt is that nothing is actually animated at all in this game. None of the characters’ portraits move and none of the characters talk except for the space station computer’s voice. For example; if you and two of your buddies head over for some burgers, all you see is and screen telling you who showed up and what stat bonuses you got from the encounter. It would have been nice seeing how my buddy Graham, who was at my side from the beginning, met his demise instead of his body just fading away on the screen. I don’t know what exactly happened to ya, man, but you’ll be missed.
And that seems to be all I do when playing Redshirt. Wishing. Wishing I could see this or wishing I could do that. Everything is simply clicking an option that you really don’t need to give much thought to and reading what the result was, which is as about as fun as playing with a calculator. There is a right way to do this kind of game but, sadly, this isn’t it.
The price point was another concern I had. Redshirt retails for $19.99 on Steam (currently on sale for $14.99). Which is a little high considering it’s not only the first game from this indie developer, but that for that price you can easily find something else that’s worth the money. There is still room in this world for a point and click type game and I feel the developer could definitely be onto an interesting twist on the sim genre but, sadly, this was a miss for me. If you would still like to check this game out, I highly recommend watching any Lets Plays you can find before you buy.RelatedJeff (39 Posts)
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