Supersolar – Review

Robot squid space aliens

Supersolar is an isometric action game by Babadokia games, in which you pilot a spaceship in a mixture of dungeon crawling exploration and space shooting, set in a science fiction universe.

The story of Supersolar is, An alien bio-mechanical race has invaded our Solar System from a massive gateway through time and space, which is sitting in Earth’s orbit. An army of AI drones arrive through the portal, and humanity’s defenses are devastated. The last capital ship, Nebula Zero, retreats in the Oort cloud, searching for an old, lost gunship, the only weapon capable of integrating alien technology and using it to close the gateway.

Space is pretty dense

The ship that you pilot, as mentioned in the lore of the game, can be customized using the alien technology, meaning that as you play and explore, you will come across new equipment to outfit your ship in the fight against the bio-mechanical menace, you start off with a blaster and a laser, the blaster is your primary weapon causing medium damage, with a high fire rate and a decent clip size before cooldown, whereas the laser has a much shorter range, duration and a higher cooldown, but the tradeoff is that it is much more powerful than the blaster, the full game will also include rockets and cannons among other upgrades, however for the demo the blaster and laser are all you will have access too.

Graphically the game is quite impressive, made in the Unreal 4 engine, everything in the game has that sort of glossy sheen, the art style has vibrant colors and some interesting designs, especially with the robotic space squid, which is not unique to Supersolar by far, but it moves fluidly and is well implemented, also being the largest enemy that appears in the demo means that you’ll be able to see a lot more detail in it then with the tiny AI drones, the level designs also look quite nice with a lot of detail and stuff going on, however this does sometimes backfire as with so much on screen sometimes it’s hard to tell what is and is not on the same level as you, in terms of exploring and combat.

Intergalactic shipping yard?

Gameplay wise, you move your ship around with the WASD keys, W for forward, S for backward and the A/D keys allow for left and right strafing, the mouse is used to aim your weapons and change the direction of you ship, so you could just use the forward movement and handle all directions with the mouse, however in a fire fight the strafing and retreating are ideal for avoiding damage whilst still inflicting damage on your enemies, also integral to avoiding damage are the boost and spin moves, both of these are used with the space key, the space key when moving forward will allow you to boost, which can be used to perform a hasty retreat or close the gap so your laser can cut through them, whereas if you are strafing and press the space key, you will instead perform a spin maneuver, this is used to avoid incoming enemy fire, as your shield and weapons all require cooldowns sometimes it’s best to just boost away, wait for the ship to ready itself and then come back in and pick off some more units.

Sound wise, you get all the classic laser and explosive noises, ironically they are nothing out of this world, but they get the job done, and music, the demo only has one piece of music, but it is suitably energetic enough for flying through space blowing up bio-mechanical alien invaders.

Fire the lazers!!!

Overall Supersolar looks great, and plays well, with only the demo level available at the moment it’s hard to really gauge how good the game will be, being an opening tutorial level the main focus is on showing you how to control your ship, which is nothing new if you’ve played an isometric shooter before, and it would have been nice to see and use a ship customization or two, but with the gameplay that is currently available it looks like Supersolar is shaping up as quite a fun little adventure.

In coffee terms, Supersolar is like a high-end instant coffee you can prepare at home, it looks like coffee, smells like coffee and has all the right flavours, really the only thing that separates it from a cafe coffee is the budget, (and some might say the care that went into making it, especially if your barista is just looking for a paycheck and has to rush your coffee out before it’s finished due to a demanding board of directors hoping to make this next coffee another quick seller before moving on to the next without skipping a beat).

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