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Game Info:

RymdResa
Developed By: Morgondag
Published By: Morgondag
Released: 20 August 2015
Available On: Mac OSX,
SteamOS, Linux, Windows
Genre: Adventure, RPG
ESRB Rating: NA
Number of Players: 1 offline 
Price: $11.99
(Humble Store Link)

A couple of years ago, over 200,000 people volunteered to be a part of a one way trip to Mars.  Perhaps, if they had played RymdResa before applying, there would have been a lot less applications.

RymdResa is a space exploration game, first and foremost.  You get in your ship and fly out towards the far reaches of space to complete your mission.  You explore various abandoned spaceships, stations, planets and nebulas: collecting items to equip to your ship, gaining experience and starpoints to increase your Pilot level and purchase better ships respectively.  You also die, a lot.

Space is unforgiving and RymdResa portrays just how deadly it can be.  Hit the afterburner and you are very likely to crash into a hazard, like a mine field, which will pretty much instantly kill you.  You can see it coming yet cannot change course until your burn out, helplessly smashing in to the hazard.

The game is controlled using a mouse and keyboard or a controller.  I used mouse and keyboard for my playthrough and found it easy enough to control and manage my spaceship and the various menus.

When I entered my spaceship for the first time I was taken aback by the graphics of the game.  Your ships are mostly white silhouettes and the graphics mainly consist of simplistic 2D.  Yet, it adds to its charm.  Art may be simple in some areas but more detailed in others.  Sounds effects are fairly simplistic, yet passable and generally fit with the style of the game.  The music, while OK for a short while becomes repetitive and you would be better off playing some of your own music or listening to something in the background while you play.

RymdResa
Highlights:

Strong Points: Expansive universe to explore; plenty of collectable items for completionists
Weak Points: You can die very quickly and easily; repetitive music and boss encounters 
Moral Warnings: None

Health is managed using resources.  Each ship in the game has a maximum amount of resources you can carry.  Activating your engines will consume resources.  Investigating wrecks and planets can also deplete (or add) resources.  When your resources reach 0, you die.  It’s pretty simple.  If you want to live, always keep your resources topped up.

RymdResa has 3 chapters to complete.  Unlocking the first chapter will allow you to progress on to the next one.  Each chapter has its own mission to complete.  In the first chapter you follow a sequence of waypoints and collect specific items.  It seems simple, yet is challenge because if you die you lose those items and have to start from the beginning.  It feels like a harsh penalty, yet it teaches you to be careful in your fragile starter ship.  I found it easy enough to complete after learning from a few accidental deaths.

There is plenty of stuff to explore and collect in the game.  Consumable items, to aid your exploration and help protect your ship, research items for permanent upgrades and equippable ship items to enhance the performance of your ship and pilot abilities.  Diary pods are poem entries conveying a feeling of loneliness.  Starpoints are used to buy new ships, gained by collecting stars littered across space.

By exploring space you gradually increase your Pilot level, split across 4 statistical areas:  Exploration, Scouring, Technology and Survival.  Each has their own advantages and can unlock additional items found in space, increasing starting resources and new items to aid in your exploration.  I found the Technology skill to be useful as it allowed me to use floating platforms to gain additional experience and to refuel my resources.

RymdResa
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

In the final chapter you will come across 3 boss encounters.  On first play I thought it was interesting and a cool concept.  I rapidly changed my opinion on the next boss encounter.  Each boss encounter provides a sequence of dialogue choices.  Choose wrongly and the boss will attack you, causing damage to your ship.  Choose the right answer and you may be rewarded with some starpoints and are less likely to be attacked.  

The dialogue choices are set in stone, so once you know the sequence of correct choices, the boss fight can be completed easily.  For the last 2 bosses I used a guide as I did not like having to travel a great distance each time I made a few wrong dialogue choices.

For those who complete the main mission of each chapter, you can seek out ghost ships.  These ghost ships are littered throughout space and are generally far away from the starting area.  I never encountered any of these ghost ships but once again there is a community guide available to seek them out.  There are optional side missions in each chapter adding to the length of the game, providing more rewards.

Additionally, for those who didn’t quite satisfy their explorer itch, there is a Sandbox mode.  Sandbox is much more relaxed.  There is no death.  Interestingly, each time you start you end up in a random ship.  Experience and items do not transfer over from the scenario missions; whatever you accumulate will persist within the Sandbox mode.  It adds more play time for those who want to fully equip each ship and explore freely without the risk of death.

I enjoyed my playtime with RymdResa.  It has a lot to offer and keep you entertained for many hours, especially if you are a completionist.  While death can come quickly, it’s mostly down to the player’s own choice of risk/reward or generally careless attitude.  In my experience the risk generally outweighs the reward and it always pays to err on the side of caution.  I didn’t notice anything morally objectionable in the game.  This is purely an exploration game with no combat.  The only minor thing that could be questioned was in the boss encounters, where you had to choose a dialogue option that was a lie and being attacked by roaming alien spaceships when you get too close.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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