Couch and online cooperative titles are big business. With the likes of Overcooked, Tools Up!, Moving Out, and more making a big splash, I’m never surprised to see new titles. Therefore, when Spacelines from the Far Out hit the market, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. This genre is always maddening, addictive, and wonderful to play with friends. Consequently, it’ll make you laugh, scream, and drive you stir crazy as you try to complete every objective.
Developed by Coffenauts and published by Skystone Games Inc., this is a rogue-lite space simulation title. The gameplay is hectic, challenging, and moreish, and it can be enjoyed solo or with up to 3 friends. What’s more, it is free to play on Game Pass for Xbox and PC, so what’s not to like? On top of this, it’s a fantastic casual title that is easy to pick up, but tough to master.
Spacelines from the Far Out has 60s vibes.
Though much of the action is set around fantasy and futuristic themes, there are distinct 60s vibes! Your spaceship feels and looks like an American diner and this was intriguing and bizarre. With Bakelite-inspired appliances and some whacky flight attendant costumes to wear, this will teleport you back in time. However, the dated appearance is juxtaposed with futuristic madness. You will soar through space while avoiding comets, asteroids, and other debris. Alongside this, you must repair your ship, maintain its fuel levels, and pick up tourists. If you survive, and that is a big if, you will be paid handsomely, and you’ll continue your quest.
Now, you may wonder, what is this quest you are talking about? The aim of the game is to run a factious space airline that transports tourists across a deadly area of space. You must travel many miles to arrive at planet Gambulon V in the vacation sector. In theory, this should be an easy task. However, in reality, you’ll fail repeatedly, lose your ship, and run out of both money and fuel. Like its peers, it is a balancing act where your priorities are forever changing. Subsequently, you must stay on your toes and attempt to keep everyone happy. If you can’t, the rogue-lite elements will bite you in the ass and you’ll lose everything.
Upgrades and spaceships.
This genre would be nothing if it didn’t drive you insane. Luckily, Spacelines from the Far Out makes you spin many plates at once. You must manage your ship’s systems, please your passengers, upgrade your vessel, and search for new vehicles. This may sound like an easy task, but it isn’t. As a solo player, you will struggle to keep on top of your workload. You’ll have to entertain aliens with a quirky dance while using a laser to cook them a meal. All the while, you’ll steer around asteroids, hone in on fuelling stations, and try to get everyone to the goal on time.
Luckily, the madness eases as you earn cash and you upgrade your spaceship or buy a new one altogether. As you improve your equipment, the action becomes much easier. However, this takes a lot of luck, patience, and money. Sadly, things rarely go to plan and you must expect to lose your progress multiple times.
Thankfully, this is made exponentially easier if you play with friends. For some bizarre reason, the developers didn’t scale the difficulty for the number of players in a room. This oversight makes solo gaming much harder, and it is almost too difficult and overwhelming. Yet, as a team, it is much more enjoyable and accessible.
There is little you can do to alter your surroundings. But you have complete control of your passengers and the ship’s systems. You can upgrade your engines, radar, gravity, navigation, and more. Every new piece of tech you install makes your life much easier. What’s more, a more efficient ship makes for much happier tourists.
Talking of happier tourists, they are your priority. These moaning turds will complain about anything and will pee and vomit over your faux leather 60s-inspired furniture. Therefore, you must do your utmost to appease them. Whether you take regular toilet breaks, install a WC, hire a cleaner, purchase a TV, perform a dance, or cook a meal, it is your choice. You can, of course, ignore them, but this will cost you dearly. After all, you want to make a profit and happy customers will spend their cash freely.
Spacelines from the Far Out looks familiar.
This genre has a distinct look that appeals to all. Its cartoon style and vivid colours are easy on the eye and look fantastic. Luckily, I never tire of the familiar art style and I enjoyed the quirky touches. What’s more, the variety of obstacles, aliens, and objectives keep things fresh throughout. Alongside this, there is a large array of ships to unlock and many custom options. You can choose your company colours, logo, and name, and this was great. However, I would have preferred more freedom to create everything from scratch rather than using a template.
The 60s vibes continue with the jazzy soundtrack. The upbeat songs work perfectly with the madness while adding urgency and energy to proceedings. This is complemented further thanks to the loud fantasy sound effects. I adored the small touches that made me chuckle throughout. Whether it was the aliens screaming, the systems failing, or the crashing of debris on the hull, it never gets old.
It is so easy that a child could play it.
This genre isn’t renowned for being accessible to younger players. The action is normally overwhelming and the controls are usually complex and tricky to understand. Luckily, though, Spacelines from the Far Out is different. Its simple approach, excellent tutorial, and clever UI make it easy to pick up and play. Yes, the fundamentals are challenging, but the basic concept is extremely user-friendly. Moreover, the controls are responsive and this helps when all hell is breaking loose.
Like its peers, this screams longevity and replay value. Because of its rogue-lite elements, and the multiplayer option, you’ll play this for hours. However, there are still some shortcomings that must be addressed. First, solo gamers will find it particularly hard to defeat. Annoyingly, the NPCs are tough and they vie for blood. Second, dying repeatedly is a very real risk. If you don’t have ship insurance, your progress is lost and you must start from scratch. Now, this certainly adds to the replay value, but boy, it’s tough and annoying.
Spacelines from the Far Out is great, but it needs some balancing.
In short, I adored nearly every element of Spacelines from the Far Out! It is free to play if you subscribe to Game Pass. The graphics and audio are great, and the controls are fantastic. However, the multiplayer is limited to friends, as there are no open lobbies. Furthermore, the gameplay needs balancing. As a solo player, it is simply too difficult, and this is disappointing. If the developers could address this issue, it would be more rounded and much better. All things considered, I loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Will you become the next big thing? Fly your passengers, keep them happy, and arrive at planet Gambulon V in one piece.