I’m not daft enough to believe that we are the only intelligent beings in this universe. However, I’m also not a conspiracy nut. Consequently, I don’t believe that aliens walk among us, or do they? Instead, I believe that somewhere out in space, there are beings just doing their thing. CyberHive plays with this idea as you explore uncharted areas of space.
Developed by Blazing Planet Studio and published by Samustai Ltd, this is a sci-fi adventure colony builder. On top of this, it has resource management, research, and rogue-lite elements. Therefore, it’s a tactical game that requires you to plan ahead while spinning many plates.
CyberHive is deceptively simple.
As you start CyberHive, you’d be excused for feeling overwhelmed. The opening data dump is a thing of nightmares and could be extremely off-putting. Yet, I urge you to battle through the pain. Why? Because it is nowhere near as complex as it appears. In fact, as you get hands-on with it, it quickly becomes an enjoyable and manageable experience.
CyberHive has a loose plot that comprises multiple events and many subplots. You are the commander of the Melistar (“The Star Bee”). This ship is home to a queen bee and her army of workers. Their task is to survive, expand, and thrive. But, the discovery of an ancient artefact gives their life more purpose. With a mission to undertake, the colony scours the universe, battles its opponents, and makes new allies.
It’s all about the resources.
The core concept is as simple as it comes. Effectively, you must manage resources to expand your colony. However, you must balance growth with food. If you run out of food (energy gel), it is game over! Moreover, the bigger your colony, the more resources you must have. Therefore, it is a fine balancing act and one you’ll fall foul of repeatedly. To survive and expand, you must search for biomaterial, spare parts, crystals, and energy gels.
Each of these elements is key to your success. The biomaterial is used to research an array of technologies. Whereas the spare parts upgrade your ship. Both are important as they improve productivity and the efficiency of your hive. Finally, crystals and energy gels are intrinsically linked. Without crystals, you can’t produce food, and without food, your bees will die and it is game over.
As I said, it is a fine line between progress and survival. Subsequently, every plan must be considered, and every gamble is a risk. Yet, with great risk comes enormous rewards. Accordingly, you must occasionally chuck caution to the wind if you wish to succeed.
Many aliens and lots of events.
What is so fascinating about CyberHive is its non-linear plot. With many branches to this interesting story, it is easy to get swept up in the moment. This is then complemented by a vast amount of events to enjoy and many aliens to encounter.
The aforementioned resources are mined, scavenged, or stolen during each of the events. You must send worker bees to derelict ships, asteroids, and more. Alongside this, you’ll rescue refugees, transport goods, or become a pirate. Whatever you decide, you must live with the consequences. Sometimes the impact is felt immediately, and other times, slow-burning ramifications manifest themselves during revenge attacks from deluded aliens.
Talking of extraterrestrials, there are so many that I can’t remember them all. Most of these greedy asshats are only interested in their survival. Sadly, this somewhat undermines your mission. I mean, how can you find secret artefacts and trick people if they are only interested in themselves? Sadly, these selfish beings are hostile and all-out warfare is the consequence.
This is represented by a basic mini-game. Your enemy’s fire rockets toward your ship and you must blow them up. Seems simple, right? Well, it is, but there are some tactical elements to remember. The more bees you have present in the barracks, the more missiles you have to fire. Furthermore, the more bees in the power room, the stronger your shields will be. However, placing your workers in these areas isn’t always wise. If they are sitting idly awaiting a battle, they can’t gather resources. Consequently, you must judge when to hunt for goods, or when to prepare to fight.
CyberHive is a simple pixel affair.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Graphics do not make the game! CyberHive isn’t a modern-looking title, nor is it polished. Instead, it’s a simple pixel affair that works wonderfully with the theme. Its fixed-screen perspective and excellent UI are great to look at. What’s more, I loved the rich and varied colours that enhance the Sci-fi vibes.
The futuristic and alien ideas continue with the tinny electronic audio. This dated but effective approach is reminiscent of 80s space-inspired TV programs. With its camp feel and clichéd style, it was both brilliant and absurd.
Though the initial data dump is intimidating, the straightforward controls make it easier to play. With well-labelled and single-use buttons, you’ll know exactly what you are doing. What’s more, though the tutorial is somewhat confusing, it does well to explain the fundamentals.
Longevity and replay value are core principles of CyberHive. Thanks to its non-linear story and masses of events, the action remains fresh. On top of this, the rogue-lite element adds a layer of risk that keeps you on edge throughout.
CyberHive is a brilliant indie title.
My opening experience with CyberHive should have stopped me from continuing. Its poorly executed data dump is off-putting and simply ridiculous. However, a little patience made all the difference. By giving it a chance and working through the opener, I discovered a brilliant indie title. It is tactically wonderful, comprises fascinating lore, has interesting events, and the aliens are imaginative and disgusting. What’s more, it oozes originality while testing you to your limit. Subsequently, I loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you expand your colony and balance the well-being of your creatures? Gather resources, improve your technology, and find every secret artefact.