Hyperspace Delivery Service, the popular Oregon Trail-like strategy game, is heading for iOS and Android next week

App Army Assemble: Hyperspace Delivery Service – Will space haulage be a lucrative career choice in the future? | Articles


Hyperspace Delivery Service has been described by its developer as being Oregon Trail in space. You’re tasked with delivering a package to Miridian IV before a set date but it’ll be a journey filled with dangers. Fortunately, we have several intrepid explorers who are up to the task, the App Army. 

Here’s how they found it:

Oksana Ryan

I had mixed feelings about this game. I liked the bright retro graphics and the concept was a great one. Take the mission to deliver the goods within a given time, complete side missions to earn more credits and there’s the odd dog fight thrown in for good measure. So stock up your ship and be on your way. Sounds promising.

However, I found it repetitive. Most of the game is played from the bridge with a crew that barely moves, breaking the boredom with the odd mini-game. Even the background music was monotonous. I just wasn’t enthused to play for more than half an hour. I guess I like my space travelling more challenging. Not one for me.

Patrick Garlotte

Hyperspace Delivery Service certainly borrows from other travel/survival games, but what it delivers is quite unique. You’re given limited time to make an important delivery light-years across the universe and you’re expected to pick up odd jobs in order to procure the resources needed to make such a trip.
The focus is managing your fuel, food, and oxygen while keeping your ship in working order and your crew fit for service. This would be tedious on its own, but, smartly, the developer peppers in enough diversions to keep it fun. I’ve been interrupted by pirates which had me take part in a 3D-space-shooter battle (which controlled rather well) and had to send a crew member to a planet’s surface to reboot a power station (which manifested itself as a first-person corridor shooter!)

Hyperspace Delivery Service proves it has quite a lot to offer in terms of variety and certainly sets itself apart from other games in this genre.

Jt Hernandez

Oregon Trail in space. While travelling from station to station, you have to make decisions to repair your ship, heal or rest your crew, take passengers to the next station, farm fuel and oxygen, take on side missions, etc. You have to play some minigames to battle space pirates, destroy space mines, and infiltrate enemy bases.

The flight sim minigame can get a little frustrating because sometimes the enemy manages to perfectly stay behind you so there is no way you can turn around and shoot them (I suspect this is a bug). The 2D FPS minigame is decent, but the aiming and shooting with the same finger sometimes gets a little cumbersome, which wastes precious ammo.

The overall game could stand to be shorter. Getting ready through about 30 stations to deliver your package (the main goal of the game) can feel tedious by the time you’re halfway through. Luckily autosave works pretty well, so taking a break shouldn’t set you back.

Ed Davis

This game has a very FTL feel to it. You take charge of a ship and it’s crew, delivering packages to distant planets. You must manage and maintain your ship along the way using. You are given estimated usage of resources for each trip but you quickly find out that these can very quickly become inaccurate if your ship is attacked halfway through its hyperspace jump. A lot of time is spent managing these resources so those looking for a more fast-paced experience probably won’t get on with it.

The retro art style works brilliantly and almost brings about some sort of nostalgia trip. The music complements the feel of the game very well and the whole experience is very a pleasant one. Definitely a game that I can spend an evening playing and really getting into.

Funem

Hyperspace Delivery Service is at its heart a resource management game wrapped in a very pixilated art style with, enough animations that you would call it “serviceable” to be polite. The theme is that you are in command of a spaceship and crew and you must manage all resources like weapons, ship repairs, fuel and crew needed to transport your cargo from one planet to another.

On the way, you will encounter pirates and incidents that will require you to balance your resources etc that you acquire(d) to enable you to complete your overall goal. It uses missions you can take along the way to mix up the gameplay, like an early looking third-person Doom/Wolfenstein type mini-game, but these are short burst type games.

The game made me feel like I was playing a third party sequel to Elite in the 1980s and they tried to beef up the resource management and throw in other games of the era like Wolfenstein but dumb down the space combat to a Star Raiders level. I loved Elite and I loved early Wolfenstein but even with those and more in the mix, the low graphics, low as in Commodore 64 era graphics, and resource management were not for me, I just couldn’t get with the game. Overall I can see people that will have fun with it and there is variety there, some people will go as far as sink hours and hours into this, but some like me just won’t… engage.

Dries Pretorius

Hyperspace Delivery Service belongs to a niche genre, one I am absolutely besotted with. I guess you could call it Rogue Trip? It shares this genre with the likes of Death Road to Canada, Out There and FTL. The impressive element in HDP is how many genres it incorporates into your journey, you will be trading, managing your time, munitions, fuel, oxygen, crew health, ship energy distribution and engine power.

You will encounter a limited number of randomly generated characters, some will sell you stock trade information for upcoming planets, there are passengers looking for a ride, and aliens looking to exchange goods. You’ll need to take advantage of every opportunity or you will watch your meagre starting resources fade quickly and your time slips away as the anxieties of late-stage capitalism creep into your delivery experience.

Then there is the planetside activity of jobs, working security, fighting in a duel for money, or getting your hands grimy by doing some violence to robotic pirates. This last activity evokes classic FPS like DOOM, you’ll use limited ammunition to navigate corridors and kill the enemies until you reach the end of the level. You could, and will strike terrible luck, land on planets without markets, or lose precious cargo to tragic accidents.

That’s when you’ll need to go Out There and harvest your own energy and oxygen from the Star and Planet. This is dangerous, injuries, ship damage, and loss of crew stamina results. If that fails, the planet is barren, and the star is a mess of dangerous gravity and low energy output. You can try working, this costs a good sum of your money and takes a lot of time, but it usually brings in enough resources to get you the heck out of Dodge IV.

Once you hit that FTL the real danger begins, random encounters, carelessness, radiation storms, abandoned artefacts and other encounters will test how well you prepared for the jump. If you are running lean, an FTL jump may be the end of your journey. Then there are situations that require direct control of the ship. Fighting pirates of aliens, and scanning beacons, which is essentially tricky flight through asteroid fields. If you have ever played Rogue Star, ship combat here is a stripped-down and clunkier version (both games designed in Unity).

HDS has helpful explanations on every screen giving you insight into what to do. But the overarching organization and management, you’ll likely learn by the end of a terrible first run. Four hours into my first run I was broke and 60 days behind schedule. There is a reward in learning how to hustle and seeing your improvement on a second run.

There are a few niggles I had with HDS, the first is, while there is so much diversity in what you get to do, from dogfights in space to FPS combat sequences. Those experiences themselves are fairly shallow. With all the infrastructure laid down, I can only hope that Zotnip will continue expanding on variety and depth. Perhaps a map of the ship that you could navigate in FPS, in order to manage ship emergencies or fight off boarders.

Even a little more depth to standard FPS missions. When you duel a challenger in the arena for money, if that could happen in an actual arena, even a basic abstraction of a quake style map with dappled cover to strafe and blast through, rather than the same, personality-free maze that serves every encounter. Instead of an intense duel, I just volley rounds down the hallway as I strafe side to side knocking my opponent out before he gets in range.
There are so many different activities that could involve mini-games over wait timers. An option to collect oxygen or harvest fuel for yourself, or assign it to a crew member rather than defaulting to a wait timer. While the values of the markets and the random encounters change with every run, the route stays the same. Perhaps branching paths or detours would add to a sense of variety and an ‘either/or’ factor.

Death Road to Canada has used the model of increasing the game price at every major content update, if HDS cost $9.99 and had the same depth as FTL I would consider that more than fairly priced as a mobile title. Right now it feels like a promise worth investing in.

Nick Leibbrandt

Have been playing on my android devices and runs fine and is a very enjoyable fun game where you have your own starship and crew that you need to manage with food, supplies health and repairs etc embarking on your travel through space to other planets. There are random encounters along the way that are fighting pirate ships to exploring abandoned ships. helping out other ships and going down to planets for quests and supplies.

I found the hardest part of the game was the pirate starship battles trying to move my ship around in the first-person view and trying to fight them off but thankfully there is a retreat option to escape. Love the look of the game, very nice and colourful with hours of gameplay. will definitely be spending more time on this game as it can be quite addictive and would recommend giving it a try!

Mark Abukoff

HDS is a really engaging little game. Not unlike other sci-fi RPG/adventures that have you taking on jobs/quests for pay, and buying and selling cargo and supplies along the way. Like Star Command and Star Traders: Frontiers. It also has a healthy dose of FTL and Out There Omega Edition where you can count on being interrupted mid-flight by some kind of obstacle or ship or even just a choice to investigate something in your flight path.

This is where you’ll find the interesting mini-games. I like those, though the asteroid field mini-games were kind of tough and more than once I simply left the asteroid field without completing the objective because my ship (The Enterprize) was taking a beating. The other mini-game I played, where you send a crewmember down to do a little space-dungeon crawling was lots of fun and very reminiscent of the really old Doom games.

Overall, I like it a lot, especially as there’s plenty of content and it’s not just the same thing over and over. I liked the animation style, from the crew to the ship and the planets. I like being able to name the ship and crew. I found the controls in the flying mini-game to be not ideal but adequate and I got used to them.

The sound effects were great and fun, sounding straight out of a 50’s sci-fi flick, like Forbidden Planet. The music, however, I found annoying and I turned it off almost immediately. But all in all, this is a superior fun sci-fi adventure/RPG with roguelike aspects. This will go towards the top of my playlist and I happily recommend it.

Gurvy Lemhuk

This game is for me a mix between Captain Blood, Privateers and FTL! A lot of UI based action.
What I love :

  • The retro pixel visual, mix with 3D effects providing a real unique feeling about it.
  • Quite complex with all the action, events, and random encounters like FTL / Captain Blood.
  • Music is simple but efficient.

What I didn’t like :

  • The tutorial (for a non-native English speaker), very évasive and not very efficient for me.
  • From the beginning, I was quite unsure about what I needed to do. A lot of information and a lot of UI to master here.
  • SFX were basic.

But overall, it is a really good experience, especially for mobile games which lack game like that.
A lot of love was put in it.

Karl Nuttall

When you start the game you are hit by the pixel type graphics and know you are in for a treat if you like the old retro games. I have to admit I do love the old-style retro games! The game has a bit of everything in it and is very entertaining. You start off choosing your crew names and destination, I did this and set off and was immediately attacked by pirates.

It soon became a space shooting game, you do get to repair the ship if you take damage. When you land at your destination you can take jobs to earn money. These include trading and retrieving items from the planet and this becomes an FPS similar to Doom or you can take passengers to another planet. The game will keep you going for a long time and it is easily my favourite game, it has a bit of everything and I love the look of it. I would recommend it. 10/10.

Schuyler Larkin

I have only played this a couple of times but is a very enjoyable game. They put different types of gameplay whilst doing tasks. The space flight where you have to shoot other ships is a bit fiddly to control. I like the art style and setting of the game and will spend more time with it.

Makara Nou

This is a management simulation game where you control a ship and make important decisions. Delivery is your job. But what’s more important is that life and death of your crew are in your hands. There is a great replay value as you will die a lot and learn your lessons. The game gives a nostalgia retro vibe with pixelated artworks.

Matthew Jay

If FTL and Star Command had a baby, it would be Hyperspace Delivery Service. You name your ship, your name and pick your crew. You manage resources as you fly through space. As similar as the game’s mechanics sound, HDS delivers (pun intended) on some key elements. First, the game’s pixel art is wonderfully vibrant. Another stand out is the game’s mini-games. One mini-game lets you control one of your crew members in FPS mode. This reminded me of my early FPS days playing Doom.

With that said, where HDS falls short is its repetitiveness. On multiple playthroughs, it is the same ship, different day (oh, that’s punny). Moreover, on multiple playthroughs, there seemed to be only a handful of crew member avatars. All things considered, Hyperspace Delivery Service is a good game. It just needs more content. “Make it so, Number One” (Captain Picard).

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