Cosmochoria was featured on Living Myth when it was just a cute little Kickstarter searching for support. When offered the chance to review the early access alpha on Steam, I decided to go in blind: I had nothing to do with the other article, I don’t know the makers of the game, and I hadn’t played it before I got my preview code. Hell, I hadn’t even heard of this game until I was given it to review! I am a true neutral party. When I get to dip my meaty hands into a game, I’m going to tell you what I really think. I figure with all the “Gamer Gate” stuff happening I should stress that.
There is no tutorial for the game except “plant seeds”. You are a little naked space man who has to grow plants on dead planets in order to bring them back to life. During that time you get shot at by aggravating space ships, vicious space bees, and relentless robots. When a big heart appears, you’re done, and can move onto heal another planet in the universe.
You can travel from planet to planet with your jetpack and the universe is randomly generated each time you play, so it’s never the same twice. This is great because after healing about three planets a big crazy space dragon appears and starts shooting fire at you. I died. I couldn’t figure out how to kill it and died several times. Most normal people would probably give up after awhile, but I’m OCD and never QUIT.
Each time I started over I discovered a little bit more. I was able to get crystals from killing bad guys and use those crystals to buy upgrades, and I got to keep the upgrades even after my many deaths! I got a bigger gun, more health, and more crystals before each space dragon slaughter. Eventually I figured out how to build little seed statues to shoot enemies in the sky and other defenses and offences. By persistent trial and error I eventually defeated the big mean flying space dragon! I was overjoyed! Although this joy was short lived.
I soon found other more powerful space dragons to be slaughtered by, but I also found planets with teleport monoliths, a talking eight-ball, and a hermit who told me the story of why the universe is fucked up and why I was born! He didn’t say why I was naked though. His story hinted that several secret artifacts exist that I need to collect to become powerful. With all of my strange discoveries I have yet to find any of those artifacts, but the game is still in alpha, and it hardly matters because I am having fun planting plants, healing planets, and getting killed by space dragons!
Having gone through the process of learning this game from scratch, I fully agree with the website’s description that Cosmochoria has “Patent pending Stress-o-Relaxo™ single player High Score arcade action gameplay.” As contradictory as it may sound this is an arcade style shooter that is also relaxing. I died over and over again, but since my upgrades were saved it didn’t really seem like starting over. I wanted to keep playing, collecting, and exploring. It took awhile before I got into it, but now this is one of my go-to games for puttering around. The music is chill and the look is very cute and fun. You can’t help but cheer for your little naked space baby as he tries to bring life back to the universe!
So let’s break it down, AS IS MY WAY!!![box]The Good: The art and music are minimal but mesmerizing. Honestly the sound design is really where the game shines. The game is challenging but the learning curve isn’t huge. Exploration is encouraged and rewarded adequately. The arcade shooter mechanic makes blasting enemies’ fun and keeps you wanting to play.
The Bad: There isn’t a lot of variety in the enemies. Each “boss” dragon is basically the same, except a different color and a little faster. The enemies may get repetitive in the later stages; however, this is alpha so hopefully more variety is yet to be added.
Rage Rating: 4 out of 10 random fireballs to the face from different coloured space dragons.
Happy Silly Fun Time Rating: 8 out of 10 cute, naked, tree planting space aliens.
Final Verdict: The game is unique and fun. What it does, it does well. If you want an adorable little arcade shooter with some great exploration mechanics and an amazing sound-scape then this game is worth picking up. For the first game from Nate Schmold, it’s very impressive and pretty damn fun.[/box]
You can grab Cosmochoria during its early alpha access starting today!