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Android App Video Review: rymdkapsel

by Andrew Koziara

Every now and again, some game developer, usually an indie, will be hit with a devastating stroke of brilliance before completely reinventing or elegantly simplifying a genre or game type. Then, everyone praises that game like the second coming of the messiah. Sometimes it's justified. Other times it's hype. Often it's both. That's exactly the case with the wonderfully elegant new strategy title rymdkapsel!

Taking the RTS genre, stripping away all the unnecessary clutter, and combining it with Tetris (no really), rymdkapsel has managed to captivate mobile gamers. It only captivates them for a short while, as the game is a little light on content and variety, but  that's fine. There are no units, no tech trees, and no upgrades. Essentially, the game is about building the most efficient base possible, so that your limited number of minions can more easily spread resources, build, and defend from enemy attacks.

Each room that you build, from reactors and extractors that create resources to quarters that expand your minion army, will be built in a random shape consitsting of four blocks. These shapes should look insanely familiar to everyone ever, as they're Tetris block shapes. Not only that, the next room you build is always a specific shape, with the next three room shapes being communicated to you in the upper left corner, just like Tetris.

It's easy as pie to divide your minions between various tasks, and the actual objective of the game rotates through three separate goals, such as researching all the artifacts to start. Technically, there is only one level. Like I said, the game is really, really short. It would probably benefit from some added modes or upgradeable rooms, but who am I to think I could tinker with such an elegant design?

Aside from a few minor issues, like your minion path finding AI being frustrating at times, this really is a gem of a game, totally cohesive in its design with great execution. Most people are complaining about the same issues, yet they're showering the game with high level reviews. Usually I'd see that and assume their standards are too low or they're too easy to please, but this game really makes up for it with everything that it does right. It's simple strategy fun done in an inventive way, and while it can seem pricy at four dollars for so little content, the fact that this game has everyone calling for more can't be a bad thing. Oh. One last note. Try to play this game on a tablet. Some people with smaller phones are having a crazy hard time reading the UI. Just a warning.

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