NOTE: Keys were given to the the Indie Game Riot team by the game’s developer for review.
Space exploration is something that holds a series of powerful emotions for a lot of different people. It often represents our species’ ongoing mission to seek out more intelligent life or worlds to inhabit because we love trying to understand the universe above our heads. Ask yourself, however, what if the unthinkable happened and Earth, our home, was destroyed?
RymdResa, best pronounced phonetically and slowly to begin with, is an indie title that focuses on that very event. As a poetic, roguelike adventure that is highly unforgiving and strangely tranquil in its execution, you are the pilot who witnessed the cataclysmic death of their own planet. You decide to roam the stars in search of new life or survivors, or anything at all. With a plethora of ships at your disposal, if you spend enough points of course, you can set off on a new mission in moments.
Across its three galaxies, each with a different objective for the player, RymdResa gives no room for error as even the smallest of space-bound rocks may spell disaster for your ship and the inevitable end of your flight. You have to proceed carefully, weighing up the bonus of using the boost to reach markers faster versus the added risk of instant death if you happen to cross paths with a sun that will vaporize you in the blink of an eye.
Death is a figure you’ll become very well acquainted with in this game. Mainly because you’re likely to die time and time again, sometimes pointlessly, in your pursuit for a new world. From asteroids to other crafts, it comes in many forms. This learning curve is a fresh change that makes you think about your consumption of precious resources, speed and what could lie ahead of your cockpit. However, this can be wholly off-putting and unfair when you’re doing incredibly and suddenly a moon swings around from seemingly nowhere and crushes you into stardust.
The game excels at making the distance traveled interesting though, because after every in-game year spent in the cosmos, a new diary log will be added, for playback at your leisure. Written in short stanza’s and read in a cold, static covered tone, these little snippets serve as interaction with the player. Each one adds more to the story as a whole, but better yet, they can be interpreted in different ways.
Even if you spent ten, probably twenty minutes flying across the vast nothingness, you’ll likely enjoy the experience. Odd as it may seem, the flight is amazingly therapeutic. Despite a lack of assets normally being an issue with many titles, RymdResa revels in its minimalist approach that works perfectly. Of course, many players may find this lack of eye candy annoying and it may put them off entirely.
This title uses nothing as a gameplay feature and that’s definitely not for everyone, however, finding a new signal can be exhilarating as you become used to the times careening through space. It’s a careful balance that keeps the game on the right side of fun to play.
Overall, RymdResa is a brilliantly made title that plays on the more quiet side of the selection available on the PC market. This game is an example of achieving as much as possible from basically a bland screen. With some obvious flaws that could use work it’s not something you can play causally, but if you’re willing you can learn to love it very quickly.