Community Reviews of SpaceVenture by Doom – Adventure Games
A lost license, a Kickstarter, 10 years in development hell, almost no news… until September 2022 when the contributors-only version was suddenly released. Does Andromeda Guys still have it? God yes! But there is always a “but”.
The game is a ride, both in terms of gameplay and bugs. I had to replay almost every section because of these, I felt like I was going through a minefield. I ran into every kind of bug possible and had to reload and restart multiple times, just like the good old days. It even froze during the bonus round which starts after the credits stop! And please don’t forget to enter the ship while you are fixing it, otherwise the game will break.
SpaceVenture also feels dated and unfinished from the start, with occasional graphics and sound glitches. The smart cursor isn’t that smart, hotspots aren’t always highlighted, so it’s easier to click just like in a regular Sierra game. The voice acting is great, but also messy: some lines are voiced, others – not, including the narrator whose voice actor did a great job impersonating Gary Owens (RIP), which adds a lot to the atmosphere.
I liked the idea behind the complex UI. Figuring it out is kind of a headache in itself, with so many options (the App Store parody was great fun!), but I see how it can become a pain for many others, like Feeble Files. The combination of elements in particular is very tedious. A traditional Sierra interface would have worked better.
Where the game really shines is humor and gameplay. SpaceVenture is funny, epic, well-written, a truly old-school Andromeda Guys game, and a worthy successor to the Space Quest saga. The design of the puzzles is imaginative and often experimental, like the 3D physics puzzles that would be new to the series, but still feel right at home. They even included some sort of space simulation and managed to crack a few jokes in it.
Overall I think they made good use of their engine, it really adds a new dimension to the old formula (unlike that pseudo 3D maze from SQ5). It just looks very dated and unpolished, like they found some original Space Quest 7 stuff and carried on from there. At this point, a port to Adventure Creator or another professional engine would be more than welcome.
And while the game starts off in a rather bland place, it actually gets better once you leave it behind and start fixing up your ship to travel between different planets doing your plumbing job and saving the galaxy. The gameplay becomes more relaxing and less linear as you have multiple tasks to complete and you can explore a larger area LucasArts style.
The local humor is a mix of old-school sarcasm and parody with satire on the modern entertainment industry, Facebook in particular as it is part of the main plot. You can just lay on your bed (like Ace does) and listen to half an hour of recorded parodies of TV shows and commercials, very funny stuff.
I wasn’t expecting much from SpaceVenture and ended up loving it. Yes, the current version is totally broken and unintuitive, probably doomed to be a space goat for many gamers and reviewers, but it was this game that brought back my 90s. will correct and update it before making it public.
Time played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just right