Saturday, July 28

Review: Star Story - The Horizon Escape [Nintendo Switch eShop]

With so many games coming out on the Switch so quickly the challenge isn’t just to make a decent game, it’s also to be noteworthy in some way that makes it easy to notice. Even with the competition being tough at the very top there seems to be enough oomph in the Nindie space (at least for now) to propel games that are at least moderately good to some success. No doubt trying to get a piece of that Switch pie is Star Story: The Horizon Escape, an adventure game that offers an abundance of choices but that nonetheless struggles a bit to be interesting.

In the game you’ll take on the role of a space explorer of sorts who ends up finding himself stranded on an alien planet, with relatively limited resources. Given this situation you’ll need to do what you can as you explore to try to put yourself into a better position. The attempt to make things interesting, and encourage replay, lies in the fact that in almost every situation there are often choices you can make. Do you play it aggressively? With some ingenuity? Do you try to charm your way through things? Maybe a little bit of each? There’s no clear roadmap to success so you’ll need to try to trust your instincts and see where those take you.

As you accrue decisions in each column you’ll get opportunities for crafting gear that’s appropriate to the style you’ve chosen, whether geared towards weaponry, gadgets, or things like healing. You’ll discover blueprints through your travels as well, and you’ll need to put together a plan for what gear you’ll need to best suit your plans. Even if you try to be more pacifistic you’ll still get into combat, which is somewhat turn-based as your attacks and weapons will have cooldowns you’ll need to be aware of. Though it’s not terribly thrilling there are benefits to being mindful of your enemies’ weaknesses to try to work through them as efficiently as possible, hopefully conserving gear in more limited supply for when you may really need it.

Overall, I wouldn’t say there’s anything terribly flawed about Star Story but at the same time, especially in light of the strength of the Switch lineup, it’s just not terribly notable. People searching for action won’t find it here, its role playing elements are pretty limited, and the variety offered with your choices simply doesn’t carry enough consequence or interest to be compelling. There are worse offenses, certainly, than being a bit dull, but there’s just nothing here than stands out to generate any enthusiasm over.

Score: 5

  • A degree of replayability offered by trying out different paths/choices
  • Generally uncomplicated, straightforward play

  • Nothing is noteworthy or terribly memorable about it
  • For a game that would seemingly lean hard on story elements it’s all pretty ordinary