Review – Hyperspace Delivery Service (Switch)

I’ve heard of games with varied gameplay, but Zotnip has really found a way to make a variety game. Welcome to Hyperspace Delivery Service; a game that mixes resource management, time management, and Doom. That’s right Doom. And not like, Doom (2016), but the old Doom, the real Doom. Hyperspace Delivery Service feels basic in the beginning, with rogue-like elements such as permadeath and procedurally generated worlds, but you’ll suffer a few deaths and resets before starting to see the bigger picture.

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Resource management is nice and colour-coated for you.

You start the game picking your crew, these are people from all different planets, you get to name them. Even though in most games they each would have different stats and effects that influence how well they do in different positions, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Hyperspace Delivery Service. Picking different characters and who you pick seems to be purely aesthetic. The delivery service part of this game is simple; manage your resources to get from planet to planet. As you’re a delivery service, this could range from taking particular items or essentially working as a taxi service. Just be sure to make sure everything arrives on time.

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Certain crew members are… Explicit looking. This is one of the tamer aliens.

While travelling between planets, you have the possibility of battling other ships. This is in an old school Doom gameplay style, which is incredibly jarring. While that style works for an FPS type game, it doesn’t work in an omni-directional dogfight against other ships. That being said, certain parts of the game do have you searching for items like fuel and medkits, in the original style of Doom gameplay. While it plays the same and features their own enemies, these portions of the game feel weirdly empty. The mini-map tells you exactly where everything is and the hallways between rooms are bland and hollow.

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This is exactly your view during dogfights, minus the options at the bottom. It’s not easy.

Regardless, in either of these sections if you lose, your characters are dead. Hyperspace Delivery Service does offer you to turn off permadeath at the start of a run, but after giving this a try, it’s pointless. Without the risk of losing your crew, the game becomes dull and boring. You can simply make a rush for each planet with little to no planning and worst case, you have a couple characters die that you revive later. Oh well.

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Call the doctor, he will revive you. No pressure.

Graphically, certain areas are reminiscent of an 8-bit style Bladerunner. Other areas are bleak, including certain areas that are essentially black-on-black textures. People are making designs with better shading with the limited design options in the new Animal Crossing, honestly. So after spending maybe a few too many hours tackling Hyperspace Delivery Service, all I can really say at the end of the day is it’s not a game I would recommend unless you’re looking to punish yourself. Maybe with a bit more quality assurance and polish, this could have been a lovely experience. But as it stands, it’s a bleak empty game with a lot of could have been good areas. It’s always a shame to see ambition fall flat on its face.

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Maybe I don’t know, but I feel like using a slightly different shade of black would make more sense.

It’s hard to recommend for someone not pick up a game, but Hyperspace Delivery Service is definitely one that’s for a very, very niche market. The concept of resource management blending into Doom gameplay is interesting. Unfortunately, the execution just doesn’t work. If you do feel so inclined to pick this one up, or play it for whatever reason, it may be best to do so while it’s on sale.

 

Graphics: 3.5

While some areas look alright, this can’t make up for the amount of pure darkness the game offers.

Gameplay: 4.0

I commend the ambition. Attempting to make an omni-directional Doom style dogfight. Unfortunately, even the blatant Doom rip off areas couldn’t be done right.

Sound: 2.0

How can even a gun and laser cannon from a spaceship sound so flat? At least it matches the art style.

Fun Factor: 2.5

If I stopped playing after the first or second run this may have been higher. The more I tried to play Hyperspace Delivery Service though, the worse it got.

Final Verdict: 3.0

Hyperspace Delivery Service is available now on PC, Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Hyperspace Delivery Service was provided by the publisher.