Apr 30, 2014
Astro Emporia makes a bold move, taking the least-interesting part of any open-world simulation, and releasing as a separate game. At least for me, trading in any game, especially space-oriented, was always the dumbest thing to do. I didn’t train spacecraft piloting for half of my (imaginary) life, and exchange my (imaginary) life on some planet, just to become a space haggler! The outcome is predictable: the game is unusual, but rather boring.
The player’s task is to exchange goods between different planets of a randomly generated solar system. There’s absolutely no other business for player to take, so the game is really simple. Buy material on a planet that’s overproducing it, travel to another planet, and sell it for profit elsewhere. The kicker is that planets randomly change their imports, so player needs to calculate which planet buys the material at a high price, and sells at a low one, before traveling. Another problem is that player owns bank a hefty sum at the start, so he needs to pay it all, including interest, before making his own capital. There are different game modes, for different scopes of the game, but apart from that, every replay is almost exactly the same.
While I agree that market economy is underrepresented in videogames, Astro Emporia makes little effort to change that. The rules are incredibly simple, and although the bank and resource managing are an interesting concept, it doesn’t help the fact that there’s little to no variety in the game, and unless you are excited about reaching the best possible high-score, the first time you get â€œsuccessfulâ€ in Astro Emporia is going to be the point at which you will probably get bored of it.
The bigger problem is that the game randomly and completely unexpectedly freezes my phone â€“ and I mean, completely: only restarting brings it to life. It’s completely unexplainable, since Astro Emporia is a simple game with just a bit of graphics, and doesn’t eat any resources. Still, it’s a problem for me.
In conclusion, Astro Emporia is too simple, but I don’t think it would be a serious problem if it didn’t have strange freezes every once in a while. Apart from that, it’s a simple puzzle with a core mechanic, somewhat unusual for a mobile game.