Tuesday, August 27, 2013 09:21:00

Review: Rymdkapsel Is a Stylish, Sophisticated Strategy Game


Rymdkapsel is one of the more unique Android games I've had the pleasure of playing in recent memory. It's a mash-up of tetris, tower defense, and real-time strategy. It also costs $4, a sum that may manage to scare away too many people, which is a shame - because Rymdkapsel is simply excellent.

Space Capsule

First, the name: Rymdkapsel means "space capsule" in Swedish. Now, here's what it looks like:

Basically, the game starts off with a tiny schematic space station hovering in the middle of nowhere. Surrounding the station are four monoliths. You start off with two workers, called minions, and with a bunch of resources. Your job is to build out new rooms that make extra resources and minions, as well as weapons rooms to fend off waves of attackers. Oh, and you also need to expand your space station enough to reach all the way to the monoliths and explore each monolith (to gain extra capabilities, such as faster movement for your minions).


The very beginning of the game, in tutorial mode.

The tetris part comes in when you start building rooms: Each room is shaped as a different tetromino, or tetris block. You can rotate rooms, and it takes considerable skill to plan your station efficiently.

A large part of the game is about resource management and pacing yourself. If you get greedy and start building too many rooms, you may deplete your resources, and may also leave yourself exposed to enemy attacks. As the game progresses, waves of enemies will mount attacks with increasing frequency, which means you'll have to have enough minions and weapon rooms to stand ready. Build too slow, and your base will end up being too small when crunch time comes. So, it's about hitting just the right pace and building priorities -- quite a balancing act, really.

Incredibly Well Received

Not every new Android game gets a glowing review on Wired, kind words from The New York Times, and praise from The Verge. In other words, Rymdkapsel appears to have gotten many things right -- this is one impressive game.

And yet, at the time of this writing, the game garnered less than 50,000 installs on Android. That may be due to its price tag scaring away potential gamers - but really, you shouldn't let it scare you. If you enjoy strategy games, Rymdkapsel will keep you occupied for a while. A highly satisfying gameplay experience.