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Game Review #453: Space Pioneer (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: WoodmanFLG

Developer: Vivid Games

Publisher: QubicGames

Category: Action, Multiplayer, Shooter

Release Date: 12.6.2019

Price: $9.99


Buy Space Pioneer from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Calling Mr Bounty Hunter!

Welcome to the life of an intergalactic bounty hunter! Space Pioneer has you endlessly exploring the Galaxy, chasing fame, fortune, and a giant evil space boss that is wreaking havoc on the universe! To do this, you—and up to 3 other friends—will go planet to planet completing various objectives, like charging batteries to get things functional on a planet, getting bombs to blow up hives of monsters, defeating strong boss-monsters, and more! Space Pioneer feels like an homage to the likes of Smash TV, as you will be strafing and shooting, but Space Pioneer also adds a layer of RPG-like progression and leveling up across 3 classes as you power up to get to the next planet, and the challenges that come with it! Let's talk a little bit more about the gameplay in Space Pioneer!

Splat Bugs!

Like I said before, you are looking at what is more commonly identified nowadays as a twin-stick shooter—even if this is fully playable with a single Joy-con, that isn’t the ideal control situation for its hectic gameplay—a genre that has you moving across the game field, killing enemies with your weapon that can be aimed in any direction. Often characterized by horde-like amounts of enemies, it's a beloved genre that has only evolved over the years.

Space Pioneers’ thing it does best is the level of customization it gives you, as well as a fun leveling system that encourages you to revisit areas and complete challenges. There are 3 different character classes you will unlock, each with their own set of weapons, turrets, grenades, stats, and more! You start out with just the standard, but as you level up, get gold, and complete challenges, the light and heavy classes will become available to you!

As you can probably figure, the standard class is balanced, the light class is lightly armored but quick, and the heavy is slow, powerful, and heavily armored! Each of these are leveled individually at your discretion, as you find items that fulfill upgrade requirements for each different weapon on your journey, allowing you to pick what you think will be most useful to you or will work best with your playstyle! Personally, I went with the light class, and tried to go with methods of attack that let me do area of effect damage.

There's a decent amount of enemy variety thrown at you from the start, but after it establishes your main selection of baddies, you aren’t getting much more than that besides new bosses; but you will go from planet to planet—desert ones, snow ones, jungle ones, and more—as you bust up a variety of bugs, snowmen creatures, and robots in order to complete your objectives and get closer to the end!

Simple and Sweet

The graphics in this game are colorful and simple—no beautiful HD textures here—but it doesn’t need it with the given art style! Things are bright and vibrant, and are easily identifiable when it comes to enemies and objectives. There is the occasional issue visually, such as bullets often coming from the center of your character rather than the end of your weapon, which looks a little strange sometimes, and enemies don’t have much in terms of attack animations, so sometimes it feels a little stale kiting around a boss that just shoots projectiles at you with no animation. The music and sound design is nothing to write home about, but it works, which is what's important. Nothing really standout in that department, sadly, but nothing grating either.

Wrapping Up the Hunt

Space Pioneer is a fun single-player experience, and an even better co-op one. You can absolutely get more than your $10 worth of enjoyment out of this title, and for some, it might REALLY click! This game is worth checking out. I give Space Pioneer a 7 out of 10!

Score: 7/10

Buy Space Pioneer from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Follow QubicGames

Website / Facebook / / YouTube

Follow Vivid Games

Website / Facebook / / YouTube

*A game code was provided for review purposes.

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