Normally when a video game claims to be 'minimalist', this is a reference to the visuals.
Rymdkapsel, on the other hand, is a truly minimalist game. Everything from the visuals to the gameplay to the goal to the way in which you interact with the world is totally basic.
But don't let that fool you into thinking Rymdkapsel is too simple to bother with - quite the contrary, in fact. This is real-time strategy done very right.Rymshot
Some sort of spaceship sits lonely in space, with only a couple of crew members to its name. By dragging rooms onto the screen you can build your ship and bolster your crew in preparation for attackers.
Every so often, a wave of enemies will come zipping in from above, ready to fire on your guys. If your entire crew is killed, you lose - it's as simple as that.
Well, no, it's not actually. The enemy waves gets heavier and heavier, so in between attacks you need to be building up resources, hiring more crew members, and creating barracks from which your guys can fight back.
To say that Rymdkapsel is clever is an understatement. Rooms can only be built in Tetris-style shapes, and corridors must stretch between them, meaning you need to really consider how exactly you're spreading your ship out.
There are three types of resources, and different types of rooms and rules for securing each. The only way to truly beat Rymdkapsel is to become one with your workers, throwing them into the appropriate jobs whenever needed.Evening kap
The interface is perhaps the most impressive element of the game.
To move your guys between jobs you simply drag them left and right into the appropriate job descriptions at the bottom of the screen. Building a new room? Drag it from the top and plop it in place. It all just works perfectly with the gameplay.
Note that there's a goal in Rymdkapsel, although you're not specifically made aware of it. When you finally realise what you're meant to be doing, you experience a real "Ahhhhh!" sort of moment.
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While Rymdkapsel's minimalist approach makes for gorgeous visuals and a unique approach to gameplay, it can lead to some frustration in your first playthrough.
It isn't hugely obviously how certain elements of the gameplay work, for example, and so you'll end up dying due to factors that you'll feel were beyond your control.
Most notably, it's actually possible to get irretrievably stuck in Rymdkapsel after running out of a certain resource. I learnt this the hard way, and it would have been nice if this potential sticking point had been signposted.
The game is also extremely slow to get going. This is great when you're playing it for the first time, but on subsequent playthroughs it can make for a rather boring initial 20 minutes or so.
Even so, Rymdkapsel is gloriously entertaining, and a novel take on the RTS genre. Whether you like your strategy games or not, you should grab this one.