Space Accident is set in the year 2119, at a time when human civilisation has decided to up their game in regards to the colonisation of the planets within the solar system. With many projects in development, the idea is to harness and establish power on the untapped space territories. You’re part of the Callisto Colonization Mission crew, which is on a five year expedition of Jupiter’s satellite. Something happens during the journey however, putting the important mission in jeopardy – the captain is found dead and all signs point to murder.
That’s the narrative given at the very outset of Space Accident via a rather wordy piece of text found on a computer. Contrary to the grisly death though, this isn’t a sci-fi survival horror like The Callisto Protocol in the slightest. Despite the protagonist, an engineer, being trapped in isolation by the rest of the crew, you’re merely obstructed by a series of puzzles. So, you must get your thinking cap on and figure a way out of this makeshift prison.
Before tackling the gameplay, I must stress that the initial foundations of the story are poorly capitalised upon. There are a few hidden notes on tablets and another computer terminal attempting to unveil why the captain may have been killed, but it’s not so interestingly written that you’ll actually give a damn. Even the conclusion is awfully anti-climatic after working your way through the handful of conundrums present here.
The puzzles are centred on laser beams, with the core idea requiring the lasers be targeted at energy lamps to power them up and unlock more of the ship; a straightforward concept that’s made trickier through the use of force fields, energy spheres for redirecting beams, and pressure activated touchpads. These force fields come in three types, with blue stopping humans from passing through, green blocking objects, and yellow preventing penetration by laser beams.
Combining all of the above variables, across four main areas, conjures up a few decent problems to overcome, but the solution is seldom difficult to figure out. That is especially true once you are comfortable with the idea that you can reach objects on the other side of the blue force fields and bring them over to your side. After getting to grips with that, the layouts for bending the beams into the correct places are relatively simple. Sadly, the puzzles aren’t easy by any stretch of the imagination for different reasons altogether.
First and foremost, the controls are janky as heck. Playing from a first-person perspective, the shortcomings brought about by the movement controls ensure placement of objects is tougher than it has to be. What’s worse though are the supposed precise controls for slightly altering the angle, which are in fact quite imprecise. You have to look down at the energy sphere to manipulate its position and so you can’t even see where it’s being aimed.
Perhaps the biggest flaw is in the penultimate puzzle area however, where spheres must be transported on an elevated platform. The machine for moving the platform stutters far too much, mainly due to the over-sensitive sliding control system. As such, the spheres end up bouncing around and fall off the platform before you can get them into place. Without knowing a handy tip regarding the in-game settings – thanks Google – I’d say it’s nigh-on impossible to solve the way it’s intended to be solved.
In regards the aesthetics, the interior of the ship is futuristic enough to be a convincing setup and works well as a backdrop. There’s nothing overly special about it though, with little chance of you taking a second glance at anything. Unfortunately, if you turn around too fast, everything in the surroundings has motion blur and it can be a tad disorienting. As for audio, well, it’s eerily quiet until the ending; by then you just want to leave the ship and never return.
Ultimately, Space Accident is a little puzzle game that spoils a good idea with its shoddy mechanics. Figuring out the best way to guide the laser beams and acquire the necessary spheres to do so could have provided decent fun, if not for the frustrating issues. And those issues mentioned can seriously inflate the length of Space Accident, when you could otherwise be done and dusted in under an hour. Hence, the low price point of just over a fiver isn’t exactly value for money.
It would be a hazard for your health to bother with Space Accident.
Space Accident is available to purchase from the Xbox Store
- Decent laser puzzles
- Cool spaceship setting
- Anti-climatic narrative
- Frustrating for all the wrong reasons
- Shoddy mechanics
- Too short
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to – Purchased by TXH
- Formats – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
- Version Reviewed – Xbox Series X
- Release date – 21st December 2022
- Launch price from – £5.79