Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! - Steam/PC Review

  • System: Steam [PC]
  • Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
  • Developer: Daylight Studios
  • Release Date: February 15, 2017
  • Price:TBA
  • Rating:E10+
  • Genre: Adventure, Indie, Space, Simulation
  • Official Website: www.holypotatoesgame.com

Who it Caters to

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is developed by Daylight Studios, credited with some titles such as the mobile app Spirit Horizon and their city simulation title Reign of Heroes. Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is certainly a treasure to play if you enjoy games with lots of exploration, resource management, and an all out space adventure. Using aspects from traditional RPGs pertaining to turn based combat, Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! feels like an RPG, but throws in added elements for a unique gaming experience.

As you fly through space, you’ll discover various planets where you’ll need to gather resources either from battles or simply just wandering around. If you enjoy games where strategic planning is important, along with being able to take responsibility for your crew and their tasks, then Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is certainly the right choice for you.

What to Expect

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! comes with a lot in store for anyone who enjoys managing a crew of talented individuals, all of whom come with their distinctive assets to help benefit you in battle. Along with the action comes a lot of great humor, as the game does a splendid job of poking fun at celebrity names such as Scarlett Johansson and Elton John while throwing in some nostalgic moments by referencing classic films like Indiana Jones and showing love to Nintendo’s beloved Pokemon franchise.

Instead of using realistic characters to drive the narrative, Holy Potatoes uses Potatoes called Spuds to draw out the humor, but also make the feel of the game less daunting for players who haven’t dived into a space adventure title before. The game comes with a plethora of features such as being able to travel to hundreds of different planets to collect resources, encounter a wide variety of races ranging from the wacky Cosmic Carrots to the more vibrant and often times weird Obnoxious Onions.

While we played through the game it felt a lot like Mass Effect in a way, where your ship and crew simply couldn’t survive unless you made a conscious effort to scour the world for what you needed in order to buff your entire squad. So if you enjoyed Mass Effect and games that revolve around that similar playstyle, Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! will definitely hit the spot.

Story

You star as Cassie and Fay, two determined spuds who seek out to find their beloved grandpa Jiji, who found himself caught in a bad position and now is being held captive by the evil empire known as The Eclipse. The two of them must now go on this long interstellar journey in order to find his true whereabouts and bring him back home before it’s too late. In order to do so, Cassie and Fay must go out of their way to make allies in order to take down the vicious Space Pirates and Intergalactic Veggies and avoid causing further harm. It’s now up to you to decide who belongs on your ship and how they’ll benefit the team in the long run, in order to stop The Eclipse and take back what’s rightfully yours.

Gameplay

Introduction - What the Spud?!

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is zany and full of laughter but at the same time requires all of your attention especially when it comes to managing your ship. The game starts off by introducing you to the early cast of characters then going directly into a very fleshed out tutorial mode that’s fun and rewarding. It does a fantastic job of not overwhelming you with too many words on the screen while directing you to the objective that needs to be taken care of quite seamlessly.

We weren’t sure what to expect coming into the game, but we say with certainty that after running through the early stages of the game it’s incredibly satisfying to play. Once the training wheels are off, you’re now given the responsibility of the ship and must now start paying close attention to all that’s happening. The game allows you to name your ship to create a more personal feel to the game, along with other interesting things as you progress further into the story. The witty descriptions that come along with each character you come across are brilliant and don’t take away from the games overall purpose. In fact, we felt these quirky character names were like the icing on the already delicious cake, and so we dived right in and enjoyed every bite.

The currency that you work with in the game is referred to as $tarch, and this is what you’ll be placing a lot of your attention to early on because if you don’t have enough income then things can get a little tricky down the road. It’s not that resources are scarce, it’s that things will start to get pricey once you start upgrading your ship to accommodate more crew members. Throughout the main story, you’ll run into a lot of wacky characters who you can choose to take on board or leave them be, all of this freedom is a nice feeling since it doesn’t force you to do so.

The only issue is that, in the early phases you’re only limited to four members on your crew ship and so you’ll have to make a sacrifice by firing one of your spuds if deemed necessary. Again this isn’t something forced upon you and we liked that since we wanted to get a feel for the game mechanics so using the crew we built from the get go was great.

In many ways Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! takes various cues from different genres like role playing, visual novels, down to the tactical side of things, and blends them together beautifully. There were times where it felt like we were playing Pokemon but then we were thrown back into space to desperately find the right resources like Mass Effect. That thrill of mixing things up on the go is what really made each experience feel invigorating.

We found ourselves having to keep track of our SOL, an energy source that plays an integral part in the game and is what allows you to travel to different planets, along with being able to conduct research and various other activities on board. As we stated earlier, managing your team is key but being able to keep track of what you have in inventory is much more crucial, so let's go into more detail.

Resource Management | Battle Mode

Resource Management is perhaps the most important thing you’ll have to get accustomed to because, throughout the journey, you’ll encounter various enemy and boss battles, all of which use up valuable energy. The resources you’ll most likely be looking out for are Biowaste, Nanofibres, Ore, Plasma, and Antimatter all of which must be used to purchase new weapons which will certainly be of use when dealing with stronger enemies down the road. While not all weapons require heavy usage of these resources, it’s best to not be lazy and just forget about any of them because there may come a time where they’ll be needed.

For most of your trip, you’ll be going back and forth to the Star Hub since that’s where you’ll be able to refuel on your SOL, along with being able to repair any damages to the ship. This is also where you’ll be purchasing, hiring (and firing), and upgrading various sections of your ship. Everything starts at level 1 and as you continue to engage in tough battles, enemies will drop more $tarch (or even try to bribe their way out of battle), along with important items to make the rest of your trip a little less daunting. This is where hiring the right crew becomes imperative because throughout the game each enemy you come across will differ and come with their own weapons to take you out. Crew members come with specific buffs, take Kokomber for example, who specializes in Railgun perks and so if you tend to use the Railgun frequently, hiring him would significantly improve the crafting process and boost the HP of your weapon.

There’s plenty of versatility in Holy Potatoes so if you tend to fancy more of a defensive style, there are weapons for you, and if you enjoy a more aggressive approach there’s a selection available as well. Prices can be on the expensive side as you can by the image, so strong decision making is encouraged while playing.

Once you’ve hired the right crew, upgraded your facilities along with your weapons, it’s time to explore planets and fend off enemies that threaten to stop you along the way. Each battle has their own funny dialogue with some situations having you choose how to respond to progress. There are times where you could avoid a battle altogether and still collect goodies to complete the exploration, but a lot of the time you’ll be engaging with a lot of these hooligans.

Battling is quite simple since the UI is very organized and straightforward, and all you need to do is decide who attacks and where the attacks should go. This strategic planning is crucial especially in later battles because some of the enemy weapons are just so powerful that, within a few turns your HUD shield is broken and your weapons are on the verge of being destroyed. The game doesn’t end when all weapons are destroyed because your pilot has their own special move that can also damage the enemy HUD and create status ailments such as weakening defenses. All of this will need to be taken into account so that way your crew doesn’t suffer from traumatic disorders (this will happen a lot in the beginning mind you), and $tarch can be saved to create better training and research facilities.

All in all, the battle system is very easy to use and doesn’t require any sort of customization to clean the interface up.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

With an incredibly long story along with a plethora of things to do pertaining to ship maintenance, Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is an easy game to pick up but one that will require some time to master. It does a wonderful job of introducing new elements while reminding you of the responsibilities you must uphold while on your journey. Of course, as we mentioned the game does an awesome job of creating a very wacky and humorous dialogue, which only makes playing through the story more enthralling. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t come with voice acting which really let us down in a way because, truthfully with all of the great witty remarks that were in the game, it would’ve been nice to have someone recite them back to us to really breathe life into each character.

Reading them to yourself was ok, but what really makes the narrative jump out at you is when the right voicing is behind the character to really emphasize the meaning even further.We also would’ve liked to be able to save when we wanted to, because there were times when other tasks around the office needed to be taken care of, and because we couldn’t save on the spot it became an issue. Overall, we had a blast with Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! and we look forward to more content from Daylight Studios. We’d also like to thank Daylight Studios for giving us this splendid opportunity to play their game, and it was a pleasure to meet you at Tokyo Game Show!

Honey's Pros:

  • Very funny dialogue with quirky looking characters to match.
  • In depth and challenging game once you get further into the story.
  • A lot of replay value since there’s so much to take care of on board.
  • A Rich cast of characters, all with cool personality descriptions.
  • Visuals are clean along with the UI.
  • Easy to dive into regardless of your gaming background.

Honey's Cons:

  • We didn’t encounter any multiplayer option. Would be a nice addition later on.
  • No voice acting makes our heart cry.
  • Not being able to save when we wanted to was a drag.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! makes its way to the Steam store just in time for Valentine’s Day, so this may be a nice little gift for your significant other if they’re into space adventure and wacky humor! Be sure to follow Daylight Studios as well on twitter to know when they have any upcoming patches, or perhaps just to show your thanks. Don’t forget to also show Honey’s some love as well and spread your joy to your friends by tweeting your favorite articles to them. When you get a chance to try out Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!, let us know in the comments below what you thought about it, and share some of your best moments in the game too!

As always for all things sweet, with all the buzzing news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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