Ever imagined standing next to Riker and Picard at the helm of the USS Enterprise or hanging with Chewie and Han in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon? Spaceteam emulates the frantic fantasy of cooperatively piloting a starship by issuing orders that must be completed in a timely manner to jump to hyperspace alive.
Thanks to creator Henry Smith, Spaceteam is a free-to-play party game, which is available as an Android mobile application. Two-four players can join a session via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Each player receives orders on their screen which must be completed before the timer expires. The catch, however, is the instruction on your screen may be for another player as you will quickly discover your buttons and levers and sliders and dials change from sector to sector.
Missing an order or performing the wrong action will hurt the ship so work together … as a space team otherwise KABOOM.
A round of Spaceteam only lasts a few minutes however every second is tense. A poorly synchronised team may only last as long as three minutes. A more cohesive group should endure for at least 10 minutes. This mobile app is a great icebreaker to get people laughing.
To make things interesting some sectors throw in a few visual anomalies that distort and impair your view of the controls. Loose swinging panels can be fixed by swiping them back in place. Sludge that oozes onto the interface can be wiped away. The most frustrating manoeuvre, however, is flipping your phone, in unison with your friends, to evade a wormhole. Last game I played I managed to accidently quit the session when I flipped my phone.
The technobabble enhances the fun and sets a casual mood, especially when someone stumbles over a tounge-twister. Hearing someone constantly mutter 'set omicron wheel to five' while rocking back and forth in their chair, eyes transfixed on their phone, hoping we hold on for a little longer even though their panels are dangling and sparking to the tune of a wailing klaxon … simply priceless. And then there are those who find the jargon so hilarious they struggle to blurt out 'sedate passengers' and 'close orbloop'. Those players suck.
The group I play with truncate the fancy words to communicate the core message. By making our shouts more efficient we sometimes missed what someone else had just said. Given the quickening pace of the game, no matter how hard you try to cheat the system the game will inevitably blow you up.
So if you feel like venting the primedisc I highly recommend Spaceteam. To support the indie developer have a look at their kickstarter.