Epic Astro Story
Space... the final frontier. You never would have thought it was so pixelated out there. Kairosoft takes a crack at a sci-fi simulation with its latest installment to the "Story" series of games. As some of the first intrepid humans to blast off and colonize a new planet, the actions you take help to expand your influence throughout the galaxy. The best way to influence these extraterrestrials is to attract them to your planet like its a tax-free shopping mall. Those aliens literally buy anything you can give them, especially chocolate cake and fine jewels. The aliens' spending habits, the exploration of your planet, and missions of peace to others are the best ways to help your colony prosper. You can't start a colony all by your lonesome so make sure your treat those octopians real well.
As is customary with most Kairosoft games, you get an assistant to help you along in your planetary expansion. You explore your world in hopes of expanding territory for more construction space or possibly meeting aliens in need. The simulation is not limited to just managing your buildings, because scouting out new resources and fighting indigenous baddies to gain more funds is essential to the process, too. All of these actions are done by putting your finger to the touch screen and tapping away at anything you want. Actions that will improve your planet cost a hefty chunk of change so sending your colonists across the galaxy isn't very cost-effective early on. Finding a good balance between the management and exploration is the real challenge built into a sim game like this.
As your colony grows, the need to research better technologies becomes necessary for the advancement of your economy. These tech developments benefits not only your citizens, but the resources you can produce to impress all those curious aliens and equipment for your explorers. Sure, you can attract a lot of tourists if you build enough attractions, but you have to explore your planet or others to recruit new colonists to your cause. Some recruits are made to work the factories while others are natural explorers, but they will follow your orders no matter what. These colonists can become the best in the galaxy, but you have to level them up with more money so they get the boosts they need. The decisions and planning that go into effectively utilizing these colonists are vital to advancing quickly and making loads of space cash.
It's easy to ignore the copy-paste style of gameplay and mechanics from other Kairosoft games when you are fighting evil robots and watching aliens spend money on anything you've got. Not to mention, the addition of an updated combat system from Dungeon Village is a welcome sight. The retro pixel art, characters with pun-filled names, and cutesy alien races keep the Story games a delight to play. Management simulation games are not everyone's cup of Tang, but the casual space action is nice when you have a free minute or two on your hands.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an HTC Evo 4G Android phone. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.