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Hyperspace Delivery Service warps out of early access

These are the voyages of the good ship Rock Paper Spacegun. Our one year mission; to deliver a parcel. After a busy seven months in early access, Hyperspace Delivery Service, a mash-up of every early DOS-era space sim, is out now. Developed by the appropriately spacey sounding Zotnip, it’s part trading sim, part space combat, part Wolfenstein-era FPS and optionally a little bit roguelike. It’s also incredibly nostalgic if you grew up playing games that looked and sounded like this through the tail-end of the ’80s and dawn of the ’90s. Below, a new trailer and some quick thoughts.

The maiden voyage of the RPS, crewed by three Alices, one almost-Alice, one Graham and a Brendy, was a short one. Mainly because I forgot to check how much oxygen we’d need to reach the very first planet on our way to Miridian V. An important lesson, then – if you see any red numbers when plotting your next hyperspace hop, you should stock up on those things before flying. It feels like part and parcel of the game’s obvious early ’90s trappings, and it’s just one part of an interestingly interconnected whole, involving picking up gig work on your way to the big payday.

You need to keep your crew alive, Oregon Trail style. Every member is important, because they all have multiple uses. If you encounter dangerous robots planetside, your science officer might have the advantage of a regenerating shield if sent to deal with them in FPS combat. Likewise, that same scientist could come up with an ingenuous solution to rescue a ship falling out of orbit. While the core of the game is spinning plates and making sure gauges are topped up, there’s action combat for space and land enemies, as well as FTL-like multiple choice story vignettes.

From the little I’ve played so far, there’s an interesting mix of routine, planning and unpredictability here. There’s an Iron Man mode for players that want to treat it like a roguelike, but I’m going to be taking it easy at first. Even on Normal mode, I’m nowhere near reaching Miridian V intact, and I’ve seen aliens mention that there’s more space beyond that, but devoid of stations. Perhaps there’s some secrets to be discovered out in the void.

Hyperspace Delivery Service is out now on Steam and Itch for £6.83/€7.78/$9.49.

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Dominic Tarason

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