The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Idle games, and specifically “clickers", aren’t for everybody. The genre originated as a commentary on how brainless modern video games had become, but what nobody really expected was that clickers scratched a particular itch in certain people even though the actual act of playing one was about as mindless as it gets. I am proud to say that I am among those who get a kick out of watching progress bars fill up! But I also can completely understand those who don’t enjoy a good clicker or who simply don’t understand what all the fuss is about in the first place.
Spaceplan ($2.99) is a clicker, sure, but it also turns the genre on its head in multiple ways. The game starts you off on a satellite that’s orbiting a planet of some type. Apparently there was some sort of malfunction on your ship as you’ll need to harvest electricity to get various systems up and running again once the game begins. What is the best way to do such a thing on a remote spacecraft? Why, use potatoes of course! Yeah, this game is silly. And weird. And unlike other clickers and idle games, it actually has some very well-written and humorous dialogue. It also has a 40-minute reveal trailer, for some reason.
Once you get rolling in Spaceplan the familiar clicker formula starts to take shape. You’ll start out having to actually click a button to generate your resource, but like most every other clicker, once you start unlocking and upgrading things, the resources start to pour in. You probably know the drill: Unlock one thing, earn more resources, but then the next unlock costs even MORE resources, so you upgrade that other thingy, earn some resources faster, buy the new thing, rinse and repeat. If you don’t already like clickers I’m not sure if Spaceplan will change your mind, however…
As I said Spaceplan does some things a bit differently than other clicker games. One of those things is pretty major and I won’t spoil it here, but the other thing I don’t mind spoiling: This game ends! Most clickers are designed to just scale with your progress forever. Or at least I imagine it’s forever, I typically get bored at some point and eventually move on from the game. Spaceplan has an end, though, and honestly it’s a pretty short experience overall, especially in light of other clickers that last forever. The thing is, the game length doesn’t matter all that much because Spaceplan is just that brilliant. Trust me on this one, I was sad to see it end but the experience will stick with me for a long time.
If you already like clickers, you should definitely pick up Spaceplan. If you don’t, well, this may or may not sway you, but even if you pick it up and end up not enjoying it, at least you’re supporting a developer who is trying to expand a genre in new and interesting ways. And definitely give it a little time to unfold even if it doesn’t grab you right off the bat. Oh, one other thing that’s different about this game compared to others? It’s paid with no IAP. How weird is THAT?