Episodic game releases are tricky business. From a developer’s standpoint, it makes a lot of sense, and can even be a necessity. Perhaps you run out of resources and need to release a “part 1" of your dream game in order to drum up the funds to finish the rest. Or maybe that “part 1" gets so soundly rejected you scrap making the game altogether, and only wasted a little bit of time and money on making that initial slice compared to making an entire game upfront. And often when a game is released episodically the development of the remaining episodes is actually steered based on the feedback from players of the early episodes, which I think is really cool. But as a consumer, episodic releases can be really scary. I mean nobody wants to pay for a game that never gets finished, right? And we’ve all had games that we’ve loved that never receive their promised updates or new content, especially on mobile. There’s a certain risk in buying into an episodic game before all its episodes are released.
That was most certainly the feeling when developer Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth ($4.99) back in March of 2017. The game was a fantastic mashup of matching mechanics and strategy RPG, and its gameplay, presentation, and story all had players howling at the moon with enjoyment. The only problem was that it released as just the first episode in a planned four part story, and that first episode was both rather short and ended on a major story cliffhanger. If more episodes didn’t come, how could we even go on in life!? Thankfully Robot Circus was already underway with the second episode, which came out in August of 2017, about five months after the initial launch of the game. The third episode took quite a bit longer and didn’t arrive until December of 2018, a year and nine months after the initial launch. And today, about two years and seven months since the original launch, the fourth and final episode has finally arrived, thus completing the Ticket to Earth saga.
I haven’t had a chance to sit down and see how everything plays out in this final episode, but even before this point Ticket to Earth was one of my most favorite games on mobile and an easy recommendation even in its unfinished state. There’s just not much like this out there, which is why we chose it as our Game of the Week way back when it released. I’m thrilled to see that Robot Circus has finished it off, and if this the first you’ve heard of Ticket to Earth I strongly suggest jumping in now that the game is complete, and if you’re an existing fan then your patience has finally paid off as you can now complete this epic sci-fi experience.