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The Starship Damrey Review (Nintendo 3DS eShop)
Review by 
7.2/10 from 5 user ratings
I boarded The Starship Damrey with all the knowledge of the game the creators wished for me to have. This game does not hold your hand, and it is expected of you to explore and discover on your own. With persistence and a smidge of patience, you will solve the mystery aboard the Starhip Damrey; the problem lies not in the story, but rather how abruptly you will have unraveled this mystery.

This actually bears repeating. I liked the setup the game seemed to be priming me for. The atmosphere is dark, gloomy, and it creates an appropriately isolated environment. The two screens, in fact, create a rather meta experience, because the bottom screen is entirely devoted to your character within the confines of a coffin-like enclosure, and the top screen is your remote view aboard the Damrey itself. In fact, I reclined in the same position my character was in with the lights off while I played the bulk of my original playthrough to heighten the sense of immersion.

Is this the entrance to the Starship Damrey? Exit? YES!

I want the readers to realize that I'm trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible, and I'm going to keep specific comments about the game as limited to the few screenshots that are available; a keen eye would have already divulged all the details I've provided, and I'm not going to go any further into detail regarding plot specifics.

But I digress. Getting back to the game itself. Yes. Great atmosphere. Check. Gameplay is tried-and-true point-and-click goodness. Exploring will yield results, as well as thorough investigation of your surroundings. If you like that sort of gameplay, then you will be happy to jump right in and play...for as long as it lasts.

From your confines, you start out just like your doppleganger in-game: CLUELESS. You don't know who you are or how you got there. Fortunately, you discover rather quickly that you have resources within your grasp that will aid you in answering these questions. Considering the circumstances, it is a good thing that you have these tools at your disposal, or you would be in the middle of a game that would be edged out by a sneeze in a photo-finish. More on that later.

Can an entire game be encapsulated in a screenshot? For The Starship Damrey...maybe?

As you explore the starship meticulously laid out before you (3 whole floors!), you will, of course, encounter obstacles. These obstacles can range from eerie to creepy to somewhat mechanical in nature. All obstacles can be defeated with a careful sweep of your surroundings; I was somewhat disappointed that the obstructions laid out before you were never any more complicated than any typical "brain-teaser" from action games the likes of Resident Evil 4. As you solve these puzzles, you are occasionally treated to some cut-scenes as your remote-controlled problem-solver gallantly makes his way from room to room (I have to mention that one cut-scene in particular made me intentionally laugh out loud; an homage to arguably the greatest science fiction film of all time).

Remember how I said 'more on that later'? Well check this sweet segue out! This brings me to my biggest problem with the game; it's short. Damn short. Shorter than that sentence. So short Peter Dinklage would look down at it. The Starship Damrey would look up to Peter Dinklage and, in jocular fashion, would ask him how the weather was up there, to which Peter Dinklage would reply, after spitting on it's head, that it was raining up here. I've emitted flatulence that has lingered longer than this game. Do you know how westerns would build entire "towns" with facade storefronts? Well those facades would be able to stock The Starship Damrey in bulk and sell it like Costco sells you a half dozen rhinos, because why would you buy just one rhino, right?

I spent $7.99 on The Starship Damrey, and somehow I feel like I didn't get my money's worth. This is in spite of the fact that I really enjoyed the setup. The problem I have, in the end, is that I don't feel like I was sold a gaming experience, but rather like I've been sold a facade of a game with a false storefront. In the end, I expect more from my gaming experiences.

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Posted: 05/18/13, 08:29:12  - Edited by 
 on: 06/20/13, 01:23:42    
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Wow! Bummer. I am really interested in this game, but like how short....30 mins, an hour...how long?

Now, I don't mind short games. Like Gunman Clive on the 3ds, I believe I completed in just over 2 hrs. Of course that game was only a couple bucks.

Hmmm...not sur what to do. I really thought this game would be cool to play cause it seemed like it might be a little different than the typical game.

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 10:16:04
Shorter than Ikachan?

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 11:05:14

@Dark Weres

You'd play Gunman Clive with a different set of expectations than you'd have for an Adventure game. I kind of feel the same way about a title like Ikachan (although I haven't played that one). I don't think I'm particularly adept at titles like these, and I beat it in about 3.5 hours.

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 11:17:11
Hmm, interesting, I guess I'm almost to the end if it's that short, it must not be a very big "starship".

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 21:52:54
I think the game holds you hand too much, actually. They telegraph what you need to do. This is no Toki Tori 2.

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 22:01:57

Yeah, there is nothing in it that really taxes the grey matter. Pretty much everything you need to do is on a straight path, and is separated at most by a few rooms.

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 22:49:48
I thought the game was enjoyable, but I do wish it had felt a bit more unpredictable in terms of gameplay. The first few minutes were awesome, and made me feel a bit like I felt when playing adventure games as a kid, not knowing what to expect, but then the game got formulaic, and that's a real pity.

Posted by 
 on: 05/18/13, 23:03:57
The Guild games are always intriguing, but this one seems like it's not for me.

Eh, I'll probably still buy it when it goes on sale...

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 00:49:39

It'd be worth 4 bucks.

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 01:03:15
I'm stuck again, I don't know where to go! Am I dumb OR what?

Guess I'll just go clickin' around until something happens...

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 02:31:45
Still stuck! Do I just suck? Where do I go after the doctors office? I found some note about combining two different chemicals but my silly robot only has one arm, who builds a robot with just one arm?

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 04:38:47

Well, 3.5 hours doen't sound too bad. I was thinking the game was under an hour, based on your initial post. Honestly, I expect alot of these eshop games only to last around 5 hours or less.

Now, based on what I have been reading about this gsme, I'm thinking on waiting until it goes on sale. I have many, many games on my 3ds or hell even my Wii/Wii U to keep me busy.

Actually, I may end up buying Mutant Mudds. I never paid much attn to this game at first, but recently I have been playing the demo I downloaded when the game was first released & I've really been enjoying the game.

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 05:50:41

Have you found the haphazardly constructed barricade? Look down at its base if you're stuck. The doctor's office tells you how to mix something volatile together. This is the most difficult puzzle of the game.


I think these games are the same price, and you'll get a LOT more mileage out of Mutant Mudds. Plus, its Jools. He's cool.

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 05:52:28  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/13, 05:53:54
Hmm, yeah, I was on the right track, I wanted to to the thing you're suggesting just couldn't get the game to let me do it, there's something I didn't click on. Thanks!

EDIT: Oh man turns out I wasn't clicking on the thing I wanted to click on because I was like 1 tile away and even though the cursor was on it it didn't light up, you have to be *right* up against it so it more than fills the screen... that's kind of a weird flaw because in other parts of the game you can in interact with things that are much further away. Hrmph.

Posted by 
 on: 05/19/13, 06:19:56  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/13, 07:06:53
Well, its biggest drawback was its short length, however, I still loved it! I love games that emphasize atmosphere like this. I loved unraveling the (albeit short) mystery and the backstories of the characters. I enjoyed the creative delivery method (that the review touched on) and I was impressed at the few touches of genuine comedy! (did anyone else get a Short Circuit vibe at times?? ). I was very pleased with the whole "no tutorial/instructions" approach and found the "puzzles" to be juuuuust cloudy enough for me to take a little while figuring them out, yet, I never got truly frustrated or had to resort to randomly clicking everywhere.

Sure, it was a short, but these days, honestly, it's nice to have a bit-sized experience every now and then that actually emphasizes narrative. It's cool to see games demonstrate that one is not mutually exclusive from the other.

I'm very glad about my $8 spent.

Did you guys get all the crew profiles unlocked as well as the Alyssa and Space Leech stories? I think having those really fleshed out the experience.

Posted by 
 on: 05/21/13, 06:10:35
The first part of that comment made me think of Bioshock.

I reckon I would love this game BUT i'm gonna wait for a sale. I don't hate short games, but I feel a little bummed still after buying Little Inferno for almost full price.

Posted by 
 on: 05/21/13, 07:24:56
Haha, you're so right, def Short Circuit, but I never thought of that.

Posted by 
 on: 05/21/13, 13:12:34

Nothing wrong with that. I hope you get to try it out one day!


"[AR7] aliiiiive!!"

Posted by 
 on: 05/21/13, 19:31:16
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