Review: Vostok Inc. (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Review: Vostok Inc. (Switch)

by Michael Brandse

What happens when you give CEO's heavily armed spaceships? Vostok Inc. That's what.

Vostok Inc. is, as the developers themselves aptly described it, what happens if the Wolf of Wall Street took place in space. As the player, you take on the role of a boss of a company, controlling the spaceship that I assume is like your company building. The goal is simple; gather tons of cash or “moolah” as they call it in this game. You do this either by fighting enemies and destroying obstacles in the form of a twin stick shooter, or by going to the various planets and building structures there that automatically collect moolah for you. It feels a bit like Cookie Clicker, with the main difference being that any structure that has been built will automatically generate moolah for you. Any clicking is limited to building structures, which is fortunate, as I cannot imagine having pure Cookie Clicker gameplay would be good for the Joy-Con buttons.

As far as the twin stick shooter gameplay goes, the game is fairly straightforward. You start out with a machine gun type weapon and as you progress, you can buy additional weapon types. Eventually, you can also buy secondary and tertiary weapons, which will allow you to create combination weapons. While I feel that the machine gun type is not all that fun to use, by the time you become able to create combination weapons, the game becomes a ton of fun. I found myself sinking a lot of time in just flying around destroying stuff. 

The game also has a rather dry sense of humor. Everything in Vostok Inc. revolves around capitalism, true to the feel of the Wolf of Wall Street. You will recruit executives who you have to pamper with expensive gifts to keep them happy (all the while the middle management you recruited is working their butts off in small dark cubicles). You will engage in humorous banter with opposition such as robot gangsters and mascot characters who seem to want you dead, all for the sake of profit (and of course always at the expense of the opposition). All while your second in command will praise you for being the best boss ever or making famous one-liners altered to fit the feel of the game.

The game is not perfect however. The biggest weak-point of the game would be its Cookie Clicker elements. As per the original Cookie Clicker, the game starts off slow with the player barely able to earn any moolah at all. In true Cookie Clicker fashion, as you progress further and buy more upgrades, your moolah earning potential increases exponentially. What starts off as hundreds of moolah per second, will eventually turn into millions and billions of moolah per second. Moolah is the game’s most important resource, and all your upgrades except for the basic functionality will have to be bought, often at extremely high prices. What this means is that for the twin stick shooter part the player will be stuck with the initial weapon for a while, which as I mentioned before is not all that fun to use. Another problem is that in order to progress further in the game, the player needs to possess a certain amount of moolah to make the boss appear. The amount is never communicated and especially during the later stages, the required amount is so high the game starts to feel a bit grindy, especially when you consider you also need to spend money on upgrades.

The game’s strong point is easily its humor and the twin stick gameplay. While the Cookie Clicker elements may drag the game down in certain areas, overall the game is still a ton of fun, especially when it gets going. All in all, Vostok Inc. makes for a great game to play in short bursts and feels like a good match for the Switch. If you like twin stick shooters, I would definitely recommend to give this game a try.

Final score: 7.5

(Review code provided by the publisher)

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