App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Like any self-respecting (I swear!) dork, I’ve watched my fair share of Star Trek. Except for that one series with Scott Bakula. The reason I’m bringing all of this to light is because everyone who has enjoyed these shows at some point in their life is familiar with the bizarre techno-babble they use to explain randomly tapping buttons and flipping switches until the crisis at hand is over. And because Spaceteam is a multiplayer iOS game that embodies the nonsensical idea to a hilarious degree.
Spaceteam is designed as an iOS party game, first and foremost. Anywhere from two to four players can jump in and try to survive the hazards of deep space so long as they each have their own device and a copy of the game installed. Once the game is set up and the crew assembled each player is assigned a random control panel with all manner of buttons, switches, dials, and sliders, each with a patently ridiculous but very sci-fi sounding name. Once each round starts a set of instructions will appear on each player’s screen that must be carried out within a certain amount of time. The catch is that these instructions could pertain to any of the two to four active control panels, including their own. “Set the Posi-dock to three!” “Secrete the Autoshaft!” “Itemize bills!” These are only an incredibly tiny sample of the things players will probably end up shouting to each other as their spaceship gets closer and closer to destruction.
As admittedly simplistic as Spaceteam might look in stills, it’s anything but in action. The constant chaos of relaying instructions as well as carrying them out can be difficult enough, but as mistakes are inevitably made or even just for the same of randomness a panel might come loose and start to swing around (don't worry, it can be fixed). Or the console will start to smoke. Or one crewmember will get an asteroid warning and everyone will have to shake their devices to avoid it. Or all of those things at the same time. To call even a single round “hectic” would be putting it mildly, but it’s that incredibly good kind of hectic that leads to a ton of laughs even after several consecutive deaths.
Of course as blatantly fun as Spaceteam may be, it’s got its hang-ups. It doesn’t look like much but that’s not really important for a game like this. However the responsiveness of the controls is important, and a few of the various knobs and dongles have slightly weird hit boxes (mostly the switches) that don’t always register.
I’m really splitting hairs here, though. The short of it is that Spaceteam is an absolutely stupid amount of absolutely stupid fun for any small group of iOS users. Whether they idolize Gene Roddenberry or love satirizing Captain Kirk.