Version Reviewed: 2.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Space Bounties Inc.is a game in which players manage their own space bounty hunter company by recruiting, outfitting, and directing teams on various missions throughout the universe. Although this sounds like it could be a management sim of some sort, Space Bounties Inc.is more akin to something like XCOM; though much more streamlined. Although it can feel a little stripped down,Space Bounties Inc.succeeds due to its compelling risk vs. reward elements, specific upgrade and combat options, and sense of challenge.
Players arepresented with a completely blank slate, and must spend cash to decide who to recruit for their team of hunters as well as all of the equipment the hunters will need to be strong enough to take out waves of enemies, and of course the bounty target itself. At first this company-building stuff might pose a challenege to players because of how many options are available, but they'll soon learn what is valuable to them and their playstyle and start ticking off names on their bounty board.
Upon accepting a bounty, players are presented with a combat field in which they take turns fighting waves of enemies. On the final wave, the fugitives reveal themselves for players to either terminate or capture. Characters are relatively static, having only three positions they can move to (front, middle, or back), all of which grant strategic advantages and disadvantages. In addition to positioning, players choose which hunters attack which target, and with which weapon. They can also decide to activate berserk or defense modes for particular characters, which grant trade-offs for offensive and defensive bonuses respectively, and players can also choose to use medical supplies, enhancements, or other gadgets in lieu of attacking.
It's this wealth of combat options that makes Space Bounties Inc.'s combat deeper and more complicated than it initially appears. Although beginners might not always have the capital to afford the items necessary to pursue these options, the further they get in the game the easier it is to enrich their combat options.
Once players have cleared a given bounty, they're rewarded with cash that they can dump back into their company. They can recruit new hunters, replenish supplies, and more. As a persistent experience, players that use an item in combat will have to re-purchase it for use in the future, and this conceit extends to everything they purchase in the game - including bounty hunters. In this way, managing money has its own set of risk vs. reward mechanics since players have to balance the capital it takes to make their hunters survivable with the cost of resupplying and opportunities to buy completely new items or hunters.
Space Bounties Inc. is an interesting little game that unfolds more of its complexity as players earn more money. It has a great sense of challenge and a compelling meta-game that makes it feel somewhat more than the sum of its parts. Because of its sheer number of options and limited resources, Space Bounties Inc.is a game that many players could sink a lot of time into.