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Space Accident Review

Space Accident is a rather remarkable puzzle solving game set on a large spacecraft, apparently headed for Callisto (notably an accurate target of a future manned mission because it is the only major satellite of Jupiter that isn’t heavily radiated by Jupiter’s harsh radiation belts). The puzzle solving involves mechanics that are fairly basic: directing beams of energy, object positioning, and doorways that vary between allowing the player to pass, objects to pass, beams to pass, or a combination. Though this sounds simple, it becomes very difficult, especially because no clues or hints are given about any of the mechanics.

The graphics in Space Accident are well done, especially considering the price of the game. Everything in the game fits the theme, and the visual effects and performance are surprisingly good. The sounds are pretty good too, but a few may have too high of a dynamic range, for example a low rumbling machine was so low pitched that it caused sound clipping and popping on a bass speaker. There are options in the game, but for some reason the developers did not make the options accessible from the main menu. After starting the game, the options menu came up with the Escape key, including options for remapping the controls, which is very much appreciated. The graphics options did not seem to take effect if altered, which makes it appear that the developers purposely hid the options menu.

The difficulty of Space Accident is quite high for a player that starts the game knowing nothing of any of the mechanics. Through trial and error, these mechanics can be discovered: Switches or platforms that change ‘force’ barriers from one color to another (or open doors); what is allowed to go through when a barrier is blue, yellow, or green; how to direct (and split!) a beam of energy; etc. By solving an area, new areas are unlocked with even more complex puzzles. Although the developers went to great pain to create puzzles that have “one” correct solution, they did not think of every possible situation. It is possible for the player to get into areas in a manner that the developer did not intend, and this can lead to the player being trapped in an area with no way out, except for ending the game.

Space Accident has a back story related to a murdered captain of the ship, which is discovered on various data devices laying around or on some terminals. None of these discovered bits of the story appears to offer up any hints or clues about solving an area, which is a misstep by the developer. The dialog in these data devices is somewhat broken English, but the gist of what is meant is not too difficult to figure out and the story can be pieced together. Many players will be put off by the lack of hints or clues and give up or feel like they have to cheat by watching someone else do it. Don’t feel bad, because just understanding the mechanics is more than half of the battle. The other half is figuring out what actually happened when a platform is triggered or a switch is activated. The developer has created some difficult puzzles and thrown players into them with literally no information. Space Accident is well worth the purchase price and is recommended, but be prepared for “trying everything” and the time that will be used up in the process.

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