When it boils down to it, money is everything. Money is what makes the world go round as well as makes the impossible a reality. This is most especially true in space exploration. We see space as a massive venture for discovering new worlds and opening new chapters that explain the very fabric of human existence. However, as is inevitable in human nature, it is another place of conquest and an opportunity for financial greed.
This is the world of Vostok Inc a hybrid twin-stick shooter space exploration and resource building game from UK-based Nosebleed Interactive and from Badlands Publishing. With its unique premise on getting filthy rich in the cold vacuum of space, and set to an 80s background of neon colors and synthesizers I was very intrigued to see where Vostok Inc could go and I’m pleased to say that Vostok Inc is a wonderful Indie game that anyone can play as well as become very addicted to.
Vostok Inc has you as the boss of Vostok Inc, the newest greediest Wall Street company this side of the solar system. Your objective is simply to obtain all of the Moolah available and to become the most powerful Mogul Across the Universe. To do this you will pilot a special combat yacht capable of firing weapons while also exploring the galaxy.
The yacht acts as your base of operations that can literally go anywhere while also being able to deploy manufacturing facilities as well as housing your employees. Along the way, players will encounter rival bosses from other companies determined to derail and ultimately ruin your intergalactic Wall Street operation. Using your mother base space station, space yacht and your Wall Street insider, Jimmy, you will attain supreme power through the use of acquiring moolah.
Whether it’s destroying enemies, mining asteroids, or building facilities on other planets, you will earn moolah. The moolah will allow you to upgrade your enterprise. Whether it is the weapons on your ship or the facilities you build, moolah is everything in Vostok Inc. With those basics players are free to do whatever it is they want.
One striking thing about Vostok Inc is that it becomes a very addictive gameplay experience. The sense of constant reward drives players to continuously hunt down new ways to earn moolah while also constantly discovering other enemies and objects to which can be defeated for moolah.
Over time, players will start to observe their bank account constantly increasing. For me, this led to the sensation of doing more things to earn more moolah. This kind of reward sensation is something I constantly find in games like Far Cry 4. It makes Vostok Inc hard to put down.
With the moolah, players will be building upgrades to their facilities and acquiring ship upgrades. When it comes to enemies, players will be encountering a variety of ships that are constantly teleporting from small vessels to interstellar cruisers, all the way to huge, system ending boss fights.
These enemies will be difficult to attack but once you upgrade your vessel they’ll become easier to handle. At times, the screen will lock and you’ll be in an arena-style setting facing a certain amount of enemies. These will become rather tricky to defeat as the enemy types are random. However, if you survive, you get a really big payout of Moolah, making the risk worth it. If the player is defeated, the yacht will detach an escape pod and allow you to make your way back to the mother base. However, if you lose your main ship, and escape with a pod, you will lose employees.
Scattered throughout the solar system at random intervals are managers and consultants. These individuals will help build perks for your bottom line so collecting them is essential to helping you make more money. You’ll also acquire new managers and employees that will allow you to have more permanent stocks. Housing them in your ship will help you but it also provides another challenge and that is to keep them happy. Through defeating enemies and asteroids you’ll be able to acquire more items to make them happy.
When players have enough money they will be able to build facilities across any planet in the solar system. These facilities include mines, schools, pharmacies, malls, waste dumps, and all sorts of perfect examples of capital investment and production. Using your Wall Street greed you’ll be able to turn these facilities into mass production lots that are constantly turning out moolah, allowing you to upgrade your yacht craft and other attributes.
Overall the game is a lot of fun to play, and constantly rewarding. It becomes quite addicting to seize control of a planet and manage to build your mines and facilities across the surface. Between the bosses, dozens of enemies, weapon mixing, a synthwave soundtrack, and aggressively using capitalism across foreign solar systems, Vostok Inc truly becomes a dynamic, unique action and management game.
There are a few setbacks with Vostok Inc I would have liked to see added in. I feel that the game could have built upon the existing ideas. For example, the enemy tries to attack your yacht but they never try to attack your planets or derail your expansion operations. It would have been nice to see if they try to destroy any operation on your planet and maybe have something along the lines of a missile defense or asteroids styled minigame to defend your assets and prevent a complete takeover from some of the mafia’s in corporate interest that try to take you down.
Ultimately Vostok Inc is definitely a very memorable Indie Gem of 2017. I really enjoyed the visual styles present with the world as well as its unique ideas and gameplay mechanics. From its twin-stick shmup mechanics to its base building features which constantly reward the player all the way to the rocking soundtrack and presentation Vostok Inc is a lot of fun to play in makes it really fun to be the real Wolf of Wall Street in space.