A colorful, tech-savvy strategy game, Hypernova: Escape From Hadea is a quest to forge a new civilization on an unexplored world. You must help the Scynthian alien race explore and colonize the hostile moon of Haya, as their original home planet Haldea is in grave danger of being destroyed by the nearby star Naidira. An entertaining combination of tower defense, environmental planning, and zany game design, Hypernova quickly draws you in and holds your interest.
The main objective of the game is to build living structures for Synthians and then grow the population as much as possible, all while defending your settlement from various monsters. In my opinion, the aspect of this game that differentiates it from other strategy defense games is the level of technical detail that permeates through the entire building process. For example, every single structure, whether it be a turret or armory or relay power station, is made using 3-D printing, and you can watch the entire printing process take place on screen. Also, one of the most important buildings is the Techshroom, or the research facility, which allows you to trade the raw minerals that you mine on the moon for upgraded living facilities and weapons. The Scynthians are clearly an advanced technological species, and it is fun seeing current human technological breakthroughs like 3-D printing and research being implemented in a science fiction video game.
Another important detail is that your energy level (and, therefore, the amount of things you can build) is capped at a certain amount, and the population must reach a certain number before that energy level increases. This motivates you to manage your energy extremely efficiently and sometimes forces you to make tough decisions between military strength and more housing space. Moreover, the entire moon is covered in poisonous fog, so you must save energy to build power stations and gas purifiers in order to expand territorially. Location is everything, and to succeed you must exercise careful planning and perceptive judgement. I noticed that I really utilized my analytical thinking skills when playing Hypernova, more than I usually do when playing many other video games. One decision can completely throw you off, but the high stakes adds to the excitement and “realness” of the game.
There were very few features of the game that were frustrating, but one was the restrictiveness of the map itself. Buildings can only be placed on flat surfaces, which do not include the tan-colored paths that monsters travel on (pictured below). And as I mentioned previously, building placement is of the most vital importance—some buildings only work if they are in range of each other, and almost everything needs to be guarded by turrets. Subsequently, it was fairly difficult trying to fit everything into the same small area. Another thing was the slightly vague nature of the game tutorials, which provide you only with the most basic of directions. Everything else you have to figure out by yourself, including where all of the minerals are hidden—and trust me, that can be a considerably tough task when everything is obscured by thick purple fog. On the other hand, neither of these things are actual complaints about the game itself, but merely the more challenging aspects of it. In fact, it is probable that Hypernova would be nowhere near as interesting or fun if they did not exist.
All in all, Hypernova: Escape From Hadea is a smart game, and it drives you to use your own intelligence and brainpower. The power of technology is emphasized, but so is responsible resource management, which I think is a valuable skill to know in today’s world. That, coupled with impressive graphics, makes this game one of a kind.
Watch the HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea Trailer:
Hypernovia: Escape from Hadea launches tomorrow, September 6, 2017 for PC on Steam.