Today we’ll be having a peek at a space station trading game similar to games such as Lemonade Tycoon and other fixed platform trading games. Kaloki Adventure from Ninja Bee, the folks behind some successful XBLA titles, is a deep space station management and trading game based around a young upstart of a protagonist.
You progress through levels by completing tasks against the clock. Each round has a definite time limit to either get enough power together or enough money to complete a story based task. In the beginning the average 10-15 minute time scale is quite easy to deal with but as you progress through the story levels the tasks that you have to complete often leave very little time left.
Managing the station is fairly simple, tap to select an extension or empty slot and you get a context sensitive menu which allows you to either build a new extension, manage a current one or sell it off. Some extensions wear themselves out and need repairing for which you need to build a maintenance shack and prepare some repair drones. The amount of power generated by the station is very little on it’s own and therefore you have to build lots of power extensions to be able to build and power more money generating extensions. There are quite a few types of extension that either sell things like lemonade, enable people to research ‘science’, allow them to commune or provide back to nature experiences. Each extension type also has several different extensions available. When you first start you’re limited to a few basic ones, but more profitable and powerful extensions are unlocked as you progress. Some extensions require you to build pre-cursor extensions following an upgrade path that will be familiar to anyone who’s played an RTS game like Command and Conquer. The game runs at two speeds, real-time and accelerated which is about double time, useful for when all you need to do is generate some cash or you’re in a bit of a hurry.
The story line in the game is pretty rudimentary but is filled with enough humour and humorous characters that it’s quite entertaining. Whether it’s the Boss shouting down at you or your personal advisor who is a dedicated flirt, each of the characters has a unique take on your situation, although none of them apart from your advisor, who handles the tutorial parts of the campaign, are particularly helpful.
Graphically the game is pretty well rendered with nebulas and other astral projections in the background, whilst the station itself is a rotating 3D model on with a series of projections on which each extension is bolted. The extensions themselves are all nicely rendered and animated with lots of moving parts and flashing lights. Visitors arrive in their ships and dock at each extension, whilst their cash transactions are represented by rising dollars. When the extensions get a little worn out or battered they start to smoke and show damage, a nice addition that quickly gives you visual cues as to the condition of the extension without having to go into the menu system an look at it’s health bar.
The sound effects in the game are pretty good too, from the cracks and bangs of the station extensions catching fire to the cha-ching of the cash lining your wallet. The characters each speak in a funny dialect that is translated with subtitles which is quite funny to start but it would have been nice to have some sort of vocals in the game, especially from the main characters. I guess that’s probably quite a lot of programming and storage dedicated to something that’s not exactly necessary though. The game also includes some in-game music which takes the form of big band brass which is pretty fitting to this type of tycoon game. It can get annoying pretty quickly but turning it off in options allows you to play your own music in the background. The game also has an option for some vibration effects for actions like explosions from faulty extensions and other in-game events, giving you a bit more feedback.
Overall, Ninja Bee have a pretty good tycoon type game on their hands with Kaloki Adventure. If you’re into space trading and management games then there’s a lot to love here. From the humorous story lines and characters to the decent animation and loads of extension options, there’s lots to keep you amused. The game even allows you to save your progress manually in one of three save slots, giving you the opportunity to play several different ways and see which one works out before moving on a level. Having played it through, would I spend my own money on it? Yes, although it’s not perfect it’s certainly worth the price of a coffee for the several hours of entertainment it’s given me. So I can safely say, if you like trading games, you should at least try out the free version, there’s a lot to love about Kaloki Adventure.
Kaloki Adventure (App Store Link) and a free trial, Kaloki Free (App Store Link), are available from the App Store for the sale price of $1.99/£1.19. If you enjoy the Kaloki experience Ninja Bee have Kaloki War (App Store Link) and Kaloki Love (App Store Link) also available on the App Store.