If you ever wondered what it would be like to run something like StarGate, now you get your chance. At least for a little while in this demo of Exogate Initiative. Gameplay-wise it’s a base builder, and I think it could be best compared to Evil Genius, except that are you not hellbent on world domination. Here it’s about catching specimens from far-away worlds, analyzing them, and earning money from the patented research that follows.
In the demo, you get to build barracks, and other necessary facilities to run a research station, and I got to say is it a pretty enjoyable gameplay loop together with the mission aspect of collecting interesting samples. All people working for you come with stats and needs, so they are not some unknown entity that gets you money once in a while, it’s actual people you need to care about. This is a staple of these kinds of games, I guess, but I’m glad nonetheless that they got this right. The same folk you will send on expeditions, and dependent on the danger level of the world you are visiting, lots of stuff can happen.
This leads me to the next thing – there are a lot of different classes of employees. From scientists to soldiers, and while you didn’t get to play with too many in the demo, it showed that there was a lot to unlock. If you are going on a dangerous mission, it might be wise to send a soldier with the crew, or maybe a medic. I got a prompt that said I could have avoided serious injury for one of my researchers if I sent a medic with them. Very interesting stuff for the future in the full game – do you risk leaving without protection for the added research or do you waste a spot?
The graphics and animations look fine, especially for an indie title for this type of game. The avatar of the men and women you hire look a bit goofy, but at least you get nice animations when they interact with their workstations. And that is the important part after all if you are like me and adores the whole ant-farm element of games like this.
The demo ended right before some mysterious things decided to came back with me through the portal – some kind of hostile robots, so I never got to see how the fighting plays out. However, just the fact that it can happen has me intrigued and added another dimension to Exogate. All in all, I enjoyed the demo, and it made me look forward to the full release.
Thanks for reading.