By this point it should be obvious that, if you’re going into space, it might be best to take a full battle squadron rather than a single ship. Every single time something goes horribly wrong, resulting in a lonely scramble for survival in the dark reaches between stars. The Starship Damrey is yet another in a long line of starships where something went horribly wrong, leaving you to work your way towards the revelations hidden in its heart.
There are no instructions to Damrey, and it tosses you into its world unprepared. After a few logic problems that get the computer up and running, however, it settles down into a game about controlling a robot through the ship’s two levels, solving a small handful of environmental problems while working out what caused the crew’s unfortunate fate. There’s no obvious reason for the lack of instructions, though, because there are no mysteries in the scenario or Damrey’s control scheme that would warrant it. It takes all of a ten seconds to sort out the robot’s abilities, and the fun of discovering new and unexpected surprises with an upgrade system is completely absent. It’s a bit disingenuous to present the gameplay as a mystery to unravel when, really, it’s just too simple to need explanation.
So the robot trundles its way through the ship, clearing paths by solving obvious puzzles, exterminating the occasional space leech, finding key cards to open previously locked doors, and eventually finishing the story after a couple of short, painless hours. The Starship Damrey isn’t a bad game, but it’s not a good one either. It leaves behind almost no impression of having played, but it’s also not a terrible way to use the short time it takes to complete.
As for the story, that’s told mostly through an info-dump at game’s end, plus the character profiles that unlock as you identify the crew’s remains. You’ll have to back out of the game to the start menu to see this information, but it’s there to fill in the gaps. What’s revealed during gamplay is fairly minimal, little more than a scenario plus a couple of explanatory notes to explain a detail or two along the way. While the final explanation shows that, predictably enough, there’s more going on than meets the eye, it’s more short story than novel. In terms of both story and gameplay it’s hard to find much to recommend about The Starship Damrey, but there’s nothing really wrong with it either. It’s a curiosity, interesting enough while being played, and then it’s over.
Platform: 3DS (eShop)