When I initially saw the trailer for Space Run I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, it didn't really show much. It just showed a ship shooting other ships. I had no idea what genre this game actually belonged in. Upon playing the game I noticed it was a tower defense title, and a very unique on at that. The result was me being unable to control myself when playing and I played it often.
You play as a runner, and your reputation is growing after every job. Pirates are after your cargo, some are pretty incompetent like Brown Beard the Pirate. Others mean serious business like Robert Black. As a runner, you must transport your cargo as fast as possible without losing any of it as well as making sure you live the entire trip.
The game plays very well despite being so unique. Something I noticed in games that try to be ambitious and different for their genre, a lot is lost in translation from idea to execution. Space Run however, plays like it was designed for this kind of gameplay. It looks and plays like an original game which is rare these days. Here is the basic rundown of Space Run.
You have a ship built out of hexagonal pieces. These enable you to build a variety of chip functionalities such as weapon ordinance and shields. Every level has pirates aiming to take your cargo as well as space hazards such as asteroids. You must strategically place your shield, engines, weapons etc in the right areas and use their special skills to defend your ship against the harshness of space.
Every level has your ship looking differently and the level of strategy is intense. Some cargo saps energy from your weapons while others cause massive explosions if destroyed. There is one set of missions that I despise, they are when you have to take tourists on your ship. Not only are the housing units massive and oddly shaped, but they also need a generator attached to them so they do not get destroyed. These missions have you bypassing stuff like early on weapons and engines for generator building. This is just one example of how Space Run's level variety. Every level has something bigger you have to transport and there will always be more enemies.
After every mission you gain credits to buy upgrades for your ship parts. 5 Staring levels nets you the most money so naturally you want to do that as often as possible. The more reputation you get, the more equipment becomes available.
Space Run is in 100% real time. There is no active pause in this game and this is both a pro and con. The game could benefit from a pausing system so you can plan out ahead of time. At the same time, every TD game has this function and Space Run has been built around this mechanic to work. It does work, but some people may find it to be too challenging or unforgiving. Space Run is also a hotkey fest and you will quickly learn what equipment is where so you can place them faster on your ship.
I would have to say the worst part about Space Run is the replay value and length. It is really short and there is nothing to do once you 5 Star every mission. However, the 15 USD price tag is not too shabby considering you will still get roughly 5 or 6 hours out of the game. The art is great and the banter between characters is witty and rather humorous.
I give Space Run on the PC an 8/10. It is a solid game that brings something new and original to the table for the Tower Defense genre.