I often play most games by rushing straight in, without regard for the situation at hand. Naturally, this can make things quite tricky, and in a tycoon game such as Interstellar Transport Company, that was not how I should have begun.
Unless you create a custom game and change the starting conditions, you start with $300,000. The goal is to build and keep adding to your transportation business, as well as your resources to create a large company that aids in colonization. I purchased a gate on Earth and a ship for it immediately but quickly ran out of money. My lease on the gate robbed me before I could plan a proper route with my newly acquired spaceship. Interstellar Transport Company is not the type of game where you just sit and wait while doing something because every minute or few minutes you lose money.
Everything is controlled from a free-roaming camera that lets you journey to different systems as you wish. However, you never actually see more than the surface of each planet. The controls are simple and easy to learn — most everything can be done with the mouse alone, and I didn’t need the tutorial to figure them out.
Though the game plays well, I did have some UI issues. Many menus felt cluttered and perhaps too data-laden, though as you play more of the game, the latter starts to be less of a problem only because you understand more of it. Interstellar Transport Company is very overwhelming at first, but what’s important is that the core gameplay is stable and is continually being updated while the game sits in early access. Once it is fully released, I plan to revisit it and see what all has been changed or added.
The art style is about what you would expect for a game involving space exploration, but I like the use of color on both our solar system’s planets, as well as the procedurally generated ones. Even the textures on new planets were interesting, and the ships reminded me of the Alien aesthetic. To get the most out of the game’s art direction, zoom in on the planets and move around the camera when you can. There were some instances where I had to stop and appreciate how nice the light from a system’s sun would look on the planets. For a small game and from a small team, Interstellar Transport Company has some great-looking effects.
The soundtrack consisted of great ambient electronic music and went along with the game well. It reminded me of older space games and had a techno feel to it.
No two games will play the same, whether you choose single or multiplayer. You may start in the same area, but the options available to you from there are plentiful. This adds a tremendous amount of replay value, and if the tycoon style of gameplay matches your tastes, the $19.99 price of admission is more than fair. With the combined variety of ships, planets, systems, spaceports and the like, along with managing your money and loans, this game is a complex one. What’s more is that MT Worlds updates the game constantly and seems devoted to listening to player comments.
In all, I enjoyed my time with this game and plan to spend more time with it in the future.
Interstellar Transport Company is available on Steam.