Vostok Inc. Review

You know how Pinky and the Brain was all about taking over the world? Well, that’s not thinking big enough. How about owning multiple galaxies and making a huge profit? Just don’t mind how mad the previous owners are about Vostok Inc. doing just that!

Vostok Inc. is what happens when you try to merge an idle/clicker game with a shoot-em-up. As part of Vostok Inc. – the company that is the namesake of the game – you are tasked with heading to different solar systems, building up on them, and wracking in a massive profit. Unfortunately, once you leave the comforts of home (the Sol system), the local leaders aren’t exactly thrilled with what you’re doing and will do everything in their power to stop you.

Which is basically what Sol tried to do anyways, except with different styles of enemies, since that’s how it always goes.

The idle/clicker game side of this comes from the building up on planets, except with travel time between them. You’ll start out with just one building, and as that makes money you’ll be able to buy more. And more. And more. That’s basically how the entire thing goes – travel to planet A, build up, travel to planet B, build up, eventually go back to planet A, upgrade, and so on. As expected the prices go a bit crazy, eventually needing you to get into the Quadrillions (and beyond) of money.

The shoot-em-up side is where this game starts to struggle and barely limp along. When you aren’t in a planet you’ll be able to wander around the system, killing enemies and destroying asteroids. Both of these give you money, although at times they feel like they’re little more than a drop in the bucket. It is a nice way to pass some time though if you’re waiting to get enough money to progress or to get certain upgrades. Well, at least until it starts crashing the game.

While this may be an issue unique to the Vita version of Vostok Inc., I frequently found that the game (or the Vita) could not keep up if you were trying to destroy too many asteroids at once, or if there was too many effects going on at once – which, unfortunately, happens a lot with a good number of the weapons. I ended up getting a fair number of deaths simply due to “game lagged out, shot me into an enemy, and I couldn’t do anything about it”. Yeah, what a nice, fun, fair way to die and lose all your bonuses, right? Well, at least knocked into your escape pod, and if you take any more damage from there THEN you die (losing half of your money).

You can purchase each new Solar System once you complete the boss for the Solar System you’re in.

Speaking of bonuses, there’s two primary ways in which you can get them – Executives and Managers. Both are found randomly throughout the map, more easily found with powerups you can get at the Motherbase. Executives can give you a flat bonus so long as you can keep them happy, and you keep them happy by giving them items you can randomly find (mainly in asteroids). Managers give a flat 3% bonus, but should you get dropped into your escape pod then you will lose all of them. Yeah, it gets really annoying when you gather a good number of Managers and then you just die because your game completely lagged out on you. Did I say annoying? I mean fun! Oh so fun!

The story is mostly forgettable, and you just start to ignore the music after a while. The sounds probably don’t help the massive lag issues that the game has, since having a bunch of rockets hit a bunch of pieces of asteroid all at once sounds like a nightmare.

Vostok Inc. has promise as a nice little game to pick up occasionally, although it’d be nice if there were some sort of “offline” earnings that could happen. Unfortunately, it is not a nice little game to pick up occasionally on the Vita, not unless you like random crashes because the game simply can’t keep up with itself. Some of the later unlocks get to be a lot more grindy, and I still haven’t gotten some of them myself. While the game likely fares a lot better on other systems such as the PS4 or Switch, I simply cannot recommend the game for Vita.

I received the free game as a part of #IGCParty by @IndieGamerChick. All opinions are my own.

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