New & Improved Milkshake – Vostok Inc.

tl;dr 2.5/10. It’s bad and it should think about what it’s done.

First off, full disclosure, I was given a free code for this game on Switch. Therefore I took the effort to try and be at least a little objective about some parts of this game.

Vostok Inc by Nosebleed Interactive is, at its heart, a clicker game. You do a base thing in order to earn credit, use that to buy a thing that generates credit for you, other types of thing are more expensive, but generate more credit.

Here the base is an ok at best, space themed twin-stick shooter. The things that generate credit are mines, farms, housing, fast food restaurants, news organisations, megachurches, etc. Greed is good, fill every planet (even the gas giant’s somehow) with these buildings. Raping resources everywhere you go in several solar systems. Subdue the native population in the quest for more money. It’s a concept that is so far from my personal politics that it’s hard to understand how I kept going and I’m angry that I gave it so much time.

So why did I keep going? Simple answer. I’m an addict. I get addicted to all sorts of things. Once I start, I have to keep going, no matter how bad the game is. I played through Cookie Clicker about three or four times. I still do not know why. So when I got three hours into Vostok Inc, I saw the signs. I kept telling myself to stop. I was annoyed that I was losing sleep and being late for things. I did not stop until I hit around 20 hours of play and a congratulations screen.

In order to support the base part of the game, you can power up weapons, armour, and abilities for your ship. Weapons range from basic machineguns, beam weapons, rockets, right up to firing off a volley of unicorns. This final option was my weapon of choice for the majority of the game. Powering your ship up will allow you to shoot asteroids better for more money, or make those asteroids worth more. In addition, there’s plenty of enemy ships that can also be blown up for funds. There are some enemies that, if not destroyed within a time limit, will freeze the screen and force you into an arena battle with a number of progressively more and stronger foes.

Each solar system contains the planets, a space station where you can power up your ship, a wormhole to travel between systems, and a boss. In order to make the boss enemy appear, you will need to have a certain amount of money. This led to some frustration towards the end of the game where I was just waiting for numbers to tick over so I could have a fight that I was massively overpowered for (e.g. the final boss, who I killed in under a second). A fight that was less difficult than fighting the general enemies that I’d been killing for the previous hour while drumming up funds to face it.

If shooting space rocks and ships gets tedious, there’s two options. Sit and wait for the money to tick up until you can afford things or play with your executives. Here and there you’ll find these capitalist wasters floating in space. While satisfying, leaving them to starve of oxygen in the void of space does not gain you any bonuses. Since I was angry at myself for wasting my own time playing this game, I felt it best to speed through as fast as possible so I could reach the ultimate goal of uninstalling it. To that end, execs were gathered as they arrived in my vicinity.

Executives will give you bonuses based on how happy they are. Cheer them up by collecting items and playing mini-games in the style of classic LCD handhelds. These range from very basic driving, to a higher or lower game, to an FPS so low res that it felt like playing a weak Doom clone on the on a Casio Fx-7000 series calculator. I never wanted to play any of these games for more than a few minutes so my execs were mostly drunk or coked off their tits and angry throughout my playthrough. Still, I kept collecting the human space flotsam because there was a chance of picking up an investor to gain a temporary bonus boost – think golden cookie in Cookie Clicker, or middle managers who would give a flat 3% bonus. As long as I could keep my ship from blowing up, these managers would sit in their squalid cubicles and make me more money #yaycapitalism =\

Would you like some positives? I do have a couple. I thought about it hard, because I got a free copy so felt I should try and sand off at least one of the corners from this review. Here goes: The graphics are nice, the controls work, and it never crashed on me. That’s not so much polishing a turd, as putting a nicely designed label on a suitably constructed bottle, that can be opened using the tab, but the bottle contains a cold diarrhoea and vomit milkshake (now new and improved, with added herpes sores).

There you go. That’s your lot. I’ve wasted enough of my life on this garbage.
Save yourselves, just like I couldn’t.

Pros:

  • The controls work.
  • It didn’t crash.
  • The graphics aren’t bad

Cons:

  • Pretty much everything else.
  • Addictive in a destructive way, not an “I stayed up all night playing Bust-A-Move 2 and had loads of fun” way.
  • Glamorizes capitalism (won’t someone think of the children, this sick filth shouldn’t be allowed).

Final Score: 2.5/10

Vostok Inc is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Playstation Vita, Xbox One, PC & NVidia Sheield

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