With the arrival of platforms like YouTube, content creation has become a viable way to make a living. The amount of content on it is seemingly limitless with a range of variety to match. There are many creators who put so much time and effort into making quality content, sometimes as a hobby and other times as a career. You get the chance to walk the line between the two with Next Space Rebels by Studio Floris Kaayk. By making rockets and videos, you’ll capture the attention of the internet, engineers, and even an activist movement as you make decisions over what kind of channel you’ll want to be.
Becoming A Rocket Star
Many people are struggling to try to make a name for themselves on the internet and this serves as a core theme in Next Space Rebels. You play as a faceless content creator who has decided to make a channel on a platform called ‘StarTube’. After being inspired by the channel ‘Rocketgirl’, you decide to devote your channel to the building and launching of rockets. You’ll be at the whim of whatever resources you can get your hands on as you aim to build rockets that not only look interesting but will hopefully fly far and high. If the motivation here is to get a lot of attention, building rockets is a pretty cool and effective way to do it.
A Sound Formula
When it comes to rocket science, calculations have to be very precise and well-thought to ensure safety and success. The design formula that Next Space Rebels is using has some promising results. The first one is the level of immersion. There’s no in-game avatar representing a character, but rather you ARE the character directly using the game’s interface. A lot of effort has gone into an accurate and realistic depiction of a YouTube-like platform along with a chat, banking, and design screen.
Speaking of design, the tool software which is used in-game to build the rockets works quite well. It’s akin to programs like Photoshop and MS Paint and allows you to easily put pieces together for quick building. The amusing thing is that the rocket’s structure follows the rule that as long as pieces are touching one another, it will be a complete model. The chat screen gives you a lot of different avenues for obtaining parts so you can make whatever crazy contraption comes to mind.
The goal of the game is to create videos of your launches so that you can get more attention and by extension more contributors to your efforts. The way to achieve this is by undertaking challenges that people will send via message. They can be quite varied from creating a simple fireworks show to trying to launch a creepy statue as high as you can. Some may appear easy, but the difficulty lies in actually combining the right pieces in the right way to even come close to beating them.
Even though Next Space Rebels makes it look easy, building a rocket is anything but. Just one wrong variable or factor is out of place and the best you can hope for is that it simply won’t launch. The amount of interaction and gameplay variety is something that’s out of place. Though you’ll be greeted with many convincing videos with entertaining actors, your main form of talking with characters is through chat messaging. It helps the immersion but reduces characters to generic avatars. When you’re not messaging, the only real thing you can do is just mess with the design tool.
Returning to the tool, it’s definitely lacking some form of a preview function. It’s cool to watch the tool get updated and become more advanced, but much of the designing comes down to trial and error. You have some data on the side to give you a vague idea, but you won’t actually know how your rocket will fare until you launch it. This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but the amount of times you’ll need to go back and forth through multiple UI screens between launches does get annoying.
This also comes through in how challenges are arranged. You’ll get challenges frequently, often after posting a video and they’ll quickly fill up your list. This will give you plenty to do, but you’ll have to do it slowly. You can only do challenges one-by-one when their details should allow you to knock out several with a single launch. Also, don’t expect to get retroactive credit for completing a challenge before it has actually been assigned to you.
Blasting Off Again And Again!
Next Space Rebels is a YouTube-like simulator where you design rockets and make videos of your launches. It’s very accurate to its source material and functions quite well as a hobby with plenty of tasks to keep you busy. Despite quality videos, characters and interaction fall flat with a design tool guessing game and tedious challenge completing are a clog in the engine. Despite all this, there’s fun to be had in building a way for a teddy bear to reach the stars.
TechRaptor reviewed Next Space Rebels on Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.
- A faithful recreation of a video platform with associated apps to increase immersion
- A fun and easy-to-learn design tool that gives you lots of freedom
- Challenges left and right so you'll always have something to do
- Limited interaction with characters that are nothing more than words on a screen
- The design tool can be too simple lacking in previews and accurate conveyance
- Challenges are completed slowly with lots of interruptions between videos