Ever have to clean up space poop because someone couldn’t hold it on the way to the Sun? Well now you can do that and more in Galaxy Pass Station by Galactic Workshop! You manage a bustling space checkpoint, checking passports and creating a welcoming and hospitable place. Can you balance upgrading the station while managing the influx of new arrivals? I’m part way through Galaxy Pass Station and these are my thoughts so far!
The prospect of Galaxy Pass Station had me intrigued. From a glance it looks like an interesting mix of Fallout Shelter and Papers, Please. Unfortunately the two systems don’t work together as well as they should. The colony management part of the game needs you to steadily be providing upgrades and expanding the station, but checking the passes of newcomers requires individual attention. There is a lot of information you must memorize to make sure the passports are correct, and the information varies for each species. Yes, there’s a reference guide you can peek at, but it just adds to the hassle. Personally I could do without the passport checks, but the poor design of Galaxy Pass Station requires you to check them to gain resources. The juxtaposition of checking both the individual and group makes it difficult to focus on either.
The challenge of colony simulations is to stay cool while juggling multiple things at once. What makes gameplay flow is incorporating systems that can be automated once you’ve reached a certain unlock point. In Galaxy Pass Station there are unlock points when some new equipment is received, but there’s no way to purchase more of that equipment. I had a lot of attendees ask for more seating, but there was no way for me to buy more, even though I was flushed with cash to spend. The only way to get more equipment is through the upgrade trees to purchase more upgrades. Getting resources takes time and people because it only comes from the passports. This means that to get a lot of resources you need to get a lot of people to come to your station, but you can only take care of those people once you get resources. It’s a flawed system that has had me stranded on multiple occasions where there wasn’t anyone coming into the station so I couldn’t get more equipment to help the attendees that were already there. It’s possible I missed a menu system or a way to duplicate the equipment I unlocked. The menus are very helpful in explaining what buttons do as you hover over them so it’s difficult to miss anything.
Besides the music, which is this creepy ambient wave of texture that doesn’t fit the jovial silliness of Galaxy Pass Station’s theme, the dialog is also annoying. I’m more specifically referring to the phone calls that interrupt your game constantly, usually with filler information that didn’t need a big announcement. The laboratory calls are the most infuriating. Instead of having a inauspicious red dot above the Laboratory button (what you click to see your upgrade tree), the game calls repeatedly saying they’re out of work and need you to choose an upgrade. It persistently offers measly cheap upgrades and doesn’t know that I’m trying to save up for big upgrades that will boost the functionality of the station.
Overall feelings have been mixed about Galaxy Pass Station, but possibly with a few more playthroughs its charm will start to wear off on me.
Jordan played Galaxy Pass Station on PC with a review key.