Review: Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!

Review: Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!

Space may be the final frontier, but sci-fi parodies are often the funniest frontier. From Star Wars to PokémonHoly Potatoes! We’re in Space?! has it all! And when you’re not busy laughing at references (or Googling the ones you don’t get), you’ll have a spaceship to captain, ships to blow up, weapon parts to scavenge and rebuild, crew to hire and train, upgrades to research, and a massively OP bounty hunter to evade in your mission to find your grandfather.

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is a sci-fi romp through (you guessed it) space with turn-based battles, random events, a ship to manage and upgrade, and numerous parody-based chapters.

Title: Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!
Developer: Daylight Studios
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Game Version: Final
Review Copy: Provided by publisher
Interface: Handheld Switch console
Available on Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PlayStation 4, iOS, and Steam (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Play as sisters Cassie and Fay as they scour dozens of planets in a dynamic universe for their beloved grandfather, Jiji! Follow them on their quest and experience an engaging and ever-changing storyline with a diverse cast of lovable, anthropomorphic vegetables, which include some familiar faces!

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! features tactical, turn-based combat and a variety of weird and wacky weapons, each with special effects that can be used to turn the tide in battle! Ever wanted to maul your enemies with a horde of kittens? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you hated vegetables as a kid, this game is for you!

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is a space sim with a light story that strings together numerous wild chapters. While the overall goal of the game is finding Cassie and Fay’s grandfather Jiji, your rapid jumping around galaxies throws you into all sorts of wild adventures. There’s a seriously powerful Eclipse bounty hunter after you, so you have a limited number of sols (days) in each galaxy before you have to warp to another one, and before you can warp you’ll need to help explore an Indiana Jones-esque space-tomb, defeat a Cthulhu-inspired boss baddie, or any number of wacky things.

In your journey throughout various galaxies, you’ll spend your time between various activities in an addictive gameplay loop. There are planets to explore, weapons to build, unique items to collect, $tarch to earn, and a slew of random events to roll the dice on. You’ll manage your crew aboard your scrappy ship, buy and sell at the hub, and fly off to explore planets for resources, loot, and cold, hard $tarch. Oh, and you’ll also be going up against other ships one-on-one, of course.

Exploration was the best part of the game for me. You fly in close to a planet and you’re presented with 1-6 random events and/or enemies. The events each require a choice, and they range from easy choices like helping an elderly edible (what these living foodstuffs are referred to) to difficult ones like whether you want to take a mysterious box on board to see what’s inside or how to deal with an Eclipse blockade. These can earn you $tarch or loot, hurt your ship, or even lead to a huge optional boss.

Then there’s the combat. The thing I’ve discovered about most RPG games over the years it that I often love the stories, and I love watching my characters grow more powerful, but turn-based battles are generally sooooooooooo boring! I’ve been playing turn-based RPGs since before I was 10 years old with the original Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) games on NES, and somewhere between then and now I’ve grown very tired of them. Sure some games mix things up a bit, but when it comes down to it, many RPG games are still 80% turn-based battles with minimal input required.

So you can understand what a surprise it was that I didn’t feel bored with the combat in Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!. Sure there were battles I completed without any real thought involved, and yeah, I may have put the auto-fight option to use sometimes. But for the most part, there’s an intriguing blend of strategy and risk/reward involved in each battle. The best way to earn powerful weapons, and the only way to earn special weapons, is through combat: each time you win a battle, you get a part of one of the weapons you destroyed that can be rebuilt for your own use. Enemies typically have four weapons, though, so there’s a balance between wanting to get a weapon and risking taking the enemy out while it still has most of its weapons left. This is especially true when you consider that your own hull doesn’t get healed until you return to the space hub, that your weapons don’t heal until the exploration is entirely completed, and that if one of your weapons is destroyed and isn’t somehow repaired before the battle ends, it’s gone for good!

This creates a really cool cycle of running around, earning money and weapon parts, crafting weapon parts, and then selling extra ones to buy ship upgrades. If Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! was a standard RPG I would’ve grinded out the best possible weapons in the first galaxy, but the addition of a limited number of turns in each galaxy means that there’s a strategy to it. When you craft a weapon, it can also be graded from C to SS, so getting just one weapon part of each type isn’t enough at all. You’ll also want to keep all sorts of weapons in your inventory since they each use varying amounts of energy, do different amounts of damage, and have all sorts of effects. I got super lucky in my playthrough and ended up with an SS-rated weapon that stole $tarch from enemies, so I was able to do extra damage AND earn lots of money quicker. Because of the randomness of the game, I have no doubt that each subsequent playthrough would lead to a different crew, different weapons, and different perks and bonuses for the ship.

Sadly, the replayability is both the biggest blessing and curse to the game. As of this review, there’s no New Game+ mode on the Switch version, and the last I’m seeing of it being mentioned on Steam was back in 2016. There are loads of random events, and there’s supposedly even a secret ending to chase, but starting a new game deletes your old save. I spent a good 15-20 hours with the game – I forgot to pay attention, but I played the game for two weeks – and I would absolutely dive right back in if there was a New Game+ of any sort. Heck, I might do it anyway, but it’s scary to think that if they DO add NG+ and I delete my save to start over, I’ll have lost that progress.

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is an easy recommendation for anyone who likes games with humor, RPGs, sci-fi parodies, or roaming around the universe blowing stuff up and hunting for loot while upgrading all sorts of things. New Game+ would be a terrific addition, but even without it, it’s a load of fun and easily worth snagging a copy of.

 

Have your say!

1 0