Actalogic’s Hypernova: Escape from Hadea might have a mouthful of a name but don’t let that fool you. The game is packed with RTS and tower defense goodness and has an unusual aesthetic to boot.
Hypernova: Escape from Hadea puts players into the role of a commander of a last ditch effort to save an entire alien race from a mass extinction event. To put it quite simply, Hadea’s sun is about to go Hypernova. Supposedly that’s way worse than the usual Supernovas that stars form but the Hadeans aren’t waiting around to find out exactly what will happen when their sun goes “hyper”.
As the commander of the escape plan devised by the Hadean scientists, players are tasked with settling a Hadean expedition on their resource rich moon Haya. Haya has been off limits for a while since it’s infested with dangerous creatures and has a poison gas atmosphere. However, that isn’t enough to stop you since you’ll be able to purify the atmosphere and build a colony of sorts to harvest the required materials necessary to build the Hadean’s great escape device – A Space Bridge/Portal.
Players will take command of a mothership which lands on Haya and will begin construction of a colony. Players will have to place dwellings known as Cribs and supply the Cribs with water and food via Hydrators and Grub Huts. Of course, you’ll also need electricity, so power generators are necessary. Resource collection takes place via Drillers that are built and placed over resource collection sites that are scattered around the map. Defenses will have to be put up too since Haya is crawling with bad things that want to eat you. Tower Defence is the name of the game here so turrets are your go to source of protection. Having some mobile units (Read: Not turrets) like in a standard RTS titles would have been appreciated though.
Hypernova: Escape from Hadea kicks off rather fast explaining the game’s mechanics really quickly but much of this is lost when progress drops to a far more glacial pace within the first hour of gameplay. Soon you’ll find yourself just waiting for your population to grow or for resources to be harvested as you progress through the game. This is mitigated somewhat by the Research/Tech Tree unlocking new buildings and defences that you can place in your colony. The pace never reaches the same speed at which you start off with though and this is a bit of a letdown.
Enemies are also introduced slowly to the player with one type at a time being “discovered” and being thrown at your colony in waves until much later when things get extremely heated and you’re panic deploying turrets to save your dwindling population.
Hypernova: Escape from Hadea encourages exploration and it’s the only way for you to progress further in getting the valuable resources you require to build the space bridge. There is a bit of a snag to exploration however since you’ll have to build Air Purifiers to clear poisonous fog and gas from the environment before you can build and expand your colony. Players that lack patience might find themselves getting bored of the game but those that are into more casual RTS/Tower Defence titles will find a lot of joy to be had in this title. Graphically, the game has an aesthetic that’s colourful and quite eye catching. It’s not going to win any awards for mind blowing graphics but it doesn’t need to because its aesthetic suits its gameplay perfectly. The voice acting is also a stand out feature since it’s filled with humour. The Jamaican accent employed gives Hypernova a character unlike most other games in this genre and makes it rather memorable to be quite honest.
Overall, Hypernova: Escape from Hadea is a decent timesink. It fuses RTS and Tower Defence elements with city building in a simplistic easy to pick up and play manner. Casual gamers will really enjoy the game while the more hardcore will still find some joy in the title’s early game and extreme late game. If you have the patience to sit through the mid-game where things grind to a halt as you explore at a glacial pace, Hypernova: Escape from Hadea will keep you busy for quite a while. The game is not bad at all but it just needs a little extra something to help speed things along. Hopefully a future content patch will address this issue and bring the early/late game fun to the game and make it consistent throughout.