Set in the distant future against the backdrop of drifting galaxies and luminous planets, your job is to move a variety of renewable energy cells into brightly coloured wormholes where they are sent to Earth to be used as an energy source. With the clock ticking, you aim to move as many as possible, avoiding obstacles and floating asteroids along the way and gaining bonus points for trickier manoeuvres.
At first glance, you may think: how thrilling could sweeping things
into a hole possibly be? Is this just some kind of franticmini-golf set
in space? Happily, Space Keeper’s seemingly one-dimensional gameplay
style is deceptive.
The early levels subtly introduce different ways of scoring more
points, such as joining cells into a lattice or bouncing them off
multipliers but it is key to note that none of these techniques are
mandatory. You could pass through all the levels in under an hour by
doing little more than simply dragging the cells into the wormholes and
if so, you would not notice much of a change in difficulty throughout.
One of the main strengths of the game is that you are able to determine
your own style of playing that is equally valid to any other. If you
wish to chill out, then you can play at a slow, relaxed and
uncomplicated pace, wallowing in the swirling colours and serene ambient
soundtrack. Stubborn completionist? Then the game will put your timing,
precision and co-ordination (You may need both hands!) to the test.
Space Keeper uses the familiar three-star point system, providing a
genuine challenge if you want to grab all three stars in a level. Since
doing this often allows little room for error, you will need to develop a
strategy for each level, especially towards the latter stages. For
example, you may choose to neglect joining cells together to make use of
the multipliers or maybe manoeuvre cells with one hand while fending
off asteroids with the other. It is this need for creativity that keeps
the game fresh and makes success very satisfying. Even when you fail, it
rarely feels as if the game has been unfair. Any frustration will be
directed at yourself, for perhaps missing a shot or getting your tactics
With such a compelling gameplay infrastructure, it then seems a shame
that it ends rather quickly. Sure, it may take some time to get every
star, but there is clearly potential for more ideas and levels to be
added on. On the other hand, it may be for the best that the game does
not risk getting stale and leaves us wanting more.
Labelling Space Keeper as “just sweeping” is like calling Temple Run
“just swiping”. Praise must be given to the developers for creating a
product that is simple and attractive yet rewarding. This is a game that
gives back to you the amount that you put into it.