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For: PS Vita   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

Much more than an unpronounceable name

Product: Rymdkapsel | Publisher: Grapefrukt | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Rymdkapsel PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Normally when a video game claims to be 'minimalist', this is a reference to the visuals.

Rymdkapsel, on the other hand, is a truly minimalist game. Everything from the visuals to the gameplay to the goal to the way in which you interact with the world is totally basic.

But don't let that fool you into thinking Rymdkapsel is too simple to bother with - quite the contrary, in fact. This is real-time strategy done very right.


Some sort of spaceship sits lonely in space, with only a couple of crew members to its name. By dragging rooms onto the screen you can build your ship and bolster your crew in preparation for attackers.

Every so often, a wave of enemies will come zipping in from above, ready to fire on your guys. If your entire crew is killed, you lose - it's as simple as that.

Well, no, it's not actually. The enemy waves gets heavier and heavier, so in between attacks you need to be building up resources, hiring more crew members, and creating barracks from which your guys can fight back.

To say that Rymdkapsel is clever is an understatement. Rooms can only be built in Tetris-style shapes, and corridors must stretch between them, meaning you need to really consider how exactly you're spreading your ship out.

There are three types of resources, and different types of rooms and rules for securing each. The only way to truly beat Rymdkapsel is to become one with your workers, throwing them into the appropriate jobs whenever needed.

Evening kap

The interface is perhaps the most impressive element of the game.

To move your guys between jobs you simply drag them left and right into the appropriate job descriptions at the bottom of the screen. Building a new room? Drag it from the top and plop it in place. It all just works perfectly with the gameplay.

Note that there's a goal in Rymdkapsel, although you're not specifically made aware of it. When you finally realise what you're meant to be doing, you experience a real "Ahhhhh!" sort of moment.

Sel sel sel

While Rymdkapsel's minimalist approach makes for gorgeous visuals and a unique approach to gameplay, it can lead to some frustration in your first playthrough.

It isn't hugely obviously how certain elements of the gameplay work, for example, and so you'll end up dying due to factors that you'll feel were beyond your control.

Most notably, it's actually possible to get irretrievably stuck in Rymdkapsel after running out of a certain resource. I learnt this the hard way, and it would have been nice if this potential sticking point had been signposted.

The game is also extremely slow to get going. This is great when you're playing it for the first time, but on subsequent playthroughs it can make for a rather boring initial 20 minutes or so.

Even so, Rymdkapsel is gloriously entertaining, and a novel take on the RTS genre. Whether you like your strategy games or not, you should grab this one.
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 1 August 2013
You might not be able to say 'Rymdkapsel', but its brilliance is clear enough for all to understand
Rate this game >> Average reader score: 
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Aug 2013
Post count:
Mothreja Jay | 11:57 - 2 August 2013
I'm kinda hooked, paying and playing on both android and Vita.

Aug 2013
Post count:
Mothreja Jay | 11:36 - 2 August 2013
The best strategy game on android right after Kingdom Rush.

Everything from it's minimalistic design to strategic gameplay, is pure awesome. Finally a challenging tittle to play.
Jul 2012
Post count:
@RaveofRavendale | 09:25 - 2 August 2013
This comments thread is gold
Nov 2011
Post count:
mr_bez | 23:23 - 1 August 2013
Every review of this that I've read so far of this had made a deal of the "unpronounceable" name. Not sure why games journalists seem to find the idea of pronouncing the "y" as "ee" so challenging.
Feb 2013
Post count:
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 19:28 - 1 August 2013
No Chris, I mean't that the reviewer, Mike was being a little tongue in cheek when he labelled Rymdkapsel unpronounceable. Just like a mantelpiece needs a clock, a review needs a hook.

Hang on. Bad influence? Me? I haven't heard that said about me since my school days. Now I come to think about it, I probably was!
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 18:42 - 1 August 2013
AcesHigh, I think we shouldn't communicate. You seem like a bad influence in these parts.

Btw, I wasn't being sarcastic. Not sure if you meant me or Ross./
Feb 2013
Post count:
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 18:16 - 1 August 2013
Woohoo! Congratulations CC, you pronounced it. Buuuut, didn't quite pick up on the playfully sarcastic vibe. Never mind.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 17:28 - 1 August 2013
Reimed-kapsel. There...it wasn't hard to pronounce, at all.
Feb 2013
Post count:
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 11:52 - 2 June 2013
...and boy am I glad I did..!!

Best PS Mobile title to date? Perhaps Vlambeer (Super Crate Box) may have something to say about that, but you'll get no arguments from me!
Feb 2013
Post count:
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 14:27 - 10 May 2013
Excellent review Mike! Seriously, thanks for such an informative, yet concise overview of Rymdkapsel. I've actually fancied this one since a trailer turned up on SCEE's YouTube channel several weeks ago....and I'm finally grabbing this bad boy right now!
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