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3 people found the following review helpful:
Just another day on the job..., October 3, 2022
"♫♪♫...tum te dum te dum... ♪♫♪"
While you're waiting for this airlock to cycle open, you take a look at your task-list. "Repair microwave oven. Fix cabinet door." Should be an easy job, getting this crew's living quarters in order before going home. The crew are all in the space station, so you can take all the time you want, you've got this starship all to yourself.
For no reason but my own imagination I thought of the PC in Crash as a middle-aged guy with a two-day stubble and a cigar butt stuck behind his ear, doing this one last job before going home for the night and watching a far-future version of Jeopardy.
Of course, before you've set more than a few steps inside the SS Ugati, all hell breaks loose. The space station explodes behind you, propelling the ship you're on into open space. Darn! Looks like your task-list just got a bit bigger.
A few questions to the ship's computer quickly reveal a backstory of a system-wide rebellion, rivalling factions and opposing planets/moons. I really like this plot dynamic, a normal guy unwillingly thrust into circumstances with far-reaching consequences and no choice but to rise to the challenge.
The protagonist is weakly characterized, making it easy for the player to project herself onto the role or to invent a character of her own liking (the stubbled cigarsmoking guy I mentioned above...)
The build-up of tension is very well-paced, several times raising the stakes and increasing the urgency of the situation. The puzzles follow this arc of tension nicely, with a few simple preliminary obstacles leading up to two more complicated and challenging endgame problems.
All the puzzles are of a mechanical/physical/chemical nature, requiring obtaining and studying information (the ship's computer), and implementing cause-and-effect relations, all the while taking into account the fact that you are in a spaceship.
There is a lot of optional material for those with completionist/optimalizationist tendencies, although doing menial chores while your damaged vessel is hurtling through space does strain the suspenders of disbelief somewhat...
About midgame two NPCs come into play (albeit never personally, you can only talk to them on the comms.) Both are well-defined, they have a definite personal voice. The transition to the endgame requires you to put your trust in one of them. A frustrating dilemma with limited background information, adding to the tension of an already distressing situation.
There is much satisfaction to be found in figuring out the two main puzzles by yourself, perhaps with a nudge from the step-by-step hint system. Do give them a chance before running to the walkthrough.
Great puzzles against a strong but elegantly downplayed backstory.
This is very good.