SmuggleCraft – Review (PC)
SmuggleCraft is a game in which you design and build your own hovercraft in order to carry out missions for the inhabitants of Dirahl, help undermine the authorities and prove your worth as a top smuggler.
It’s made by Happy Badger Studio and is their first game on Steam. In SmuggleCraft you race across randomnly generated Wastelands that feature plenty of caverns, lakes, mountains, hazards, obstaces and other random delights. It’s got that look about it that plenty of games made in Unity seem to have, very Polygonal but also colourful and stylish, it’s very nice to look at and plays into the general calm serenity of the game.
The core gameplay is essentially speeding to the end as fast as you can. Their are various hooks for each mission, such as transporting someone, taking a package, racing, any stretch of the word smuggling. The basic driving mechanic is quite nice, it feels tight and easy to control, and it has a good sense of speed around it. It’s not the most complicated game in the world by any means, but it doesn’t stop it being fun.
For a game about high speed it has a certain tranquility, it’s quite relaxing to blast through the levels, the music is very quaint but catchy and really complements the title nicely. A great feature of the main campaign is that you are able to upgrade your craft with your winnings from your assignments, changing the body, engine, nose and more. It’s a lovely little feature, and I always enjoy anygame that has customisation as it really encourages progression, especially in a racer.
It has a branching narrative too, depending on what missions you do and how you respond to certain characters, the story will go in different ways. It’s not going to win any awards for storytelling, but it does an effective job of keeping things moving. It’s essentially about your smugglers place in an uprising in an oppressive society, helping to decide the fate and outcome of your world.
Additionally there is a multiplayer mode, both local and online. Unfortunately I can’t review these â€“ I can’t seem to select the online option in the main menu, and the game doesn’t seem to recognise my second controller. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the game or the remote, so I won’t dock it any points. Regardless, I always love to see a game include local multiplayer, so that’s always a plus.
Overall SmuggleCraft is a nice little game, it has a simple objective and kept the scope of what it was trying to achieve small, so that it could do what it wanted to do effectively. Often indie games fall into the trap of trying to do too much with too little, but this game really benefits by doing a few things and doing them well. I think it’s a really fun game and worthy of being in anyone’s Steam library.