The Commodore 64 is not known for its turn based strategy games and its a genre that appears to have been neglected in the era of current generation titles. Carl-Henrik Skarstedt and Protovision are looking to change all this with the upcoming release of Space Moguls, a modern day homage to the cult classic M.U.L.E.
Space Moguls allows up to 4 human players to take on the role as participants in a competition that sends out players to a new planet, with minimal supplies, to see who can best take advantage of the planet’s natural resources and build the most wealth. The contestant with the great cash value and rank is determined as the winner.
As we loaded up the preview version of Space Moguls and progressed though the initial character screens it quickly becomes evident that a lot of attention has been paid to the game’s overall presentation. Skarstedt has made sure that Space Moguls can be enjoyed as a single player experience. The preview version of the game allowed us to choose from 4 characters and only one game world but Skarstedt has confirmed that the final release will offer 8 different playable characters and 4 different planets for the game to take place on, each with unique land distribution and item production.
Space Moguls is played across a number of rounds, each of which consists of 4 phases – Land Grant, Development, Production and Trading.
The Land Grant phase is where each player selects the land cell that they wish to develop on. There are 9 different landscapes available for you to choose, each one having unique characteristics as to the type of resource you can extract from it. At times, players will get the opportunity to participate in a land auction which allows the highest bidder to buy an extra land cell.
The Development phase of Space Moguls involves players taking turns to go into Town to prepare for production. You first need to purchase a pre-built Droid, as it will doing resource extracting duties for you, before deciding what equipment you want to outfit your unit with. You need to take care with your selections as you want to ensure that the equipment you choose will be compatible with the selected land terrain. Get this wrong and your production output will suffer, putting you in a disadvantage from the beginning. Once your droid is equipped, you need to walk it out of town and over to your land cell…all within a 40 second time limit.
Note that there is only a limited supply of pre-built droids on offer. Once they run out, you will have to supply your own iron ore, along with cash, to be able to obtain additional droids.
Once each has completed their development preparations , the Production phase begins where you get to see the results of the resources you have deployed. Productivity results can be influenced by random events which can have a good or disastrous effect on your production or upcoming trading opportunities.
When the resource extraction phase has ended, the game will then move on to the trading round where players can trade their produce with each other or buy/sell from the store. This section requires each player to decide as to whether they will be a buyer or seller of a particular resource and then it’s a matter of the supply and demand principle whereby each player sets the price that they are willing to buy or sell a item with a transaction only taking place when a price is agreed upon.
But be aware, don’t get caught out short on any critical supplies. You must have food before going into each round otherwise you will not participate in the production phase and energy is required in order to be able to produce at full capacity.
To conclude a round, the current ranking is shown on screen, based on the amount of cash and assets you have before the game goes on to open up the game world by revealing additional land cells.
You repeat the same game phases for all the remaining rounds and when these have been completed the wealthiest player is declared as the winner.
Space Moguls is set to offer infinite game play variety as each time a game is started the map is procedurally generated, which means a different landscape set out each time.
I had a full week to try out the preview copy of Space Moguls and enjoyed my experience very much. The game is an absorbing experience when playing by yourself with the computer. Space Moguls will be compelling to those who enjoy resource management type games but it should appeal to anyone who would have a casual interest in the genre due to the presentation and accessibility of the game. When played with other human opponents, Space Moguls is sure to be a blast as you try to outwit and outplay your friends in order to win bragging rights.
Space Moguls is definitely a game you want to keep an eye out for. It is set to be released in late 2018 by Protovision. To see more of Space Moguls, make sure you check out the video game show case link below.
Space Moguls game page on Protovision