A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Complete missions, get paid, get a better ship, get better missions.
Positive Role Models
As captain, it's up to you to take care of your crew, successfully manage missions, needs of crew members, and make certain they get along.
Ease of Play
Although some in-game tips, no real tutorial; players thrown into game quickly. But concept easy to understand, simple controls.
Violence & Scariness
Minor violence with spaceships firing at one another; mildly cartoonish.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to nudism being "mandatory" on certain planets; when characters use the bathroom, a black block appears over them, similar to the way The Sims blurs images.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some content takes place in a bar; some stations feature "narcotics," but use not shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cosmonautica is a downloadable space-trading simulation game. Think of it as a space-faring version of The Sims. You put together a crew, try to build a ship that suits their needs, and hope they get along long enough to run trading missions to increase your individual wealth, which leads to bigger and better ships and crews. The game has some tongue-in-cheek references to pop culture and narcotic usage, although nothing is shown. Crew members are hired in a bar, but that's the extent of drinking or drug references. Similarly, though some planets seem to have a "naked-only" requirement, nothing is shown in these locations. Some players may find the game to be somewhat frustrating because there isn't a tutorial, meaning you'll have to experience a lot of trial and error before you fully understand how to best run your ship.
Is It Any Good?
Cosmonautica has a lot of the right elements in place: solid graphics, oddball characters, an interface that's easy to navigate, and nice pacing that makes it an enjoyable ride. The game allows players to recruit the crews of their choice and lets you watch them meander around the ship handling daily tasks, similar to the way The Sims lets players become a voyeur of the lives of other people. You also can adjust work and time-off schedules, but you have to be careful because an overworked crew is a cranky crew. The biggest problem, though, is that Cosmonautica quickly becomes repetitious, driving relentlessly toward the goal of being the biggest, baddest space trader to roam this quadrant of space the game calls home. Plus, once the end game is reached (which takes some time), there's really nowhere to go.
Players can invest in bigger ships and build a nice fleet, but this doesn't take a lot of time away from the game's main thrust: running trade missions. Of course, since you have to traverse the galaxy, players will inevitably run into raiders and pirates, which is why it's wise to invest in good engines and better guns when space and finances allow for it. The flying/space-combat element provides a nice break in the trade and crew-management action; though combat is handled simply, it provides a nice diversion and a more rounded playing experience. Overall, the repetition of trading tasks may limit the game, but it's still somewhat fun, and there are a few chuckles along the way. Cosmonautica doesn't take itself seriously, and that's always refreshing. It just could've been better, especially if it had a bigger sandbox or more dynamic, procedural content.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.