Review – HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea

When I first got HYPERNOVA:Escape from Hadea I thought, “Oh Cool a unique tower defense plus real time strategy game, that is a pretty neat concept.” However after playing one game (as in start from the beginning to ending of winning) I think it could use some work. The beauty of a lot of tower defense and most RTS games is their speed which is what HYPERNOVA does not have however all is not lost on one of ActaLogic’s first forays into games other than their typical simulators.

HYPERNOVA:Escape from Hadea is a TD+RTS base building game that tries to also use some ideas from Civilization series. You play as a race of aliens who are trying to gather resources in order to escape from a supernova. The goal is to gather the 3 main resources all the while upgrading your towers, buildings and Steller Bridge (that which lets you escape). During this time you must build towers to defend your territory from waves of enemies that spawn from certain nests located around the map. There is also a pretty robust tech tree that progresses as your population grows that lets you upgrade and discover various buildings that help in mid to late game. On top of that there is a poisonous gas (essentially fog of war as a game feature) that you must use purifiers to clear areas out so your buildings don’t get damaged. There is also a system of power relays that must be built out in order to power all your expansion and even those power relays must be connected all the way back to the mother ship

It’s a great concept in theory but when you add in the whole feature of minerals that expire pretty quickly vs needing to build a lot of houses for your population to grow to 100k before you can leave it ends up being entirely too long and tedious. Throw in the difficulty of the waves scaling pretty fast mid game and spawning from multiple locations it becomes not only monotonous but also very frustrating. I do enjoy the idea that the enemy path system takes them along set roads unless your builds are in a patch that they will then go into to attack. It allows for some creative decisions when placing towers and using some terrain to your advantage but that falls straight on its face when they decide to ignore the paths and go straight for another completely separate section of the map because they sense there is a purifier or power relay on the other side.

Each game consists of a new round where you control a race of Scynthians that start on a various place on the Moon of Hadea, Haya. They need to harvest quickly as a supernova threatens their entire solar system and they will die if they don’t build the solar bridge and gather enough population to colonize elsewhere. The Scynthians are a race of bunny like green aliens that talk in a strange Jamaican accent along with the waves of aliens it adds a bit of colorful humor and silly art style. The aesthetics are vibrant in game and it looks fairly good for an indie RTS. You can tell a lot of detail went into the design of each building, unit and terrain as the game feels like a unique style all its own.

However the animations of the Scynthians themselves seem like they are straight out of a college animation class. The soundtrack is fairly catchy all the while not feeling too repetitive in nature, you’ll be playing in a match for quite a while so that is fairly important. My main gripe with the audio is the voice over work. It feels like there wasn’t enough lines written for various tasks so they repeat themselves a whole lot and it gets kind of annoying even 2 hours in of a 10 hour game. On top of that the Jamaican accent is a strange and grating choice to have constantly talking to you.

Overall for a game that was one of Actalogic’s first jump into non-simulator games this is a solid game. It has a unique art style and an interesting system of tower defense and real time strategy base building. That said I think the game’s rounds last far too long and become incredibly frustrating and tedious. Civilization can make an 8+ hour game enjoyable by having a whole lot of variety in research, building, expanding, economics, etc. Trying to make a Tower Defense and a RTS game 10 hours you better have as much if not more variety otherwise it is going to get tiresome fast. Its a fine game for maybe $10-20 but not for any more.

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My name is Trace (Owner/Editor) and I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember. I started reviewing while working on Global Gamecast and Inquisitive Loon and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to make a site for all gamers from people that were just as passionate about games. I'm also a huge Hockey fan, GO STARS!!!!!!