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Vostok Inc. Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Vostok Inc. is more about real estate development than shoot 'em up action. While this could have been an interesting new take on the genre, the experience is simply too repetitive for its own good. You're essentially doing the same thing on every planet, and the space combat feels generic and uninspired. Couple this with easy boss fights and long stretches where all you do is wait for the money add up and you're left with an interesting experiment that doesn't quite come together. Rating: 64%
Vostok Inc.
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
You know those videos on YouTube that are supposed to be strangely satisfying? Well, that's how I describe Vostok Inc., the brand new shoot 'em up from developer Nosebleed Interactive. There's something about watching the money in your bank account add up faster than the eye can see that is intoxicating, and knowing that those digits can always speed up made it hard to put down. It's just a shame that the shoot 'em up action isn't nearly as satisfying as watching the fake money pile up.

Vostok Inc. is not like most shooters. At first glance it looks like a variation on that old arcade game Asteroids, but it's so much more than that. You play a corrupt, narcissistic yuppie, out to make as much money as possible. His newest plan is to go from planet to planet mining materials and building his empire, which will eventually take him far beyond our solar system and into uncharted territory.


The game is split into two completely different types of games. On one side we have a straight-forward dual-stick shooter where we fly around the solar system killing aliens and breaking up asteroids for moolah. A lot of the action happens out in the middle of space, but occasionally you'll get ambushed by a wave of tough enemies that trap you in a small, inescapable room. Defeat these enemies and you'll grab loot and moolah, two things you'll need if you want to grow the corporation.

So what do you use the moolah for? That brings us to the other part of the game, which has you establishing a number of businesses on each planet. It starts with you mining for material, which then leads to building farms, power stations, real estate, waste processing plants, pharma labs, shopping malls, fast food restaurants, churches, office buildings and much more. You'll even be able to upgrade these buildings, allowing you to add multipliers to each property based on what else you have in your portfolio.

The important thing is that everything you build will immediately start funneling money into your bank account. The goal is to build and upgrade enough properties in order to make that money add up faster and faster. This allows you to build more expensive businesses that will pay out even more. And to maximize profits, you're going to want to do this on all of the planets. It will eventually get to the point where you're racking up millions, billions and even quadrillions of dollars every single second.

Vostok Inc. (Switch)Click For the Full Picture Archive

A lot of the game revolves around completing simple missions in order to unlock the different kinds of properties, locating the bosses and then using the wormhole to warp to another galaxy and do the whole thing over again. It's amazing how much money (even fake money) can motivate you to keep going, especially when you know how easy it is to go from being a measly quadrillionaire to a guy with a quintillion dollars. Sure, this comes at the price of destroying the environment, exploiting cheap labor, creating unsafe work conditions and generally making life worse for everybody, but who cares what the Martians think?

The thing you have to know about this game is that money is the most important thing. No matter if you're flying through space or docked on one of the many planets, that number is always counting up. If you put the controller down and take a nap, you'll still earn that sweet, sweet cash. And that's part of the problem. It's so tempting to leave the game running while you do the dishes, run errands, feed the pets or work your soul-crushing job. I found that a lot of my playtime was me sitting on the planet watching the money add up, waiting to buy something expensive that will increase my cash flow by a tiny percentage.

But here's the catch: There's no such thing as having enough money. You'll quickly discover that everything starts to cost a lot more the deeper you get. You'll go from creating a mine for only a few dollars to a casino that costs $30 quintillion. And that's just for the first one. The next will run you 35, then 45, then 70 quintillion. It's impossible to stay ahead of the money situation and there's always the feeling that you need to be earning more.

Vostok Inc. (Switch)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The problem is that this loop becomes repetitive after only a couple galaxies. There isn't much variety in what you're doing, since you'll end up laying down the same properties and applying the same upgrades on every single planet. The money earning aspect of the game completely overshadows everything else, especially since the shoot 'em up portions are so bland. I like that each galaxy has its own unique aliens to fight, but there just isn't enough to the combat to keep things interesting. The weapons are boring, the controls are imprecise, the bosses are too easy and the upgrades suck.

This is what ultimately left me disappointed by Vostok Inc. The game is set up as if it wants you to go out and explore the large open world while you wait for the money to add up, but the problem is that there's very little for you to do. For this concept to work, there really needs to be a ton of side quests to take on while the cash accumulates. But instead of going on optional missions, you'll spend most of the game just sitting on a planet wasting time. The balance is all off.

Vostok Inc. is more about real estate development than shoot 'em up action. While this could have been an interesting new take on the genre, the experience is simply too repetitive for its own good. You're essentially doing the same thing on every planet, and the space combat feels generic and uninspired. Couple this with easy boss fights and long stretches where all you do is wait for the money add up and you're left with an interesting experiment that doesn't quite come together.
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