Published on March 8th, 2018 | by Lyla Saudi
Summary: Enjoyable survival management game until it becomes a bit repetitive.
In deep space, your research vessel has crash landed on an abandoned planet with most of the crew wiped out. The remaining crew, safe only in their ailing pile of wreckage, must battle brutal
conditions, artic temperatures, and the mysteries of this planet to stay alive, repair the ship and get safely home.
‘Sleepless Clinic’ – a Polish Indie Game developer, have used a great looking art style, along with
moody audio to create an engaging sci-fi atmosphere. ‘Symmetry’ is an easy to operate survival
management game, in which you must scavenge for resources to stay alive whilst investing time in
repairing the ship to get home. But don’t take your eye off those survivors, as the games difficulty is unforgiving you will quickly see your crew working themselves to death if you don’t closely monitor their rest, eating habits, and the planet’s deathly storms.
The game starts with with three survivors, each complete with a randomised set of skills (e.g. power plant repair, horticulturalists, lumberjacks or scavengers). Your goal is to manage the resources available on the planet to help them withstand the desolate and extremely cold environment, whilst fixing their spacecraft to return home. Throughout the game you will balance their needs to eat, rest, and learn new skills, while also keeping the power on and repairing the ship, if you want to get them home safely.
The dim and pastel coloured scenery creates a lonely sense of remoteness as your crew trudge
through the landscape to recover the vital resources. The constant snow and wind help you feel
every one of your brave survivors steps as they battle to stay alive. But above the physical toll, a
mysterious ‘futuristic’ story unfolds through the game, reminding you that on this unknown planet, keeping your crew together mentally is more important than physically.
The game is relatively simplistic, with only a few crew members to operate, only a few resources to
manage, and only a few things to keep balanced. With no tutorial and a few quick deaths in your first games as you work out the strategy required the game becomes fun, and then quickly becomes
repetitive as the mechanics are only simple. Unlike other survival management games, the limited
crew and resources mean there isn’t really that much to keep track of, so will find you often using
the fast-forward button as there really isn’t that much depth to the game play.
The story is pretty cool without being ground-breaking, and is arguably fairly predictable in a sci-fi
setting. But the layer of glitching memories, horror undertones and inevitable death certainly draw
you in and have you rooting for your crew. One problem is that the story is delivered through text
boxes, and I often struggled to read them as I was too busy managing my crew to have time to
absorb them. For example, I had some new crew members turn up throughout the game, and
honestly I wasn’t quite sure where they came from or where they had been.
There are promises of patches from the developers which is encouraging, as to really get hooked the game will need an extra level of resources to keep you challenged. The setting and mood created by the audio and graphics are to be applauded and this experience certainly delivers a neat,
challenging, but somewhat short, survival management game.
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Sleepless Clinic
Available on: Steam, Apple App Store, PS4, XBONE