The Holy Potatoes going into space is likely the best decision they've ever made.
When I played the Holy Potatoes franchise for the first time, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The style seemed a little off the wall and the hook didn't pull me in from the get-go. Man, how naive I was. Those initial impressions took a turn in a whole other direction as I quickly became engaged with the shop management tools provided. In addition, the dialogue was legitimately funny and there was just tons to do. So when I got the chance to jump into the series again, how could I refuse? That being said, this game is completely different from the previous one and adds a new mixture of gameplay mechanics. Luckily, they chose exactly the gameplay loop I could find myself heavily invested in.
Holy Potatoes! We're In Space?! sees you following the trail of grandfather Jiji. In your spaceship, you search for any signs of him after his clash with the evil Eclipse. You certainly don't have to do it alone as a ragtag team of friends are ready to provide assistance. Cassie, Fay, and the rest of the crew bring a lot of humor to the table as you go from galaxy to galaxy. Amidst cute references to hilarious one liners, everything passes you by in a matter of moments. It is those bright spots that you certainly need as Eclipse follows you around any way he can. This is where the gameplay comes into the picture.
Basically, you fight enemy ships as well as manage your own ship. The battles are turn-based and see you exchanging blows back and forth. Depending on your preparation, the results of these battles can certainly vary. What doesn't help is that the weapons are different on every ship, forcing you to adjust on the fly. It took a little while to find my footing with these, but I never felt completely out of my comfort zone. By focusing on weaponry first, enemies will be stopped in their tracks. It will force to pay you for a strong and swift retreat.
Once again though, preparation is the key word here. While managing your ship, there is a ton to keep in mind. You must find chances to use materials, weapons and researching upgrades that benefit you in the long run. In addition, you will need to train your crew and ensure that they can help out on the battlefield. Each character has unique specialties, so it is up to you to make a team that can get the job done. One thing you can't prepare for, however, is some weird difficulty spikes that will throw you off your game.
The galaxies that you search are split up into scenarios. These will see you explore planets, experience cutscenes, and solve various problems. If you manage to do all of your tasks within a certain day cycle, you are free to explore the wider galaxy for a bit. For the majority of my time with the game, however, I really never got to that point. There were a few days left before I had to move out of Eclipse's way. Believe me, you really don’t have a game over screen coming your way. Either way, the campaign felt a little cramped, with just a bit too much going on for my personal liking.
While I'm never completely sold by these games' style at first, I found myself coming around when I start playing. Holy Potatoes! We're In Space?! looks pretty darn great, almost like one of a wacky Saturday morning cartoon. The larger than life characters really complete the picture and make for a wonderful-looking journey. What helps is that the sound and music absolutely rock with fun tunes adding to the overall presentation.
As a package, Holy Potatoes! We're In Space?! doesn't know when to slow down. While I found the experience busy at moments, I can't deny that I had quite a solid time overall. The strategy and management elements are fantastic hooks that kept me glued to the screen for a stupid number of hours. There were some frustrating moments, particularly towards the end of the game, but it always managed to put a smile on my face. Just a lovely thing!