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The Starship Damrey (3DS): It’s lonely out in space

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The idea of being out in space is inherently both beautiful and terrifying. In many tales set in this environment, the curiosity that drives exploration often turns into complex situations fought with suspense and uncertainty.

Creators Kazuya Asano and Takemaru Abiko capture this essence in the newly released The Starship Damrey, available in the Nintendo eShop, published by LEVEL-5.  LEVEL-5 is already well known to gamer’s familiar with the company’s flagship series, Professor Layton, which gives you some clue that this will be no ordinary adventure.

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It is difficult to describe The Starship Damrey without spoilers, because the very first thing you learn is that “This game contains no tutorials or explanations. Part of the experience is to discover things yourself.” It requires something of a mental shift for a traditional gamer, for the fascination with this game not only sits within the gameplay itself, but within the act of discovery.

The game opens with you aboard the Starship Damrey, as you awaken to find yourself trapped within a deep sleep capsule. The game is designed in such a way that both you, the player, and you, the character, have no idea how you got there, or what is going on. The primary supporting character is a ship AI, whose cold and calculated responses to events aboard the ship are as unsettling as the environment itself.

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After playing through the game, my only wish is that it was longer. I would guess this is a limitation of the nature of downloadable titles. The more I explored the game, the more I found myself wanting to learn more about the ship and her crew.

While this game requires some wit and a keen eye, I would consider this more of a interactive narrative experience. It’s this departure from the norm, that makes this experience stand apart from mainstream games. I’m a sucker for a good narrative experience, and I was not disappointed with The Starship Damrey. Without saying too much, the experience doesn’t exactly end after the credits roll either. Its quite clever.

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The Starship Damrey, from LEVEL-5, is available for the 3DS in the Nintendo eShop for $7.99. Embark on the journey, discover the truth.

Happy Gaming. 

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • Chris Jenkins

    Man, that title keeps catching my eye every time I check to see what’s new in the eShop. May have to finally take the plunge based on your recommendation.

    Also, have you played Infinite Space for the DS? Seems like it’d be right up your alley – hard sci-fi space RPG with deep ship customization options. Pretty hard to come by these days, but worth checking out if you have a chance.

    • I’ll look into Infinite Space, I feel like I may have seen it before, hrm…

      Like I said, I would describe The Starship Damrey as a narrative experience as much as it is a game, there’s something psychologically engaging about having very little pretense for what is going on. My only gripe is that I wish it was longer, or maybe had a sequel or something along those lines to build upon. Definitely try to experience the game with an open mind. Thanks for checking out the review!