[Review] 60 Parsecs! – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen
  • Developer: Robot Gentleman
  • Publisher: Robot Gentleman
  • Release Date: 20/12/2019
  • Price: $9.99 / £8.50
  • Review code provided by Robot Gentleman

Intro

The apocalypse is nigh. Who would you save? What gear would you pack? How much food do you hoard? All of these questions were put to anyone who played 60 Seconds! a comedic survival title from Robot Gentleman. If you were fortunate enough to survive in your bunker with scant supplies, you may yet live to embrace new challenges in their latest title, 60 Parsecs! which follows the same premise in the setting of Outer-space.

Gone in 60 Parsecs

60 Parsecs! starts by letting you select a Captain to lead an ill equipped crew on a lone space station. You have brief moments before an alarm starts blaring, indicating a nuclear attack is imminent. Once the alarm starts, you have sixty seconds to gather food, supplies, weapons or crew. As the timer ticks down, whatever you haphazardly tossed into the airlock of the escape pod is all you’ll have at the start of you journey in space. At the end of the counter, the space station explodes along side the Earth. If you’re still rummaging around the station for that one extra can of soup, you’ll meet your demise with everyone else. Assuming you make it into your emergency shuttle, you’ll be faced with the challenge of trying to survive day to day until you can hail a rescue.

Soup, Mmmm Mmmm Good!

Scouring your space station for gear is only the start. Once you make your escape you’ll face random challenges each day. Controlling only a mouse cursor, there is little to manipulate on screen. You’ll continually view the Captain and any survivors you were able to save from the beginning. You’ll assign rations of soup to feed the crew then toggle the ship’s computer with the guidance of a helpful AI. Once you select the computer screen you are presented with a daily problem. Some of these are as simple as saying yes or no. Others require specific items or selecting the best crew member for the job. After you select an option you end the day and await the consequences of your decision.

Luckily there’s a high-tech crafting apparatus on board as well. If you have enough energy and scrap, you can use this to make any lacking items, including spare soup. Last long enough in space and you’ll eventually find a planet to land on. From there you can send a crew member to explore and interact with the “locals” with random effects. Again, you’ll only have the viewpoint of the inside of your shuttle while that happens as you still have the remaining crew to keep alive.

To Soup and Beyond!

Dark comedy is how 60 Parsecs describes itself. This is clearly evident in the graphical display of the poor souls stranded in the tiny shuttle. As more and more days pass, the crew looks more beleaguered than before and reflect the daily events. The men grow 5 o’clock shadows. Bags appear under eyes. Scrapes and cuts show up. The images are certainly comedic even down to the untimely death of anyone on the ship. Their skeletal carcass occupies its seat while the others fight for another day. The music is on point as well. It has an eerie space tone and amplifies the awful situation.

Made the Kessel Run in 60 Parsecs

60 Parsecs! Plays well in both handheld and docked modes. Using the touch screen while in handheld was nice as it made navigating the interior shuttle easier than the mouse cursor which is controlled by the analog stick. The only bugs I ran into that weren’t trying to steal food on the ship were miniscule. Occasionally the sound would clip out during transition screens. 

Final wrap

As much as 60 Parsecs! focuses on surviving and decision making, it really comes down to adequate resource management. The overall gameplay is limited and doesn’t suit long sessions as it can feel repetitive. Random events and alternate modes attempt to shake things up, but too long in the pod, the entertainment starts to wane. Ultimately, 60 Parsecs! Is about making a choice and reading the outcome. It’s engaging for short sessions and worth the trip to the unknown for the price. My kids even got in on the action and we collectively tried to find the best solutions.

Pros

  • Wacky Humor
  • Random Playthroughs
  • Quick Gaming Bursts

Cons

  • Repetitive Gameplay
  • Limited Actions

Verdict
60 Parsecs! retains its zany antics while improving on its predecessor.
3.5/5

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