If you enjoy chaotic co-op cooking games like Overcooked, but wish you could take the action to outer space, then This Means Warp may be your next favorite title. This indie game throws a fresh twist on the cooperative spaceship survival genre by blending elements of popular roguelikes with frantic ship repairs and combat.
In This Means Warp, you and up to three friends (or capable AI bots) jump into the spacesuits of an adorable alien crew. Your mission? Track down and defeat the nasty Norg aliens who just blew up an innocent planet. The norg must pay! Along the way, you’ll blast enemy ships, acquire new gear to upgrade your own bird- and gator-themed OtterPrise, distribute power nodes to improve weapons and speed, and scrape your hull back together when things get messy. With a charming art style, punchy weapons, and the need to constantly scramble from one disaster to the next, This Means Warp delivers a delightful co-op experience like no other.
While the story is fairly bare bones, the real joy comes from working together with your crew. There’s no time to relax as you jump from one randomized encounter to the next. Will you stumble upon a mini game to win loot? Unlock a new crew mate? Or have a brutal battle against pirates? One thing is for sure―you’ll need to communicate and coordinate on the fly to keep your ship in working order. That’s easier said than done! But with persistence and teamwork, you just may save the galaxy after all.
A Hectic Battle Across the Stars
This Means Warp wastes no time throwing you into the action. After a quick tutorial, you’ll helm your ship across a randomized galactic map filled with surprises, tough choices, and most importantly, intense real-time battles against enemy vessels.
The core gameplay loop is simple yet engaging. In combat, you’ll put your multitasking skills to work as you direct a laser barrage toward the opposing ship while simultaneously repairing damage to your own systems. Positioned on either side of your cute bird- or gator-themed ship are two weapons with automatic firing. You can charge these up for a powerful blast, then target specific sections of the enemy ship for maximum destruction. Knock out their weapons to buy yourself more repair time. Breach a wall and vent their crew into space! With an arsenal that spans glowing plasma orbs to raging flamethrowers, you’ll soon settle on a favorite loadout.
The key is to remain calm under pressure and communicate clearly with your crew. While you unload a volley at the enemy engines, your ally can focus on patching holes in your hull. The capable AI allows for great single player action, but coordinating responsibilities with friends is even more rewarding. When you’ve won the skirmish, take a breather to redistribute power nodes that boost offense, defense, or speed stats before jumping into the next random encounter.
Over the course of a run, you’ll unlock game-changing upgrades by acquiring scrap and trading it at stations. Will you invest in an auto-repair bot or an extra weapon slot? The choice is yours. And with a procedural map and events, no two runs feel quite the same. One game you’re defending against pirates and the next you’re playing space poker against smugglers to win a rare piece of tech. Combine that with randomized crew members and gear and you have near endless replay value.
While not excessively complex, the frantic multitasking does mean there is a learning curve. Expect to fail a few times as you familiarize yourself with weapon properties, target priorities, and managing your crew during the chaos. But once comfortable with the systems, This Means Warp becomes an accessible hop-in hop-out co-op delight. The visual feedback makes it easy to see what needs repairs, when weapons are prepped to fire, and where enemies are vulnerable. So rally your friends, assign responsibilities, and embrace the mayhem as you battle your way to the nasty Norg mothership!
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Blast Off Solo or With Friends
When first booting up This Means Warp you may feel overwhelmed navigating the menus, but the game offers plenty of ways to tailor the experience to your style. Whether blasting through space with friends online, gathered around the couch, or even rolling solo, you can fine tune variables like ship, crew, and scenario to keep runs feeling fresh.
In single player, you’ll have AI bots filling any open crew roles. And impressively, they hold their own when it comes to repairs and operating turrets during hectic encounters. But playing co-op, whether locally or online, ushers in a new level of camaraderie and fun. Up to four players can crew a vessel for the ultimate test of teamwork. Friends can also drop in or out seamlessly mid-run in case that pizza delivery shows up.
Before launching into space, the main choice becomes selecting your spacecraft and starting scenario from a list of unlockables. The opening Blitz campaign serves as a solid intro, while the alternating Vanguard and Talon ships provide varying offensive or defensive strengths. Each run then procedurally generates a map based on your difficulty preference, leading to unique encounters that keep you on your toes.
Upon destroying the deadly Norg mothership, a full campaign run can last around 2 hours. But with nine scenarios to explore plus scoring metrics, completionists and score chasers can easily sink 10+ hours. Casual players may tap out earlier, but the accessibility and pick-up-and-play allure should have them returning for short bursts. An in-game meta progression system also rewards repeat runs by unlocking additional starting ships, crew members, and perks. Veterans can even ratchet up the difficulty for grueling, white-knuckle challenges.
While the repetitive nature of roguelikes may eventually dampen excitement, the randomness and requirement for improvisation ensures This Means Warp stays engaging for longer than most multiplayer experiences. Let’s be honest, overcoming space disasters with your best pals never truly gets old! So strap in for a thrilling and chaotic battle across the stars!
A Smooth and Inviting Alien World
Don’t let the co-op chaos fool you – This Means Warp exudes accessibility and charm with its friendly presentation. The visuals may be basic, but they get the job done, using readable shapes and colors to represent everything from flaming wreckage to cute bird pilots. Performance also holds steady across both handheld and docked play without much noticeable slowdown.
The cartoonish aliens and colorful lasers lend well to the family friendly atmosphere. Ships explode into shimmering bricks rather than realistic debris. Defeated crew members even give a little wave while floating helplessly through space waiting for revival. It’s a small touch, but showcases the sheer fun amidst disaster. And while you can blast enemies out the airlock, the experience feels more mischievous than violent.
The synth-heavy soundtrack also leans playful rather than epic. The upbeat tempos match the scrambling urgency of repairs and unloading lasers into enemy hulls. But the score likely won’t stay with you long after powering down. Visual and audio design simply isn’t the focus here. Instead, accessibility takes center stage.
Intuitive menus and straightforward objectives mean new players will be battling space baddies almost instantly. Rather than lengthy tutorials, visual iconography allows for easy recognition of damaged systems and weapon status. Managing your ship and crew then comes down to simple coordination, reducing frustration. The AI even pitches in on tasks when needed, so newcomers can learn the ropes while still contributing.
For a genre known for complexity, This Means Warp skips the spreadsheet stats and overbearing upgrades. The cartoon aesthetic and responsive controls all feed into a welcoming experience where anyone can assist. Load up the ship and soar through vibrant nebula not as Alliance Commander Kelly but instead as Chatty the Crocodile! This accessibility allows the chaotic cooperative gameplay to claim the spotlight. So if you seek an easy to pick up, visually inviting, and fast-paced battle through space, This Means Warp is cleared for liftoff!
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Bump Wings and Work Together
While blasting through space with AI companions works fine, This Means Warp truly shines as a cooperative experience. The frantic scrambling to balance offense, defense, and repairs demands tight teamwork. And that coordination combined with the zany personality makes for an incredibly fun party title.
From the start, clear communication becomes key, as with any great co-op game. Which weapons need reloading? Who can make repairs while shields recharge? And who drew the short straw for evacuation duty once you blast a hole in the enemy’s hull? Sean may prefer gunning down foes with the Vulcan Cannon while Stacy keeps the reactor stable. But when the situation gets dicey, they’ll need to support each other’s roles. This adaptability and synergy leads to smiles, high fives, and victory cheers replacing frustrated silence.
While capable, the AI bots can’t quite capture that human camaraderie. They may effectively repair critical damage and rotate turrets. But only a human gunner can unleash a rapid barrage on the enemy bridge at just the right time. The bots serve their purpose for single player runs, but nothing replaces the spark of playing alongside friends.
Of course, too many cooks in the kitchen, or astronauts in the spaceship, can spoil the fun too. Communication gets harder with four players barking orders and requests. The sweet spot seems to be two or three friends working in harmony. This way you can make meaningful contributions without overlapping responsibilities.
In those ideal runs where everything clicks, This Means Warp becomes transcendent. Seeing your best bud Clayton lock down shotgun duty with the Phase Repeater while you make a last second reactor repair against the Norg commander offers an unmatched rush. Serene focus settles in as you enter a state of flow, working in trust to overcome the odds through cooperation. That’s the true magic of a great co-op experience.
So while you can grab some bots and enjoy This Warp’s zany space battles solo, the game soars when joining forces on the couch or online with friends. Despite the occasional stepped-on-toes or crossed signals among crew, facilitating that harmony of teamwork amidst the chaos will stay etched fondly as you recount the tales of your time aboard the GatorEnterprise.
Expect a Steep Learning Curve
When first soaring through the stars in This Means Warp, you may feel overwhelmed by the chaos. Lasers bombarding your hull, alarms blaring about system damage, crew members screaming for assistance—it’s a lot to juggle. Repair priorities, tactical decisions, cool downs…you’ll likely crash before making much meaningful progress. And that’s OK! This game offers a deliberately steep challenge.
Several key factors affect the difficulty curve. First, solo runs with only AI crew prove far more grueling than playing co-op. Humans can react and coordinate more dynamically when situations require quick improvisation or judgment calls. The number of total crew also changes the complexity equation. Having an extra engineer to keep the shields primed or weapons officer to unleash a barrage makes overcoming certain encounters actually possible.
Of course, familiarity with systems also plays a major role. Learning which ship sections to target, deploying shields pre-emptively, and balancing external chaos with interior repairs takes not just skill but experience. Expect to fail a few campaigns while figuring out effective strategies. But once comfortable multitasking under pressure, you gain the confidence to increase the challenge into punishingly hard difficulties.
And This Means Warp always maintains an element of randomness too. The procedural maps, enemy loadouts, events, and loot drops means luck factors heavily. Sometimes the dice roll against you. Other times they offer an early advantage that snowballs into a decisive run. Still, even unfair losses often inspire jumping right back in rather than frustration.
So buckle up for a rocky start. As you slowly master efficiency, communication, and level-headed crisis management, you’ll watch the chaos transform into a harmonious dance across the stars. What first seemed impossible will soon become standard operating procedure. And someday, legends will tell of the crew that took down an entire Norg armada without even losing their shields, all thanks to hard-fought experience and unbreakable teamwork.
Rough Around the Stars
While the frantic fun takes center stage, This Means Warp does suffer from some minor polish issues that hold back the experience. A little more variety and content would also go a long way to improve replayability. Still, nothing here fully detracts from an otherwise stellar co-op romp.
As with many indie titles on a budget, occasional jankiness creeps into the action. Expect wonky physics when ships collide, weapons clip through objects, or interface icons blink in and out. Controls also sometimes feel unresponsive or laggy, leading to missed repairs or attacks. These technical hiccups seem more amusing than bothersome, but still point to lacking optimizations.
The visual and audio design, while charming, remain pretty one-note as well. Ships, aliens, and environments beg for more flair to stand out or inspire awe. And the bouncy synth soundtrack, while fitting the action, lacks catchiness and fades into background noise. Given the repetitive nature of roguelike progression, more audio-visual variety between runs could really help maintain engagement.
The biggest limiting factor though is a lack of diverse content. While randomization keeps individual runs feeling fresh, after several hours you’ll have seen all there is to offer. More unique enemy types, deadly catastrophes to overcome, and story events could add substantial longevity. What if alien spiders infested your ship and started attacking the crew? Or a black hole threatened to swallow you whole? The foundation begs for more.
Still, issues aside, the sheer fun and mayhem with friends at This Warp’s heart conquers all. Nitpicks shouldn’t deter fans of frenzied co-op experiences or accessibility-focused roguelikes from blasting off. And the developers continue polishing and adding features. So expect an already solid core experience to reach warp speed greatness over time!
Blast Off with Friends
If competitive multiplayer leaves you cold and complex simulations induce stress sweat, then This Means Warp offers a delightful antidote. The colorful characters, frenzied coordination challenges, and ever-changing randomization create wildly entertaining cooperative spaceship madness.
As both an introduction to the genre and a fresh take for veterans, this newcomer soars. The intersections of roguelike progression, real-time ship repairs, and intense laser-filled battles clicks into accessible harmony. While mostly lacking narrative thrust, the charm and personality fill that gap. First impressions even undermine expectations. Simple graphics hide sophisticated systems begging for mastery. Just be prepared to crash a few times before you find your wings.
Some jankiness around the edges coupled with a lack of visual and sonic variety do marginally diminish the experience. Additional biomes to explore, dynamic events, and customization options provide clear paths for meaningful future updates too. But none of those shortcomings curtail the smile-inducing fun already here.
So gather your most cooperative friends (or some capable bots) to embrace the chaos. Continually improve synergy until eventually overcoming the cruelest Norg challenges through hard-fought teamwork. Unleash fearsome weapons across the inky void! Then try it all again when unique conditions completely shift the next run’s strategy. This Means Warp delivers ridiculous co-op pandemonium straight into your heart. Now who’s ready to blast off? Spacesuits on!
This Means Warp
With chaotic co-op battles across randomized galaxies, This Means Warp fires on all cylinders. The straightforward pick-up-and-play accessibility combines with emergent coordination challenges to create frenzied fun ideal for game nights or online sessions with friends. Rough edges and repetitive progression do marginally hold back the experience, but can’t sink an otherwise stellar multiplayer marvel.
- Chaotic and entertaining co-op gameplay that's easy to pick up
- Good blend of real-time ship combat and repairs
- Fun, cartoonish art style full of charm and personality
- Randomized maps, events and loot provide great replayability
- Capable AI bots allow for single player
- Crossplay support across platforms
- Can feel repetitive after extended play
- Lack of visual and audio variety
- Occasional technical hiccups/jankiness
- Co-op not a seamless mix of local and online
- Content feels limited at times with room to expand