Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! remains today as a master class in naming your game so that it stands out on Steam - there is basically nothing about it’s store listing that wouldn’t catch your attention. With excellent reviews and a pretty big following, how do you follow that? What do you do next?
Well, Ivan Moltini from Daylight Studios was at EGX Rezzed with the answer to that: Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!. This time around, instead of running a weapons shop the player is tasked with exploring space and defeating the evil cats in a game reminiscent of FTL: Faster Than Light. There’s less focus on tactics in favour of a more laid back play style, and the whole game has a lighter tone than FTL because of the Holy Potatoes! humour.
The core gameplay loop consists of you visiting a planet and having three random encounters. These are either a peaceful encounter, where you are given options to choose from, or a fight. The peaceful encounters could get you resources or even a new character - in the demo I played the RNG was with me and I was able to get a new potato who was supposedly legendary. Unlike FTL, you start with a full complement of potatoes in your crew so I had to fire someone.
The combat is turn-based, and works on an action point system. Doing anything costs points, so you have to choose carefully. Fortunately, any left-over action points carry over to the next turn. When an enemy is almost destroyed, they will attempt to surrender. Here, you get the choice to accept their surrender, ending the fight immediately and taking some of their inventory, or destroying them and getting more. This isn’t always easy though, as the enemy will attempt to run and if you don’t destroy them before they escape you’ll get nothing.
The humour has copied over rather well: all of the crew members have potato pun names and there was a wide variety of cat and potato puns in the dialogue. This all adds up to make a really enjoyable tactical space game, not quite as punishing as FTL but with its own level of depth and intrigue. I’m interested in seeing how the difficulty increases throughout the game, partly because I found what I played very easy - though this could just be because it was an event demo and I had a developer in my ear. Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! is available on Steam now.