If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to run your very own gas station in space, then look no further than Cosmo’s Quickstop.
It all starts out with you speaking to your uncle Cosmo, who is truly blessing you with the opportunity to run his interstellar gas station. While it may look like an easy gig, you’ll learn quickly that dodging asteroids, cleaning up “glorp” and dealing with customer demands quickly add up to make Cosmo’s Quickstop a pretty demanding management game.
In Normal mode, Cosmo walks you through what to do for each area. You start off slow: filling up gas tanks, setting up spaceships to get cleaned and stocking your vending machine. It all seems pretty mundane until the lights start flashing, the alarm blares and you’re running to the control center to make sure you avoid oncoming asteroids.
Normal mode is very similar to Cook, Serve, Delicious! in that, as the player, you are managing four docking stations and the needs of the space captains within those ships. There are portals that take you from one side of the station to the other for quick travel, but in Normal mode this isn’t especially needed and I ended up running from station to station because I could do small tasks between to maximize time.
As Cosmo’s Quickstop is currently just a demo, there wasn’t much to do after you played Normal mode a few times. The developers, Big Sir Games, have stated that they will be adding in a lot of fun extras to the gas station: a band to entertain your customers, a makeover station for that alien-on-the-go who needs a new look and a lot more. The layout of the station changes based on how you upgrade it, and since you have a finite amount of space (ha, get it?!) you will need to decide which upgrades to use and when.
As it stands, I ended up spending most of my time in the demo trying to beat my own high score and still had a lot of fun. The music is upbeat and the pacing felt just right. This feels like a game you can sink a lot of time into if you’re competitive and want to keep beating your high score. Cosmo’s Quickstop also offers local co-op, where in split screen mode you can manage the gas station with a friend.
My only qualm with the demo was the Challenge mode. I’m not sure if I encountered a bug, but I was thrown right into the thick of it without a clue as to what to do. The entire layout of the station changed, and there were new demands from the customers that I did not know how to handle. Going into the menu gave me a rundown on what the symbols meant, but some of them were pretty confusing. I realized that the portals must come in handy when giant purple tentacles blocked me from entering one of the docking stations. I felt pretty confident going into it since I had such a blast on Normal mode, but Challenge really put the brakes on that. I’m looking forward to further updates to fix that and also giving it a try on my own. At least in the single player mode no one can make fun of me for only making $86 in a round, like I did the first time in Challenge mode.
All in all, Cosmo’s Quickstop has really great bones. Challenge mode currently leaves a lot to be desired, but Normal mode was very engaging and kept me on my toes. Easing into the game and learning the mechanics felt natural and well-paced, not taking its time but not rushing you through it either. With a 2020 release slated, I’m keeping my hopes high in the sky that they will flesh out the rest of the game and help us reach our dreams of being a gas station tycoon.
You can get the demo for Cosmo’s Quickstop and wishlist the game on Steam, where it will be available for PC.