Shooting Bills in Vostok Inc.

Someday, Elon Musk is going to be infected by some martian space virus and two things are going to happen. Firstly, we are all going to become employees of the world-ruling Musk Corp. and secondly, Vostok Inc. is going to become a playable documentary.
Pew Pew Pew

In Vostok Inc., you play as the CEO of Vostok Inc., a large business which has just started operations in asteroid and planetary mining. Controlling your executive luxury yacht, you must raise capital to expand your business empire. At the start, you collect these funds by destroying asteroids around the solar system, as well as destroying the ships of UFO, the resident government of the solar system. Once you have collected some money, you can travel to any planet in the solar system (yes, Pluto is still a planet in this — viva la Pluto!) and start constructing buildings on them.

To go boldly!

In the vein of Cookie Clicker and the clicker genre in general, these structures generate currency (Moolah) over time. You start off with mines and progress through farms, fast food joints, schools and casinos, each costing more Moolah to construct but with much higher outputs, as would be expected. Additional copies of buildings can be constructed, with a linear increase in output and an exponential increase in cost.

You control your little executive luxury yacht thing twin-sticks style, the left stick moving your ship and the right firing off your weapons in a chosen direction. You have a range of weapons, which can be assembled from various components. Starting off with a machine gun, you can fill up to three slots with machine guns, missiles and laser beams to make customised weapons: everything from shotguns, weird tractor beam death rays to ‘Laser Unicorn attack squads’.

Its like tamagotchi but for incredibly powerful people! I call it, Execu-gotchi!

Whilst running your large interstellar company, you find various managers floating in space for you to rescue. There are several different classes of managers, which each give various bonuses to your company. Middle managers give a flat 3% bonus to your income, helping your planets run that much more smoothly. Executives chill about on your ship and, depending on how many luxury goods (which you get from asteroids and mini games) you have, give you anywhere from 0% to 11% bonuses. Investors double your current funds and consultants give you a 777% bonus for forty-five seconds, which gives you mega money!

While your super-duper-comfy space plane may be swish and cool early on, it sure does get boring quickly. At your home spaceport in each system you can purchase a pile of upgrades to your ship and your minimap. Ship upgrades range from the standard (more health, more efficient boosting, more money from asteroids) to the weird (the ability to slow down time, explosive exhaust). Meanwhile, minimap upgrades upgrade the radar in the bottom corner of your screen with a variety of utilities, like showing enemy size or asteroids, but also unlocks later game content, like marking managers floating in space on your map. Upgrades, as with buildings, get more expensive, with some locked away from the start with very expensive entry prices to create a flow in the game.

Money makes the solar system go round

Jimmy is the absolute worst. Jimmy is your personal assistant. He provides you with tutorials, tips and general world-building. While he is good for teaching you concepts early on, advancing the story and making the game a little more interesting, his limited number of lines and the chimera of his pop culture references just make him really annoying. Thankfully you can turn off his messages, though that does make the game world a little quieter.

Vostok Inc.’s menu system is slightly stilted, with the main menu having seven tabs and, without input, no indication how to switch tabs or even that other tabs exist, leading me to believe there was no game menu for several hours. Nevertheless, Vostok Inc. is a fine little bullet hell clicker game and, as a small time waster which can also expand up to several hours lost, a worthy addition to my Switch.

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