Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There’s a certain appeal that comes with the territory of being the boss. You have minions, they are supposed to do what you tell them to do, life is great. Until of course that your entire federation is destroyed in a heartbeat and the only thing you have left is an alien relic that you’re using as a space station. Stuck in the middle of now enemy territory with pirates to boot, welcome to Halcyon 6!
Halcyon 6 is a turned based resource management RPG that will have you simultaneously running the space station and building a fleet to both explore and eliminate the surrounding threats. All the while trying not to be eliminated yourself of course. With three different styles of officers and class types for ships, you’ll have your work cut out for you.
I am of a mind in which there are certain cases in which a tutorial is needed and there are others that I just need things to progress to my own pace without being led by the hand. There are a few elements in Halcyon 6 that I could have used a bit more of a heads up on as I felt, at least the first time, that I fell behind my CPU adversaries because I had no idea how to train a new officer. I built the installation though now what?
Same thing occurred with repairing a ship. Docking a ship by Halcyon 6 isn’t enough they have to make it into dry dock to be worked on. In both cases your first action is going to be getting your ship and your officer inside of your space station. From there things can be done but without being told this, I quickly ventured to the Google machine and found what I was doing wrong. Once you know what to do and how? Things run smoothly.
Starting off with the space station, your crew, aka whatever is left of the federation, have carved out a portion to call home but generally the rest has still been unexplored. To explore you simply have to select one of the empty spaces adjacent to those that you already have and send an officer to get it done. This will give you the amount of time that needs to be taken so while at the beginning you wait, later on you’ll be able to manage every other little detail that needs your attention. Once you’ve carved out a space you simply get an installation to be built and then someone to run it. This basically means you’re going to need a lot more hands on deck and stat!
Compared to resources like fuel, dark matter and raw materials, extra bodies are both your most important and most easily lost resource. The only people that you can directly control are your officers that you send on away missions in battle cruisers or shuttles for whatever was required. If the shuttle gets attacked then forget it, they are lost making it very important to re-direct their flight path or to clear out a sector first. It’ll happen that you can lose an officer in a battle cruiser but that comes later.
Your officers as mentioned come in three classes which affects the type of spaceship that they can operate as well as their skill types both at the helm and on the ground. Using Star Trek as a base, Halcyon 6 gives you access to the Command Crew (Red), the Science Crew (Blue) and the Engineering Crew (Gold). I know you wanted red shirts but they are actually green shirts in this and I think they got mad at me at some point for losing too many on clearing out sectors of Halcyon 6 itself. It’s not my fault they are level one and can’t take a hit… but anyways!
So these officers can level up which gives them more abilities as time goes on through points that can be spent on a skill tree. Customization is big and it lets you either generalize or specialize for either ground or ship combat. In either case you’ll want your character to be in top shape because of how precious they are as a resource.
You quite literally cannot do anything without an officer short of creating a new starship as the space station does that. Multiplying dark matter or raw materials through generators, creating probes or training new officers are all hands on meaning that if the officer is inside the station doing that, they aren’t outside battling foes or collecting resources. It makes you appreciate just how important these people are and it suck all the more when they die!
So using a twenty four hour clock, time moves forward when you set things in motion. Traveling can take hours like it can take days. This clock can be stopped if you need to make any modifications or simply left to run if you’re waiting three days for a new ship to be built and rooms to be cleared out. Once combat starts off on the ground or in space however everything falls to a turned based initiative order in which I swear that the enemy ALWAYS GETS TO GO FIRST! I’m not angry about this I swear.
Like Cosmic Star Heroine, Halcyon 6 uses a modified turned based combat system in which every opponent has a set of skills and each one runs off of cooldowns before it can be used again. Some of these abilities even have stocked amounts which replenish once you move the ships back to the space station. Outside of that these battles are pretty much life and death situations for the crews and the last person standing wins.
One part that I appreciated is that even if the ship’s hull integrity reaches zero it doesn’t mean that it’s all over. No one wants to let their hull’s integrity drop but critical hits and the enemies zeroing in on it does happen so thankfully there are healing abilities that can be used. Once it jumps up from zero the hull is safe for a little while but if left at zero it could take all of one hit to really do it in. Sometimes you may get lucky with two or three but unless you can’t fix it, run! It’s not worth losing the officers.
As a whole package Halcyon 6 is fun for hours on end. There’s space combat, exploration, negotiations with alien species and pirates that sometimes don’t want to kill you but use you to kill someone else. Everyone wants something and on that note there’s plenty to be found and the re-playability is huge.Score: 7 / 10