Unfortunately Fortunate Orginisms was a surprisingly difficult game despite the slightly cheaty tactics I found. For a game that, on the surface, is very simple in its mechanics it was annoyingly difficult at times. I can recall even now the howls of anguish as my UFO got destroyed with a bay full of cargo. If you watch the video, that is, in fact, my third attempt at playing and the only time I could beat the final boss. Now I may put that down to not having the latest version of the game and there being a bug in it, which prevented me from completing it; which, on a side note, I contacted the developers about and they sorted me out in no time at all so credit is given where credit is due. And for some that excuse may have held true, but let’s face it, the main issue was that I was terrible at controlling my UFO and that is why I kept failing miserably at every attempt I made.
Now that you know how bad I am at playing video games, it is time to actually tell you something about the game. Set in a galaxy, not unlike our own, you (playing an alien race) sense a threat on the nearby planet controlled by Christos. He is building a super deadly weapon that will wipe out your entire race in a conveniently static number of days. During this time, it is your job to go to other nearby planets and collect resources (humans), that can be used to upgrade your spaceship (classic UFO design), and then destroy Christos before he gets a chance to use his doomsday device. I know what you’re thinking, “tea and crumpets Batman, can we do it in time?” To wit, the very English Batman replies, “I hope so. For the sake of us all.” But what does all of this mean in gameplay terms: well there are a number of planets that you can explore once you have unlocked them. These give better and better resources as they are unlocked, but naturally, the environments of the planets become more hostile as the reward grows greater. There are three kinds of Human resources to collect. Blue, normal and not worth much; Gold, worth a lot more but are usually trickier to get at; and Red, who have guns and try to shoot you, do not pick them up.
You can face the boss whenever you think you are ready, and I suppose if you are good enough, you could do this without upgrading your UFO at all. I would urge you not to do this for two main reasons; one: you’re crazy, upgrade your ship you fool! And two: you will miss out on a lot of the fun that this game has to offer. I would say that there is more fun to be had upgrading your ship and gathering the human resources of the other planets than there is in fighting the final Boss. Also, there is nothing more satisfying than whooping the final boss with a super power space ship, like most RPG games, I love being over leveled.
The humor in the game is functional, but effective for the type of game it is and coincides with the style nicely. I would have liked the aliens and Christos to be voiced as I can’t help but think it would be a lot more amusing if there were some silly voices for the characters. However, I was able to do my own, and although they weren’t that consistence, I think they did the job. I like the music, especially the track for when you are upgrading your spaceship from within the mother ship. It blends into the background so you can spend time deciding how best to spend your resources without getting annoyed by an ingratiating soundtrack but also not in awkward silence. So, kudos for that. The boss music is wonderfully dramatic and it is worth fighting the boss for this alone.
The aesthetics of the game appear again, functional, but work very well. There isn’t any need for the graphics to be any more detailed than they are. I don’t believe that this would add anything to the game. I think that if the details were reduced then it might be a little tiring on the eyes after a while, and as this is a game that you can complete in a single sitting, it would be a shame if you had to spot halfway through to stop your eyes from bleeding. Just to make it clear, you can happily sit there and play this game from start to finish, and it looks and sounds lovely.
The studio behind the game has aptly called themselves Back to Basics Gaming and this game really shows the ethos of their design ideas. It is a lot of fun and is a great value at only $1.99 (£1.59). There is nothing complicated about the game and would be great to play through at a gaming evening as the controls are simple enough to just pick up and start playing. It is released and available on Itch.io and Steam. I would highly recommend that you check it out, and have a great time doing so.