Review: Genesis Alpha One

I’m not sure if David Attenborough occasionally brings back unwanted wildlife after a field trip to see some exotic new species but Genesis Alpha One certainly makes me cautious to follow in his footsteps, just in case.

Team 17 and German developer Radiation Blue have come up with an interesting new roguelike where it puts you, as the sole team member of a large ship, in charge of exploring new worlds to find a place to settle.  You’re not fully alone, though, as you can provide clones to help you out as long as you have the right amount of material. Oh, and you actually need to build your ship before you go.

The first decision. before any ship is built, is what company to provide backing for your journey.  Each has pros and cons and will affect your ability to provide important aspects of your ship.  Once this is done you get thrown into the deep end of ship building, preparing for your first adventure into the unknown.

The ship building is pretty important and it’s a little puzzling, at first, to find hardly any support.  As a roguelike, though, it soon becomes obvious that this game is all about trial and error and learning about the dangers of space before you try again.  Building your ship with access to important features, such as the armoury and cloning centre, near the transport beam and dock and you’ll get around faster, but so will any alien critters who stow away with the tractor beam or come on board with your own cloned crew as unwitting hosts.

Going down to planets gives you a rest from life on board your claustrophobic ship but doesn’t give you a lot of freedom.  While these proceduraly generation planets look great, you’ll only be able to move a short distance before you hit a force field set up to protect you from the hostile environment.  It’s a pity they didn’t have the foresight to allow it to protect you from the aliens that transport themselves to your position to fight you while you grab new resources for the ship. though.    Every planet drop works pretty much the same way; survive a bunch of waves of an alien attack while your crew pick up resources, then head back to the ship, hoping they haven’t picked up any of the smaller aliens along the way.

The smaller aliens who can get in under your ship are the worst as they will chomp at the electrics until areas start failing around you.  Left to their own devices, these annoying parasites will quickly blow your ship up in their quest for a feast.

Part of the solution to this is to visit the armoury and create some turrets.  While the crew are pretty much hopeless at defending themselves, these turrets are pretty good at taking out anything that moves.  Placing them around your transporter beam and outside important areas like your greenhouses and bridge should keep the pesky critters at bay.

The game soon settles in to a rhythm of going to a planet, picking up resources and improving your ship before moving on to the next galaxy and doing it all again.  If you’re successful you’ll have a huge ship with enough resources and guns to send your clones down to the surface without you and allow you to work on upgrades.  Unfortunately, this is also where Genesis Alpha One gets a little boring.  The game runs out of ideas after this and while a bigger alien invasion or more interesting planets would have been nice, it simply presents you with more of the same.

Dying brings you the chance to work on your mistakes, as well as using some of the resources you collected last time around to help provide you with a starter ship that is better suited to the task.  With the odds just as even as the last time, though, and no real surprises, it’s hard to see how this really gives you a reason to go back beyond seeing how much longer you can survive and how big you can build your ship.

With some additional content further in the game, Genesis Alpha One could be vastly improved and maybe it will get some much needed DLC content.  As it stands, it’s an interesting idea and good short term entertainment, if a little repetitive.


Genesis Alpha One





  • Interesting base building aspect
  • Planets look great


  • Gets repetitive
  • Too easy to find ways to protect your ship
  • Clones are stupid

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