Story: In Vostok Inc., you are introduced to Jimmy, a financial wizard who will join you on an intergalactic journey of financial adventure. You start off with a ship and a dream, to build Vostok Inc. into an empire that spans every known solar system and line your pockets with moolah. Of course, when you start out, you have little money and your ship has no upgrades, so it is an uphill climb. But you do have Jimmy, who has plenty of advice and is always around to steer you toward your next goal. Once you begin to construct businesses and kick off your financial windfall, someone will take notice and this galactic boss will be displeased with your presence. So now you’ll need to fend off waves of attackers in addition to building a financial empire, so you’ll need to spend some moolah to arm yourself. Even if you conquer this boss, another awaits until you have become the premiere corporate institution in all of space. Even with Jimmy’s sage advice, can you guide Vostok Inc. to the top of the heap?
Entertainment Value: This is one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while, as you make constant progress, but always have new goals to achieve. You start pulling in one moolah per second, building small mines and farms to squeak out a tiny profit, but soon your hard work pays off and the moolah flow picks up. But of course, each gain just means you need to make even more, to keep up with upgrades and expand your business, as Jimmy says, you have to spend it to make it. Vostok Inc. is a clicker type game at heart, as you spend most of your time throwing down buildings, perusing upgrades, and trying to make the most of each planet’s output. The buildings each have five upgrades, some directly boost the profits, while others are connected to your other businesses. So maybe you need to build tons of mines to increase the profits from another structure, which means to eek out every last moolah, you will need to pay attention and build wisely. A seemingly low output building can skyrocket your intake if connected to a high earning business, so learning how to spend little but earn a lot is a big part of this one. Make no mistake, this game is an extensive, never ending grind, which some enjoy and others hate. It is a massive time sink, but you can play in a passive way at times, letting the game accumulate moolah while you do other things, so you can manage your time in some ways.
While your business rack up the moolah, you can be out in your ship exploring new planets, battling enemies, and more. You can shoot up asteroids for some minor moolah gains, as well as resource crates. These crates are given to your managers, who you find floating in space and can rescue. If you reach one before their oxygen runs out, you will unlock a 3% increase in income, an investor will match your current in hand moolah, a consultant will give you a massive temporary boost in income, or an executive will join and offer you a mini-game to play. If you die however, your middle managers are sucked into space, so you lose the percentage gain. You can always find more however, so it is just a slight setback. The game also offers races, which are a brisk, fun distraction. The game is driven in these segments by twin stick shooter mechanics and while the controls are more than capable, the shooting aspect isn’t as polished as the genre’s top titles, but still more than up to the task. The upgrade system is deep, with all kinds of bonuses to unlock, not to mention an insane selection of challenges, which will take quite a while if you want to unlock them all. While the game is a crazy grind, it is a fun grind and worth a look for fans of twin stick shooters and indie games.