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Galacticare Exclusive Hands On: A Delightfully Witty Management Sim That Puts Narrative First

There is often no greater time sink than a good management simulator, and when they come as witty and delightful as Galacticare, it’s even harder to put them down. Galacticare is a bizarre and brilliant strategy game where you’re tasked with the running of an interstellar health company, managing hospitals, discovering weird, alien ailments, and finding ways to cure them. Xbox Wire was fortunate enough to get our hands-on a never-before-seen level, and speak with Galacticare Creative Director Josh Bishop about the makings of this wacky adventure. 

Bishop tells us that crafting a hospital game was developer Brightrock Games’ vision from the outset, but they wanted to build more than a management simulator. The team wanted to push the boundaries of the genre’s mechanics, while putting a fun, unique narrative at the forefront of the experience. 

“The backdrop that gave us the most freedom to explore was the choice to set the game in space,” Bishop says. “Being able to create a whole galaxy with eccentric alien species, unusual diseases and out of this world technology would not have been possible without a setting of this kind.”

The space setting also makes way for this cast of quirky, non-human characters to engage in similarly wacky stories, which was important for the team. This shines through in Galacticare‘s clever dialogue; the recurring characters are a cast to get to know, not just an aimless NPC to prop up the gameplay. 

“Often with simulator games, narrative is secondary. For us, it was one of our primary goals: to give the game, the world, a story that the player will remember,” Bishop says.

Often with simulator games, narrative is secondary.
For us, it was one of our primary goals.

“As the main character, we want you to feel a part of this episodic journey through the stars. The dialogue is a huge part of crafting that with our players, immersing themselves in a colourful galaxy that they play one of the most significant parts in.”

We got a taste of this during our playthrough of Many Me, the sixth level of Galacticare‘s story mode. Here your job is to organise and treat clones of a single character, the villainous geneticist Dr Ohdious. The plot twist? This is not a hospital, it’s a prison, built to house Dr Ohdious and his many illegal clones. Due to security issues, you’ll need to create more clones to help cure the inmates, rather than hiring outside talent for the jobs at hand.

“Dr Ohdious, the consultant for this level, was actually one of the first consultants we designed, knowing that we wanted to create a level focused solely around him,” Bishop tells us. “His maverick approach to cloning gave us a vehicle to twist the gameplay into a unique experience mechanically and narratively for players: clone your own doctors.”

Fortunately, Dr. Ohdious has seen fit to share his knowledge of cloning with us, at least. This level also opens up the Cerebral Rehab, alongside the ability to clone your staff, or wipe the minds of existing employees, so they can re-train in whatever discipline you need. I get very attached to my subjects, to the ability to sculpt them to my precise (and often chaotic) needs was an extremely welcome change to Galacticare‘s formula. 

Many Me isn’t alone in being a unique gameplay experience, either. Bishop tells us that many of the levels in Galacticare alter the core gameplay in various ways, which will keep you on your toes, and stop you from following the same pattern when you enter a brand new scenario.

Dr Ohdious is one of Galacticare‘s Consultants – one-of-a-kind doctors that can be unlocked as you progress through the story, and will remain on hand for recruitment in future levels. Each Consultant comes with their own unique personality and story, as well as their own abilities, which makes them both useful and memorable as you progress.

“Consultants play a vital component in guiding you through interesting gameplay choices and moment-to-moment decision making,” Bishop adds. “In a genre where choices can sometimes start narrowing once you’ve committed to a path – they aim to give flexibility and support.”

Many Me is just one of the extremely fun scenarios that Galacticare places you in, and I can’t wait to get fully stuck in to this zany universe. Scrub up for a truly out of this world experience when Galacticare launches on Xbox Series X|S later this year. 

[This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire]

Xbox Wire

Posts by this account are syndicated from Xbox Wire.

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