Hypernova Escape from Hadea is an interesting mix of tower defense in an open-world format. Mixing elements of city building and tower defense together works for the most part, but can the game escape from repetition?
The story of Hypernova is that the planet Hadea is about to be destroyed by said Hypernova. You have been tasked with creating a livable colony on a distant planet to move the rest of the people over to before things go boom.
The world itself is set each time you play, but resource nodes, enemy lairs and special events are procedurally placed at new game start. Your mission is twofold: You need to gather enough resources to cultivate a population of 100,000 citizens, and you need to find special resources needed to build a warp portal for the remaining people to come over through.
Standing in your way are monster lairs that will send waves of creatures to attack, and a poisonous fog that blankets most of the surface. While the game may look like a city-builder, its design is firmly in the tower defense genre.
Making any kind of progress in Hypernova will be based on your resources. There are three basic resources that must be mined. All non civilian structures are mobile; allowing you to relocate at will. In order to make the land habitable, you need to set up power nodes to create a network, and purifier towers that will get rid of the fog. You are limited in terms of what you can build based on research and power.
In order to upgrade your settlement and defenses, you will need to reach certain population milestones. This will unlock new power generators to raise your cap and new structures. As you build outward, monster lairs will become active after a few minutes.
As the game goes on, new monster types will be introduced to make things harder for you. To completely deal with a lair, you must use specific “lair buster” turrets to attack the lair directly. Once you start attacking a lair, it will go on full offensive and pump out endless waves of enemies until the lair is dead.
Special events will pop up from time to time to add additional situations and/or unlock new structures to build. Once you settle into a groove playing Hypernova, the game becomes pretty straightforward. The problem comes from how straightforward things get.
Hypernova Escape from Hadea has a good foundation in terms of base systems, but there isn’t any growth to the mechanics. You only have a few limited ways of interacting with the world around you, and this makes every play of the game the same.
The game does a good job of motivating you to build out with new rewards and upgrades to get, but they’re not changing the base gameplay. Once you have destroyed one lair, you’ve destroyed them all.
The city building elements of Hypernova are almost nonexistent. Just put down the prerequisite buildings in close proximity and you never have to look at them again.
Ultimately, the problems with the game stem from the fact that you’ll run out of choices and gameplay long before a play is finished. There might be some differences at the end-game, but I don’t see myself having the time to repeat the same things over and over again to get there.
Lastly, the UI could use some improvements. It’s very easy to misplace resource nodes on the map, as you will have to move your drills once a node has been mined out in order for it to recharge.
Hypernova Escape from Hadea is not a bad game by any means. The combination of open-ended gameplay with tower defense-styled design is an interesting one. The problem is that the gameplay just isn’t deep enough at this time to match with the time it takes to go through a single play of the game.
If you’re looking for something different that’s not too deep, Hypernova Escape from Hadea is a unique title in the tower defense genre.