10 things Hardspace wish you knew before playing Hardspace

by: Randy -
More On: Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a grower. It's still in early access, so I can't complain too loudly about how thin some of the stuff on the periphery feels, but the core gameplay is—I promise you—nothing quite like anything you've played before. I hate hearing the words "puzzle game," they personally don't do anything for me, but Hardspace is a puzzle game where you're disassembling Homeworld-like ships, buzz sawing and laser cutting them to pieces, and routing them to the furnace, for further processing, and even to a barge that captures smaller components for resale later. It's kind of wild this game even exists because, again, I haven't played anything quite like it, especially not this free form. 

Blackbird Interactive is putting out some tips and tricks to help out folks on their first foray into this unique un-puzzler. I'm still tap, tap, tapping away at my preview, and while I'm going to be taking note of each and every one of these tips and tricks, some of the most exciting moments are when things have gone completely sideways. Whether I've blown a pressurized hatch, or accidentally laser cut through some explosive component, or had my oxygen run so low that I was given a warning to opt-in for asphyxiation insurance, Hardspace is full of chill, thoughtful work shifts punctuated by wide-eyed moments of terror.

Some of these tips start out overly obvious, but then fit in something handy by the end. Like tip #1 which says get to know your grappler. That's the tool that has you web-slinging hunks of metal and other components around the shipyard. So it's like, yeah, duh, "get to know your grappler." But I've sometimes forgotten that rotating myself will rotate the object I'm grappling when I'm trying to extract it from a tight, misshapen spot. 

The tip that really caught me off guard was #3: use your hands. Apparently your left hand can stabilize you while using your tools—they've got some kick— and can help you navigate environments. That's wild! I've played a dozen hours or so and I have no idea how to "use my hands." Nothing in the (again, early access) tutorial has tipped me off as to how to do that. And it appears to be beyond the scope of this video to say which button to push to do that, too. Oh well. Guess I'll visit the controls page. 

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is in Steam Early Access now.