When it comes down to it, Space Pioneer gets pretty much everything it does right. It’s tight, taut, and its free to play mechanics never get in the way if the action.
It might not be the meatiest experience the world has ever seen, and there are certainly more innovative top-down shooters out there, but there’s a rich compulsion that pushes you to shoot more, earn more, and see what else the game has to offer.
The game is a single stick shooter. The stick lets you run around, and there’s a button to fire. You lock onto targets automatically, your shots hitting the foes around you so long as you’re in range.
You’ve also got a bunch of interchangeable skills on cool downs. These let you chuck grenades, launch orbital strikes, drop turrets, and heal yourself.
You get cards as you play, which you can use to upgrade your skills, weapons, and stats. It adds a dense progression to the game as you figure out what to spend your coins on to get the best rewards.