During Summer Game Fest, I was able to go hands-on with this entertaining game from Brightrock Games. Known for their 2015 War for the Overworld—a modern take on the Dungeon Keeper franchise—this will be their first release since then.
Galacticare sees us setting up a hospital in the stars, usually with wacky outcomes. My preview was roughly thirty minutes and took place during the first level of Galacticare. In that time, I was able to experience around ninety percent of the first level.
Almost immediately, Galacticare shows off its comedic chops, which is hard to pull off in a game. Starting us off in the galaxy’s version of Burning Man, we need to help the festival runner and its performers, who will eventually become sick or hurt themselves. While there are these VIP patients who can’t die, your everyday patients will be able to perish, which will close down rooms of your hospital, elongating the queue and setting you up for more failure.
To help reduce queue times, you will need to learn the flow of the hospital, which generally goes as follows: a patient checks in at the reception desk, then follow through to a diagnosis center, and from there, they will go to whichever room they require in order to get better. I had access to three treatment rooms, with a fourth unlocking in my last ten minutes. Thankfully Galacticare has such a clean interface that everything just makes sense.
“Almost immediately, Galacticare shows off its comedic chops, which is hard to pull off in a game.”
There are also a lot of systems in place that make it so that all the busy work is taken out. This means we, as the players, can solely focus on the critical things, like hiring doctors, making sure patients don’t die, and running the day-to-day business of a space hospital.
You can buy robots from a travelling merchant that will automatically do all the janitorial work. This means when patients make a mess, whether it be will garbage or themselves, these robots will deploy and clean them up quickly. This helps not only keep the hospital clean, which improves the moods of your patients, but when a patient dies, they will come and repair the room they died in, bringing it back online pretty quickly.
The rooms themselves are visually hilarious as well. For example, the Boning chamber houses this space creature that very violently snaps its patient’s bones back into place. Then there is the Dreamatorium, which allows a patient and doctor to share a mind link and have their dreams projected out. You can even zoom in to see which kind of dream the patients are having, and these range from the sexual to the absurd. There is something to be said about how Galacticare handles its humour in this weird satirical way that lands every time—poking fun at the healthcare system while not taking itself too seriously.
The number of customization options was one part of the demo that made me smile from ear to ear. Not only can you mix around the colour and layout of the diagnostic rooms and treatment rooms. But every open space available can be customized to make your hospital feel like you put in the work and love to make it feel like home.
“The amount of minuscule detail in Galacticare is what will draw me in to play through its campaign when it releases later this year.”
During my time, I took out a few minutes to set up a waiting room, with a few vending machines with garbage cans nearby and benches painstakingly placed and spaced out. While the walls were adorned with lights and paintings, it got to a point where I may have forgotten to make sure my patient queue was being handled well, and some patients may have died. While the only way I was able to see the deaths was a case of spontaneous combustion, it was hilarious to see the patient do a goofy little dance to be then engulfed in flames.
The amount of minuscule detail in Galacticare is what will draw me in to play through its campaign when it releases later this year. With a demo coming to the Steam Next Fest between June 19th and June 26th, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out for yourself to see if you have what it takes to save the galaxy.
Overall, Galacticare seems like a fun romp through space while saving alien lifeforms from dreadful diseases and trying your hardest to keep the hospital running with any form of efficiency. The comedy lands well, and it’ll be interesting to see if it can keep that up throughout an entire campaign.