[PS4] Smugglecraft Review

by Tracey

Smugglecraft was a game successfully Kickstarted with a modest $15,000. The game released on schedule, even before the estimated delivery date, which is certainly rare these days! Does Smugglecraft live up to its expectations? Is it worth your time and money? Read our Smugglecraft review to find out!

Smugglecraft is a quest-based hovercraft racer – a procedurally generated racer. Happy Badger Studio has decided to give us a game with smooth and tight controls and fast-paced gameplay. The single player campaign features a random quest system where each quest is optional. Some will ask that you race and win, or to tow a vehicle from point A to point B, take someone from one place to another, etc.

There is a tutorial available, but I feel it doesn’t do a good job of giving players a chance to learn all the basics. There are roguelike elements in place, so if you crash and die, then you have to start from scratch. On the upside, any hovercraft stuff you purchased is yours forever, but any money, parts and story-related progress is gone. So if you want to reach the end of the road, you’ll need to slowly improve your skills by way of trial and error as you make some progress in the hovercraft items you acquire.

As the name suggest, in Smugglecraft you will get quests from people who will want you to participate in ilegal activities, asking that you help deliver questionable goods. Once you complete a quest, you can choose to betray the quest giver and keep the reward for yourself, which is good in the short term but bad in the long term as you’ll be in big trouble with the quest giver. You could steal the goods and be branded as a thief, which is the fastest way to get the cops on your tail!

You can also choose to go down the “good path” and do everything properly, or you can be a regular bad guy and get chased by everyone you make angry. There is a nice degree of freedom in how you approach the game, and your actions will certainly have immediate consequences!

There is a lot of variety withe the environments as they are randomly generated, so no two playthroughs are ever the same. We’ve been getting more and more games that take this approach, and I have to say I like it since it keeps the game feeling fresh. Same goes for the quests you’ll get to complete as they are as random as the environments you’ll traverse.

There is a crafting element in the game as well so that you can make good use of the rewards from quests. Completing quests earns you money and parts that you can use to build a new hovercraft, and you can also purchase parts. The best stuff will cost a lot of money but it will certainly be worth it. Just be careful you don’t end up trying to save your money for too long since if you die you’ll lose it all!

The game is a ton of fun especially if you are a fan of racers. The controls are great and are highly responsive, but you will need to practice for a bit before you get the hang of things due to the highspeed at which you travel. Some of you might get some motion sickness if you’re not careful, so be sure to ease yourself into the experience. Smugglecraft has a nice story that is fun and goes well with the game’s graphics and gameplay mechanics, making this a solid indie release. The game even features a full trophy list with a Platinum at the end, so I’m sure it will keep you busy for a while!

This Smugglecraft review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Happy Badger Studio.

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