Next Stop Nowhere Review – Bugs On The Windshield

Next Stop Nowhere gets off to a promising start. You play as Beckett, a sci-fi courier who pilots a spacecraft and is best friends with an AI program. While visiting a bar, he meets Serra, and gets embroiled in her family drama when he learns that she’s trying to track down her wayward thief son before the authorities can get to him. The game is framed as a sort-of road trip through space, where the choices you make will change how the story plays out. At first, the charming characters and intriguing plot are enough to pull you from one location to the next. But unfortunately, a lack of meaningful consequence and a plethora of horrific bugs make for a trip not worth taking.

Next Stop Nowhere is, by design, a very simple game. You guide Beckett by touching where you want him to go, and the points you can interact with in each map are highlighted with big white circles. There are, essentially, no puzzles–moving forward is simply a matter of interacting with every object signposted in a room, and it’s all but impossible to get stuck. It’s a slightly awkward control system, as I found that Beckett often did not go where I wanted. There are also a handful of sections where you fly your ship through dangerous areas, piloting it with simple touch controls between floating debris and avoiding other ships that try to ram you. These sections offer some variety, although there are only a few of them. Judging the distance between your ship and the objects you’re trying to avoid is difficult and the degree of control you are offered is quite limited, but they’re also the best indicator the game gives of the vastness of the space you’re exploring–each of the game’s locations is otherwise very small.

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This is an adventure game that focuses largely on the choices you make, and how (or whether) they impact the story. Choices rarely have huge ramifications, and I never found myself having to think about what to do for long. Most decisions boil down to dialogue responses to things other characters say, and framing what sort of relationship you want Beckett and Serra to have. A few of the choices you have to make are framed as though they have major implications within the story, like if you should wipe a robot’s memory or try to reprogram it to be nicer, or whether you should hold a character captive or let them go after they hack into your ship’s computer. However, by the time the credits roll, most of these decisions end up feeling inconsequential to how things played out–if they factored in at all.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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