Red Dwarf XI: The Game Review

Yesterday we published a possibly slightly too long video of my first impressions of Red Dwarf XI: The Game, and came out of the experience feeling quite positive and about the thing in general, with a few reservations mixed in. Since then I’ve played through the whole of the Twentica content on an actual phone and not a mouse controlled emulator. If you haven’t already we’d love it if you take a look at our First Impressions video below and continue on for my full thoughts on the game as it currently stands. Spoilers for the whole game obviously follow.

The game is structured in a linear story fashion, roughly following the timeline of the episode in question. This allows for it to touch on unseen moments from the episode’s timeline and flesh out the action, which in this case is an opportunity well taken. The first, and probably my favourite, of the mini-games gives you control of Starbug as you’re destroying incoming asteroids and scanning the Expanoid ship, set weeks before the episode itself begins. The 3D engine and the art style do a fantastic job of rendering beautiful scenes on mobile, and in my experience using an emulator on a mid-range PC and playing the game properly on a LG Nexus 5X, on a technical level the game ran smoothly and flawlessly, while remaining nice to look at throughout. Just full screen my video at the full 1080p60 and you’ll see what I mean.

When it comes to the gameplay overall, GameDigits have managed to, in theory at least, solve the age old of problem of just how do you make a Red Dwarf game? The answer, apparently, is to make loads of them. The mini-game structure is clearly the best way to go, here, especially as a first foray into the undoubtedly difficult task of doing the show justice.  The variety offered by these games can be stifled by certain difficulty curves, however, and frustration does creep in often, but on balance the range of ideas and effort into crafting this first portion of the game is clear to see.

game-1

On the subject of those difficulty spikes, the missions ‘Find Einstein’ and ‘Twentica Escape’ have been proving particularly difficult for many people, and not in a greatly fun way. The limits of how the camera and movement needs to work here means that the high speed car sequences and stealth sections can be maddening, as there is very little room for course correction. I started off enjoying Kryten’s stealth mission, but if you try to hide behind behind some barrels and even *slightly* overshoot your positioning, then you either have to book it or hope you don’t get seen by the patrolling Expanoids. I think the issue in these sections is a clash between the developers wanting to give the player as much free movement as possible but the natural constraints of mobile controls bashing up against that. There are ways to solve this with on-rails movement (as seen in the ‘Scanning’ mission) but that would’ve ended up being far less interesting when the intention is clearly to give as much variety in gameplay as possible. Other times, the length of missions feel artificially lengthened, such ‘Kryten Recharge’ in which you have to quickly follow instructions to expose his nipples, attach the jump leads, charge, and shock. This is good fun, but it is repeated three times with no variation, and the quiz in ‘Speakeasy Entrance’ suffers from similar repetition and artificially extended length.

Having played through the whole of the Twentica mission I do find myself coming away satisfied, however. My gut instinct is to recommend that anyone reading this drop the requisite $£1.99 and be safe in the knowledge that there are still five sixths of the game still yet to come in free updates. Of course, this basically means you’re pre-ordering most of the game without really knowing what you’re going to end up getting, but I find myself being very optimistic about the game’s future simply because even in these early days, with balance changes and patches still to come, I had huge fun with the game.

game-3

A big part of that optimism has come from the level of post-release support shown by GameDigits. If you haven’t already, head over to our Let’s Talk About thread in the forum where the MD of the company has posted some very interesting explanations of why some parts of the game are like they are, and outlining their commitment to iterative improvements both through patches and through the future episode content. It’s this attitude that gives me no hesitation in recommending you buy this game, simply because if you’re reading this then you are certainly someone who is passionate about Red Dwarf and at least have a passing interest in games. The more people who get the game, feed back to GameDigits either through our thread, on Twitter or by contacting their support channels, the more progress they will be able to make in realising their obvious desire to make this game as good as it possibly can be. It’s a rare opportunity to have your thoughts and constructive criticism go to good use, and I’d encourage everyone to take it.

In the meantime, we’re very grateful to learn that new episode content will not be releasing weekly, which gives everyone a bit of breathing space over the coming weeks. As such, we plan to make videos like the one at the top of this review a regular thing after each new episode is released and cover any patches that may have been released since our last video, so any feedback on how you found the format and some things you might like to see in the future would be greatly appreciated.

Tags: ,

26 Responses to Red Dwarf XI: The Game Review

Jump to bottom

  1. I love the game. I’ve completed it and last I checked I was 5th on the leaderboard. I enjoyed the Starbug and cockpit missions. The car missions are frustrating due to the controls but an update has come out so that you can hit Exponoids and not lose 30% life like before.
    A few extra lines in the game that wasn’t in the episode itself was interesting too. Looking forward to the other episodes :)

  2. Oh yeah and in the last ‘cutscenes’ you get to see the Red dwarf bunk room interior without the blue lighting.

  3. I really enjoy the game and am looking forward to the Samsara levels. Perhaps the abrupt ending of the episode can be fleshed out with an extended, unseen ending for the game where you have to constantly insult Rimmer to ensure the survival of the crew.

    I cannot fault Ian and all the crew at GameDigits who are clearly Red Dwarf fans themselves and who are devoted to making the best game possible. Thank you to them all for all their continued hard work!!

  4. the game looks like a good bit of fun but unfortunately owning a windows phone means i am in no position to play it at the moment ( that i know of ?)

    enjoyed the first video and i think it is a great idea to future videos on each episode or indeed walk through of the Game.

    it sounds like a good deal for £1.99

    looking forward to future content ( so that you guys can make your own content on it )

  5. I’m finding this game maddeningly difficult. The first Starbug game whilst initially fun, is very repetitive and when it comes to scanning the ship, trying to shoot the barrage of asteroids with your finger pressed in the middle of the screen ends up being a more by luck than judgement kind of task.

    The “cut sequences”‘ for want of a better description, that follows seems unnecessarily long. It’s just 5 mins of tapping through the script of the show. Whilst I appreciate the level of detail that’s gone into this, I would expect most if not all people playing this game to have seen the episode and therefore a cut down version would have sufficed.

    Then comes the Rimmer hostage game. Again, a great concept for the game, but for me, difficult. Maybe it’s because I’m not a heavy mobile game player (I’m more used to the more tactile controls of a PS4 controller) but trying to move Rimmer around isn’t as fluid as it could be. Press to move, swipe to go left or right. There’s no going back, which meant that one time I got trapped behind a computer console I just had to restart the game.

    And don’t you dare take any shots form the Exponoids. Health drains faster than a breached dam. As for shooting yourself, lining up those shots, whilst taking fire yourself, again feels like a more by luck than judgement task. And again, a repetitive one. This isn’t as far as I’ve got in the game because I as yet haven’t been able to make it to the end of the level, and owing to regularly dying, getipting frustrated quickly and not wanting to play for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.

    I’m going to give it another go, but at this point I really can’t see myself completing this game. There’s more frustration than fun in it at the moment, and whilst I don’t demand it he super easy, some of the implementation could have been realised in a way that doesn’t make it as difficult.

  6. I’m finding this game maddeningly difficult. The first Starbug game whilst initially fun, is very repetitive and when it comes to scanning the ship, trying to shoot the barrage of asteroids with your finger pressed in the middle of the screen ends up being a more by luck than judgement kind of task..

    You don’t need to hold down to scan, if it helps.

  7. I’m finding this game maddeningly difficult. The first Starbug game whilst initially fun, is very repetitive and when it comes to scanning the ship, trying to shoot the barrage of asteroids with your finger pressed in the middle of the screen ends up being a more by luck than judgement kind of task..

    You don’t need to hold down to scan, if it helps.

    Are you sure about that? I swear if you life your finger off it stops scanning

    Anyway I’m going to revise a bit of what I said above. Having jnow watched the video, and then gone back to the game and got ge hang of shooting in the hostage game, whilst still tricky, I’ve been able to progress and the later levels are much easier. Currently doing the car game which definitely needs a reverse function.

  8. I thought you had to hold down the green scan button, too, but once I discovered it just needs a tap and an unbroken scan, I eventually managed to limp through the level.

  9. Red Dwarf would probably work best as a telltale game even though telltale would never ever make a game for Red Dwarf but there are other game developers who hopefully could make something similar and episodic

    The mobile game is very ambitious for how much variation there is in it and its probably much more then i’d have ever expected from a Red Dwarf Mobile Game

  10. You just need to press it when the circle stabilises. No holding down needed.
    I love the game. It’s frustrating but the patch has helped

  11. So I completed it day of release, and I played through it again last night, and it already feels much better control wise. Great support, looking forward to the rest of XI.

  12. G&T Admin

    Red Dwarf would probably work best as a telltale game even though telltale would never ever make a game for Red Dwarf but there are other game developers who hopefully could make something similar and episodic

    I do wish Lego made a system where you could create custom gameplay levels. Having characters that can have certain abilities akin to the likes of Lost Vikings and such to complete tasks and puzzles.

    The End: Rimmer has a time limit to get to his exam, so he’s against the clock to get past the other crew members going about their duties walking against him to get to his exam room, which is through a labyrinthine corridor structure.

    Meanwhile Lister is on a stealth-based mission to get Frankenstein to a service duct without anyone seeing the cat, Metal Gear Solid style…

    When the accident occurs, you are Holly, frantically stopping the radiation from leaking any further into the ship. Either that or you are high-tailing it the fuck of the Solar System and you have to navigate the ship around star systems, planets and asteroid fields.

    Future Echoes: While you’re finding your way around the ship, you can see a character (your character in a room you can’t get into yet) completing a puzzle and walking through a door. You have to remember what you saw so what you get to that specific part of the game you need to put in that same sequence to open the door to get through.

    There are so many avenues for a puzzle based-adventure game for Red Dwarf.

    Seriously, it could be amazing.

  13. I am STILL stuck on the driving level despite updating the app and playing it for 3 days! Otherwise great!

  14. I am STILL stuck on the driving level despite updating the app and playing it for 3 days! Otherwise great!

    Since the patch you can run over the Exponoids without much damage. The faster you go the more damage you do if you hit barrels etc. It’s a case of mastering the turning using the touch screen.

    I used to find the truck one the hardest now it’s the Find Einstein one. Just because you simply have to guess their field of vision. You can exploit it slightly as when they turn round they often turn to their left side so you can creep past on the right as they turn and they can’t find you. .

  15. I am STILL stuck on the driving level despite updating the app and playing it for 3 days! Otherwise great!

    Since the patch you can run over the Exponoids without much damage. The faster you go the more damage you do if you hit barrels etc. It’s a case of mastering the turning using the touch screen.
    I used to find the truck one the hardest now it’s the Find Einstein one. Just because you simply have to guess their field of vision. You can exploit it slightly as when they turn round they often turn to their left side so you can creep past on the right as they turn and they can’t find you. .

    The turning controls on the car are pretty bad. They should have used the accelerometer to allow you to use tilt controls.

    I’ve actually managed to finish the game now since my comment early this morning. A bit of persistence pays off.

    I found with Kryten’s mission, you can pretty much just walk straight past most the Exponoids. As long as you’re walking away from them at an angle, you’all always be ahead of their line of fire.

    Don’t meant work all the time, but you can combine being stealthy with just legging it (albeit slowly) past them.

  16. For me as a Red Dwarf fan and huge gamer, to finally have a RD game, no matter how small, is great! There’s so much more to come and I hope the guys make the game even bigger.

  17. For me as a Red Dwarf fan and huge gamer, to finally have a RD game, no matter how small, is great! There’s so much more to come and I hope the guys make the game even bigger.

    It really is great to finally have a real 3D Red Dwarf game, I’ve wanted one for the best part of 20 years. I remember reading loads of rumours in the early 2000’s I think it was, and being really angry that there still wasn’t one when the PS3 came out. I mocked up some box art in MSPaint as a hint to the universe.

    Oh, and playing the text based adventure game thing, I always got stuck in the shop buying Talkie or I think you could get run over if you managed to get out. That was common.

    I sort of wish the ravages of life hadn’t left me so dead inside so that I could enjoy it as much as 10 year old me would haha

    Really hope it grows in a big way though, maybe a PC release for XII the game?

  18. It’s about the level of most phone-based (and for that matter, TV and movie) tie-in games. ie: not… great. Looks snazzy enough, but the actual game-play is *severely* lacking. They’re relying on the brand more than anything which is not reason enough for applause, I’m afraid. Hopefully the additional chapters are an improvement.

  19. Yeah, the only thing that has made me go back to play it more is the name put on it

  20. It’s about the level of most phone-based (and for that matter, TV and movie) tie-in games. ie: not… great. Looks snazzy enough, but the actual game-play is *severely* lacking. They’re relying on the brand more than anything which is not reason enough for applause, I’m afraid. Hopefully the additional chapters are an improvement.

    Really? Oh god… people are so fucking entitled it makes me sick. The game has had some issues, but it looks amazing, is varied and the developers are actively listening to us and improving the game as we go. In *my* experience of tie-in games, you get what you’re given and it’s tough shit if you don’t like it, I’ve never seen a developer sign up to a fan site so that they can gather and act on feedback. Also micro-transactions are usually EVERYWHERE.

    If they were relying on the brand over the game, we’d have got some shit Flappy Bird or Candy Crush clone with RD branding all over it. So, actually, you’re talking bollocks.

  21. It’s about the level of most phone-based (and for that matter, TV and movie) tie-in games. ie: not… great. Looks snazzy enough, but the actual game-play is *severely* lacking. They’re relying on the brand more than anything which is not reason enough for applause, I’m afraid. Hopefully the additional chapters are an improvement.

    Really? Oh god… people are so fucking entitled it makes me sick. The game has had some issues, but it looks amazing, is varied and the developers are actively listening to us and improving the game as we go. In *my* experience of tie-in games, you get what you’re given and it’s tough shit if you don’t like it, I’ve never seen a developer sign up to a fan site so that they can gather and act on feedback. Also micro-transactions are usually EVERYWHERE.
    If they were relying on the brand over the game, we’d have got some shit Flappy Bird or Candy Crush clone with RD branding all over it. So, actually, you’re talking bollocks.

    Yes! This so easily could have been some shithouse bubble popper/ tetris ripoff/ trivia quiz bollocks but we’ve got an actual game. It’s a little unforgiving and there are a few gremlins but overall this is a better game than some things on console that cost 25 quid.

    Also, this is part one of 6 and there are about 8 levels off the top of my head, with 5 different styles of gameplay. That’s hugely ambitious and can only be considered a success that it works as well as it does.

    This game really shows how much potential Red Dwarf has for games in the future, who knows, maybe when Bobby decides his head has been superheated enough for one life time, we might get a glorious fully voice acted videogame series on Console and PC written by Doug, hopefully with the help of Game Digits.

  22. It’s about the level of most phone-based (and for that matter, TV and movie) tie-in games. ie: not… great. Looks snazzy enough, but the actual game-play is *severely* lacking. They’re relying on the brand more than anything which is not reason enough for applause, I’m afraid. Hopefully the additional chapters are an improvement.

    Really? Oh god… people are so fucking entitled it makes me sick. The game has had some issues, but it looks amazing, is varied and the developers are actively listening to us and improving the game as we go. In *my* experience of tie-in games, you get what you’re given and it’s tough shit if you don’t like it, I’ve never seen a developer sign up to a fan site so that they can gather and act on feedback. Also micro-transactions are usually EVERYWHERE.
    If they were relying on the brand over the game, we’d have got some shit Flappy Bird or Candy Crush clone with RD branding all over it. So, actually, you’re talking bollocks.

    As if a constant tirade of, “Everything Red Dwarf related is UTTERLY BRILLIANT and we must prostrate ourselves before it at all times!” is any better? Apologies if my viewpoint has shattered your world. Jesus. Some of you ultra-brittle fans are a little embarrassing, frankly. I’m just a punter with 20-odd years of fandom under my belt, no more or less. Not the end of the world for anyone, I don’t think.

    It’s not a great game by any stretch of the imagination, in my opinion, so settle down. People are being asked to pay money for it so it’s not some gift from the gods. There *is* alot of potential there but it’s still a way off. I’m not raping and murdering the developers, as far as I’m aware, and I genuinely hope the game gets better.

  23. As if a constant tirade of, “Everything Red Dwarf related is UTTERLY BRILLIANT and we must prostrate ourselves before it at all times!” is any better?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I said.

    Apologies if my viewpoint has shattered your world. Jesus.

    It’s cute that you think you could have such an effect on my world.

    Some of you ultra-brittle fans are a little embarrassing, frankly.

    You’re a cunt, frankly.

    I’m just a punter with 20-odd years of fandom under my belt, no more or less.

    And? What does that have to do with anything? Are you trying to pull fan rank? Lolz. Are you saying that your opinion counts more than someone who has only been a fan for a year? Because that’s a pretty shitty viewpoint IMO.

    It’s not a great game by any stretch of the imagination, in my opinion, so settle down.

    Plenty of people disagree with you, so you thankfully you don’t need to stretch your imagination much at all! I’m quite calm, thanks.

    People are being asked to pay money for it so it’s not some gift from the gods. There *is* alot of potential there but it’s still a way off.

    Where did I say it was free? Oh wait, I didn’t… that’s right. I *did* say they’re taking feedback on board and working on it. You haven’t actually given them any useful feedback other than (and I’m paraphrasing here) “I don’t like this :( make it better”.

    I’m not raping and murdering the developers, as far as I’m aware, and I genuinely hope the game gets better.

    I’m sorry you feel that me saying that you’re talking bollocks, equates in your brain to me saying that you’re a murderer and a rapist. To be clear, that’s not what I said, so why not tone down the drama there dear? Perhaps you need to settle down a bit?

    You’ve clearly ignored most of what I said, because you’ve got your knickers in a twist about me saying you’re talking bollocks. I’m sorry that your fragile ego is hurt. I’m sure if you had any actual constructive feedback the developers would find that useful, and it might improve the game further.

  24. Personally if I was told last year we would get a new mobile game I’d have expected something a lot more cheaper looking, maybe just a side scroller or starbug game similar to stimulants revenge but with higher graphics but what we got is actually a lot more ambitious then I would have ever expected, its a iPhone/iPad game and they are rarely PC or console quality.

    I would hope one day we could get a telltale style red dwarf game and then we probably start expecting abit more from it

  25. Indeed, and based on some other mobile game/tv show tie-ins I genuinely feel like this is way more than we could have hoped for. I’m pretty sure G&T regulars can back me up when I say, if I thought it was shit, I’d have no qualms in saying so.
    I’m not a huge gamer and I haven’t finished all of the Twentica games yet (partially because I haven’t had the time to sit and play it and partially because the time surfing level is my nemesis!) but what I’ve seen so far I really like. It looks lovely, there is a good variety in the episode games and as I mentioned before, the developers have been really open to feedback. Seeing people give feedback and then having the updates directly respond to that feedback, has been awesome! I can’t wait to see the new levels for the rest of the episodes. If we end up with 6-8 minigame/chapters per episode, that’s a pretty huge game, totally worth £1.99 IMO.

Jump to top / Jump to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply