Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow Creates Love/Hate Relationships
Futurama fans rejoiced recently, as the latest installment in the story of the Planet Express Ship was released. This time, though, it wasn't a new season. Instead, it was a new game with all of their favorite characters. How well does the game shape up to the competition, though? Let's take a look.
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In the latest installment of the Futurama story, the world (the universe, in fact) is in peril. It seems that when two Hypnotoads mate, it can cause a rift in the prophylactic membrane. Or, as Amy Wong's father puts it, a space hole.
That's exactly what happened. Two Hypnofrogs were making out, and the universe got torn apart. Now, New New York is half-embraced in a death grip of Hypnowaves, and it's up to Fry and the rest of the crew of the Planet Express Ship to save the city and the galaxy.
As you control the various Futurama characters, you'll lead them on missions around New New York and throughout the galaxy. You'll seek out artifacts, fight dangerous aliens, and try to mine meteorites.
All in the name of science, right? Well, the Professor might try to say that, but the truth is that your crew is all pretty broke since the planet got torn apart by a space vortex. So there's a definite financial incentive to save the world and the galaxy.
Futurama has plenty to love, beyond just the characters. Sure, the story line might be a bit cliché and cheesy, but the missions are straight out of the Futurama universe. That's definitely worth something to fans of the franchise.
The game provides plenty of opportunities to earn cold hard cash and experience points. That's a good thing, because you'll need it. Experience points level up not just your characters, but the Planet Express team as a whole. As your team levels up, you earn more fuel to take the Planet Express Ship on space missions.
The voice acting is great, with the original cast stepping in to provide catch phrases and quotes. I just wish there was more of it, especially in the "cut scenes."
Each character can also level up, and can unlock special outfits. Strangely, these different costumes have their own levels, so a Level 7 Fry isn't the same as a Level 3 Robot Fry.
With the various costumes come new actions, which means more ways to make money and experience points. When you aren't going on missions in outer space, you'll be collecting rent and sending your Futurama characters to do actions. You need the money and experience points to rebuild and save New New York.
After all, building a city don't come cheap.
The game isn't perfect, unfortunately. Like similar titles, there's too much focus on completing actions and earning money or experience points.
There's also a bewildering array of in-game currencies. There's Pizza Slices, which you can use to speed up actions and unlock items. You also have cash, which is used in leveling up your characters and purchasing buildings (when you aren't using Pizza Slices for that).
If that wasn't enough, you also have to keep track of fuel for your space ship and Hypnotons for clearing the Hypnowaves from New New York. It's all just too much, and it takes away from the enjoyment of the game.
While Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow is free to play, enjoying the game without spending any real money might be a challenge. Things happen slowly, and the impatient will end up dropping a lot of cold hard cash to speed things along.
There's also no mechanism to trade one form of currency for another. I'd love to see a way to buy pizza slices with in-game Nixonbucks, for example, or vice versa. That's not possible, however. If you have plenty of Pizza and are out of Nixbonbucks, you have to buy Nixonbucks separately or wait until you build your cash reserves back up for that next big purchase.
Finally, some missions have to be completed multiple times to fully finish them. This seems silly to me. I should only have to complete ranch tasks in the right order once. After that, it gets boringly repititious.
If you're a fan of the Futurama franchise, this is definitely a must-have game. If not, you might not understand many of the nuances or character interactions. The game doesn't provide any real back-story, expecting you to already know about Bender's attitude towards human women (especially Amy Wong) and why other characters behave the way they do.
With that said, the game can be enjoyed even without that understanding. It's a fun game, if you're willing to invest more than just time into it. You also have to be willing to endure a lot of repetition. I wish there was less need for in-app purchases, but I've come to understand that developers have to make their money somehow. I'd rather have a free game I enjoy that I can pay money into when I want than a game I have to pay for and possibly hate.