- NA release: 21st October 1998
- PAL release: November 1998
- JP release: N/A
- Developer: DMA Design
- Publisher: Take-Two
- N64 Magazine Score: 91%
Space Station Silicon Valley is a mission-based puzzle platformer where you reanimate the corpses of dead animals (don’t worry, they’re all robots). It was developed by DMA design (makers of Lemmings, GTA and Body Harvest) and is an immense amount of fun. The game did ship with a bug that meant that you couldn’t pick up one of the collectables, but I played a version that had been patched by fans that fixes the issue.
You play as Evo, a robot that loses its body as he and his hero-for-hire partner crash into a mysterious station that’s on a course for Earth. Evo ends up as just a chip, but discovers that he can take over the bodies of deceased animal robots.
In each level, you must complete multiple objectives, usually done by killing the animals, taking over their bodies and using their various abilities to complete what you need. It all sounds horrific and disturbing when trying to explain it, but the game manages to be incredibly charming throughout this, with happy music that is played through the station speakers (which you can destroy to shut them up).
Discovering how each animal moves and how to use them is one of the main things I love about Space Station Silicon Valley. They all have different kinds of movement – some are like a typical platformer, others are like cars and some can only move when jumping – and the powers have various uses that aren’t just needed to solve the puzzles of the level, but to find all the collectables. This concept was also a large part of Super Mario Odyssey, so my like for this is probably why I loved that, too.
Each level has 15 power cells hidden in it to find, some are in plain view, others are hidden extremely well. A few of them can be quite frustrating to get to, such as some high up ones requiring using a vulture’s awful flight to get there. The game’s dreadful camera also doesn’t help matters, as you can never get a good look around and the cameral often likes looking downwards.
The other kind of collectable is a hidden trophy in each level, which is found by doing a secret objective. Sometimes these are obvious, such as the second level having a racetrack, and often killing everything will yield results, while others are very tricky, such as listing to penguins make sound and recreating it on a keyboard (being tone-deaf, I looked that one up).
Still, even with these annoying ones, it was a joy to collect everything. I’m not 100% completing every N64 game, but this one was one where I wanted to do so.
At the end of each of the four regions, you’ll encounter a level where you find a piece of Evo’s original body. These are quite different to the main gameplay, featuring different events. For example the second area ends with a Jetski-like race called Walrace 64 where you have to win a race as a robotic walrus boat.
Once all these are done, the final mission is defending Earth against invading robots, but unfortunately is probably the weakest level of the game. Still, that slight downer is just the end of a wonderful experience.
While the difficulty is more of a rollercoaster than a curve, you do get used to some of the techniques the game uses, and the wild and wacky robot animals are always an absolute joy to discover – each time you see a new one, you’re eager to kill it and give it a spin.
Space Space Station Silicon valley is a wonderful platformer and one I think more people should try out.
The important thing, though, is that you’ll keep on coming back to it until you’ve found every animal, explored every single nook and cranny, and beaten every bonus game. It’s compulsive, addictive and most important of all, it’ll have you grinning like a rabid chimp while you play.Martin Kitts, N64 Magazine #22
Remake or remaster?
A remaster would be great for this. Have it adapted into widescreen, give it a new camera and fix a few things here or there. A few bonus levels would be nice, too.
Official ways to get the game.
There is no official way to get Space Station Silicon Valley
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