Witnessing six absent strangers’ private moments aboard an empty space station left me feeling a little gross. Oddly enough, that’s a good thing. My mild discomfort at invading their intimate privacy is a testament to how well Tacoma’s characters are written and acted. I dug through their belongings, watched arguments and embraces, and discovered what happened when a dwindling oxygen supply forced the group to make rash decisions. Though I wish I’d had more time to get to know the crew better, Tacoma builds an intriguing and disturbing future world that’s surprisingly well-developed even within its short playtime of three to four hours.
Playing as a contracted AI communications specialist, I boarded the Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma after the emergency had been resolved. I wandered around its three well-designed sections and watched ghost-like augmented-reality (AR) recordings that reveal what happened there while my Nintendo 3DS-like device downloaded the station’s AI data. It was refreshing to be on an abandoned station without fretting over whether or not something was going to attack me. Instead, I got to take my time as I examined the station’s futuristic objects (like cup ramen and beer), played basketball in zero gravity, and of course watched the recordings.