One of my favorite video game genres are cooperative games. The objective of these games can differ. The gameplay is usually built around having a group of players work together to complete objectives as quickly as possible. I have always enjoyed these games because it is really fun working together with another player successfully. When I first saw Fueled Up I was intrigued, as a co-op game built around recovering spaceships sounded fun. Fueled Up is a fun cooperative game with a unique twist on the genre, that unfortunately is a little too easy and short to reach its full potential.
In Fueled Up you and up to three friends are working on a spaceship recovery team. A giant space octopus is terrorizing the area destroying every spaceship that it can. Your task as the recovery crew is to pilot the damaged ship to a port that is safe from the threat. The space octopus is right on your tail though. Your team needs to keep the engines running, while also making sure the ship doesn’t explode.
The gameplay of Fueled Up plays a lot like your typical co-op party game. The players have a lot of tasks that they need to complete in order to beat the level. As there is more to do than one player can accomplish on their own, the players need to divide up the tasks and work well together in order to get everything done in time. The various tasks that you need to complete break down into a couple different groups.
Possibly your most important task is to make sure that the engines keep running. The only way to complete a level is to keep the engines going so you reach your destination. There is also the fact that the giant space octopus is chasing you. Should it catch up to you, your ship blows up and you fail the level. If one or more of your engines run out of power, your ship stops. It won’t move again until all of the engines are powered.
Creating the fuel to run the engines is pretty straightforward. To begin the game you need to take a crystal to a refining station, and then hold a button until it is turned into fuel. If multiple people do this at the same time, the process is completed quicker. You then need to take the fuel to the engines in order to fuel them. Later in the game you will create fuel by adding another refining step to the process to create a more advanced fuel.
It ultimately doesn’t matter if you create enough fuel to make it to your destination if your ship blows up before you get there. The next important task for your crew is to fix your ship as it gets damaged. Periodically cracks will form in the hull that you need to fix by rapidly pressing a button. You need to fix enough of these cracks to make sure your ship doesn’t explode. If the ship sustains too much damage, it will explode and you will lose the level. You will also score points for each second the ship is running depending on the current health of the ship. In order to reach the higher ratings, you need to regularly fix any damage to the ship.
Other than keeping your ship running and in one piece, each level tasks you with other tasks that you have to deal with. You have to supply batteries to the airlocks to keep them closed. If you don’t you and other objects might fly out of the ship. Asteroids might fly into the ship which you have to remove or they will cause damage to the ship. You need to press buttons to open locked doors. These are just some of the obstacles that you have to deal with to keep the ship running smoothly.
In a lot of ways Fueled Up is similar to your typical game from the cooperative genre. Players need to work together in order to complete simple tasks as quickly as possible. The tasks are simple and straightforward usually only requiring simple button presses. Instead of cooking food/etc, you are making sure the ship keeps running and doesn’t break apart. Making this a little more difficult is the various obstacles that you have to overcome in each level.
As it is one of my favorite genres, I have played a lot of different cooperative games. On the surface a lot of these games are similar to Fueled Up. Much of the game is about moving goods between locations and simple button presses. The addition of the space theme is a breath of fresh air though. At first the gameplay might seem similar, but the space theme does enough to make the game feel different.
Like most of the games in this genre, Fueled Up succeeds because of its cooperative nature. You could technically play the game by yourself. You are given two different characters to control, and you switch between them by pressing a button. While this technically works, I wouldn’t recommend it. The single player works fine, but you are missing out on the best element of the game.
The game excels because it is simply fun playing with other players. Like the best games in this genre, there is something really satisfying about working well with your teammate(s) to complete the tasks as quickly as possible. Each player can have their designated task for the level, or players can adjust to what is needed in the moment. To succeed in the game you need to work well together. There is too much for one player to do on their own. The game keeps you busy as there is rarely time where you have nothing to do.
Fueled Up works because it does a good job keeping up the pace. In some levels you might be best off continuing to do the same task over and over. In most levels you need to be willing to adjust on the fly. You need to think quickly and prioritize what needs to be completed first in order to maximize your score.
The game has the perfect balance between simplicity and skill/strategy. Most actions require a simple button press. This makes the game accessible even to players that rarely play video games. There is skill/strategy to the game though as you need to keep working in order to succeed. The game does a good job giving you a sense of accomplishment when you complete a particularly difficult objective or level.
Lets move onto the game’s difficulty. As I have already alluded to, I have played a lot of these type of co-op games in the past. This likely had an impact on my thoughts about the game’s difficulty. Ultimately I would say that the game was on the easy side. This could be due to the fact that I play a lot of these type of games. It could also be because I played the two player game which might be easier than other player counts.
I honestly didn’t find the game to be all that difficult. Just beating each level is pretty easy. In all of the levels I think the octopus caught us once and the ship exploded a couple times due to being too damaged. These situations mostly occurred because we were focused on trying to complete the additional objectives and get three stars. Otherwise we didn’t really have any challenge winning the game.
Most of the difficulty comes from getting three stars on a level or completing the optional objectives. There were quite a few levels that we completed everything on our first or second try. Getting three stars or completing the additional objectives would sometimes force us to play the level a couple more times. A couple levels are kind of difficult to complete all of the objectives. It is not that difficult to beat the game though if you don’t care about the stars or objectives. If you play a lot of games from this genre, I think you might find Fueled Up to be on the easier side.
This leads to the game being somewhat short. The game has a total of 30 levels spread out among five worlds. How much time you get out of Fueled Up is really going to depend on what you want to get out of it. If you just want to beat each level without caring about the stars or additional objectives, it is going to take considerably less time than if you want to 100% the game. I ended up 100% the game (three stars on all levels, all additional objectives, and all achievements) and it took around 7-7.5 hours. If you don’t care about all of this, I could see the game taking a couple hours less.
At the end of the day I had a lot of fun with Fueled Up. It isn’t the best co-op game that I have ever played, but I would say that it is one of the better ones. The game succeeds because it finds a good balance between simplicity and complexity. The gameplay is simple where almost anyone could play it. There is skill/strategy to the game though as there is a lot to handle where you have little to no downtime. The game gives you what you want from the cooperative genre. It is really fun playing with the other players as you work to keep the ship running. It is satisfying when all of the players work well together to get three stars on a level or complete a difficult optional objective. The addition of the space theme also does a good job distinguishing the game from others in the genre, even if it shares quite a bit in common with them.
There really are only two main issues that I had with the game. I found Fueled Up to be on the easier side. This might be due to playing a lot of games from this genre or the fact that I only played the two player game. If you play a lot of games in this genre though, Fueled Up likely will be one of the easier games you play in the genre. This leads to it being on the shorter side. I ended up 100% the game in around seven hours. That is not bad, but outside of playing the game again from the start, there isn’t much replay value to the game.
My recommendation for Fueled Up is ultimately quite straightforward. Do you like cooperative games such as Overcooked? If you have never really cared for the genre, I don’t see anything in Fueled Up changing your mind. Fans of the genre though should have quite a bit of fun with Fueled Up if you have any interest in the premise. For those people I would highly recommend picking up Fueled Up as I really enjoyed playing the game.
Release Date: October 13th, 2022 | Systems: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: Fireline Games | Publisher: Fireline Games, Gamera Games | ESRB Rating: Everyone
Genres: Action, Casual, Co-op, Indie
Official Website: https://fueledupgame.com/
- Fun twist on your typical co-op game.
- Easy to play and yet quite satisfying when your team works well together.
- Is easier than a lot of the games from the genre.
- On the shorter side at only 7 hours to 100% the game.
Recommendation: For fans of co-op games that are intrigued by the game’s premise.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Fireline Games, Gamera Games for the review copy of Fueled Up used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.