Between the Stars has been on Kickstarter for a while and is now approaching the end of its campaign. A rougelike ARPG with a strong emphasis on events and player choice, Between the Stars puts you in the captain seat of a spaceship as you quest across the procedurally generated universe.
As you travel though vast and diverse sectors of space you’ll encounter NPCs, be assigned quests and stumble upon already unfolding events. But the universe is rife with danger, and sooner or later you’ll find yourself drawn into real-time 3D combat with other ships.
Here’s where you make the most of what your vessel has to offer as most ships are equipped with their own set of shields, weapons and unique vulnerable points. The good news is that after the debris of battle has settled, and if you survived, you get to help yourself to whatever you can salvage from your fallen enemies.
A good chunk of the game is also spent managing and customizing your ship and crew. As you unlock new types of ships, you can work on modding their weapons and defenses, keeping them staffed with the best crew you can muster, building their skills in weapons, scavenging, engineering, or science fields.
As captain, you get the unique privilege of being able to take a break at one of the few oases of the universe: space stations. Here you can meet other captains to trade gear, buy blueprints, and even pick up a few new missions.
Stop and Enjoy the Scenery
Despite the emphasis on action, props need to be given to the visuals and how good the design team at Isolated Games make the nothingness of space look. There’s some beautiful space scenery, and away from all the action you can slip into photo-mode to freeze the game and capture the gorgeous array of planets, asteroids and systems that are the backdrop to your adventures.
The only thing that feels incongruous to the rest of game is the dialogue, pretty much thanks to the over-the-top voice acting. The Kickstarter trailer utilizes cheesy trailer-voice and makes it difficult to take seriously. Hopefully it’s a tongue-in-cheek take on those kind of schlocky action science fictions but even if it’s not, you shouldn’t let it dissuade you from checking out the demo and its solid gameplay.
Between the Stars still has a few days left in it’s campaign and while almost 80% funded, still falls shy of its €30,000 goal. If it meets its funding (which is looking like it could be a tight squeeze) the game is set to come out on Steam for Windows, with plans to later launch on Mac and Linux.