Into the stars is a survival focused open world bridge simulation, published by Iceberg Interactive and developed by Fugitive Games, this is Fugitive Games first ever title.
In the distant future an enemy known as the Skorn regularly attack Earth, with the planet teetering on the brink of destruction, humanity’s last hope is to build and launch a number of “Ark” ships in the hopes of escaping to a safer world. 12 attempts were made (maybe more) and as the captain of Ark 13, it’s your job to save the last survivors of humanity. As you venture “into the stars” you will face various challenges along the way. You have limited resources to reach your destination and the ever present threat of the Skorn who have followed you and will constantly harass you on your journey.
At the beginning of the game you pick your captain, crew, modules and initial resources. All of these choices will drastically affect the gameplay. The game itself plays a lot like a cross of “Out There” (Android and PC), “FTL” (iOS and PC) with a smidge of Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator (iOS, Android, PC) which is every bit as great as it sounds. Players will have to manage the resources and crew and are responsible for the decisions affecting the day-to-day running of the ship. For example the decision between: fly to a planet in the hopes of gathering more resources versus pushing on into another sector in order to avoid the Skorn.
The game runs in real-time and any and all issues/challenges are presented in that way, including combat, however the player can pause time to allow for some tactical decisions. An additional layer of management is certain on-board events will occur requiring the assignment of the correct crewmember with the appropriate skill or in the case of the training missions, a crew member whose skill you want to boost. After the 0.02 update there is a help menu that explains what each of the different aspects of your ship does. Graphically speaking the Unreal4 engine helps boost the graphic fidelity of the game and it looks quite beautiful however there are some alpha related optimisation issues. The soundtrack is excellent and well composed.
Overall this game is still early in development so there is still, as always, work to be done. The game is missing basic features like rebind-able keys, a better explanation of how resources are consumed in the initial set up. Additionally this may be a subjective thing but I’d like the said initial resources (see first screenshot) to be percentage based as opposed to numerically based as the initial resource allocation is rather tedious, some kind of difficulty adjustments (after the 0.02 update the game does appear to be easier, but a custom selector would be nice).
One final thought that again could be subjective the combat is very RNG based, and the shields must be activated each time to block shots and are on a cool down, granted higher skill reduces the cool down however from my play though the enemy don’t seem to miss very often and can often get a shot in before the cool down ends, if you’re unlucky enough to face two or more enemies you’re going to have a bad day. In its current state the game should only be picked up by those that enjoyed the aforementioned: Out There, FTL, Artemis spaceship Bridge simulator and wish to assist with the development of the game. Don’t get me wrong, Into the Stars isn’t a bad game, it just has a long way to go.
(…and it’s all your fault)
Into The Stars was reviewed on the PC.
Disclosure: game copy was provided by developer/publisher