The latest game from the creator of freeware classics Bikez II and The Forge is a fun space privateering game in the same spirit of Elite, with a lot less emphasis on plot or physics, and much more on good old arcade-style space combat. The plot is quite cliche, but passable: you are an interstellar space pirate who's trying to amass enough money to buy your escape from the upcoming explosion of the Sun. You do this the pirate way, of course: capture ships, trade goods, and go on various missions designed for mercenaries. |
The game has many strong points, and like the author's previous games, is very polished. The graphics, gameplay, and even dialogues are top-notch, rivalling a commercial product. Ships are very well designed, with plenty of 3D effects even as you can only watch the action from the bird's eye view. One nice feature of the game is that as you collect money, you will be able to buy more than one ship in your pirate fleet. This makes space battles more interesting and adds some strategic elements to the game.
There are very few nitpicks I have with the game. One is that the on-board combat (triggered when you send in your men to capture the ship that's been disabled in combat) is awkward and lacks the same polish as the other parts of the game. Also, some missions are much more difficult than others -- almost impossible to accomplish before you have a decent-sized fleet or powerful weapons. The difficulty of these missions should have been automatically adjusted by the game to match your fleet's capabilities. Still, if you like a challenge and think most action games are too easy, you'll find Wazzal (formerly entitled Stars Supernova) both challenging and fun. Recommended, but be warned of the high difficulty level for the joystick-inexperienced (like yours truly).
Reviewed by: Underdogs