Another day, another early access game. Today I am going to post about Astrox Imperium which is a game I've been following for a while now.
Astrox imperium is a single player space game set in a unique universe developed by Jace Masula ( game home page found here). The game features open world exploration, mining, faction interactions, fighting, market play, missions and fleets. It is reminiscent if something like Eve online, but players can experience the feel without the headache of unwanted PVP action. Ive spent a few hours in the game to find myself pleasantly surprised with it.
First there's the developer who also goes by the handle "momoguru". The developer is extremely responsive to well thought out criticism. This does not mean that he will fulfill every request, rather it does mean that he will evaluate and fix, or tweak, things that need it. A responsive developer is something we don't experience often enough in the gaming industry. I have to tip my hat to Jace and the people helping on the forums as they are very responsive, active and positive. Kudos to you all. With that said we should look at some of the features of Astrox Imperium game play.
Getting started can be a wee bit daunting as the tutorial missions in the beginning are a bit weak, in my opinion. This should not be taken as a large negative though as it really isn't that big a problem if you are willing to just try things and in the worst case just start a new play through. I think this will be expanded upon since the developer is mainly concerned with bugs, play balance, and streamlining systems, which is good and will make the core mechanics much better although they are pretty good now. Starting ships and skills are quite capable and sufficient enough to get you going.
Different play styles are easily accommodated with the engine as it is. Personally, I like to try them all, so I am starting out as a miner in order to build up a cash reserve and transition to a bounty hunter. I will admit that I had a really hard time at first making any space bucks as a miner in the starting ship, because the quantity you mine and what the starter ore sells for was just too small. I was able to overcome this by purchasing the first fleet skill and hiring a mercenary miner who had a MUCH larger ship to mine for me. With a merc to mine I made bank in no time flat. My advice to beginners is buy the first level of fleet skill, hire a merc miner and hit the large asteroids for fast, early cash.
Modding is another important feature built into the game from the beginning. The developer has included all the modding tools they use into the game and accessible from the start menu. I feel that such things are extremely important in sandbox style games to enhance the experience and longevity of game play. The addition of the modding tools allows players to tailor their experience to their liking and flex their creative side which is a thing sorely lacking in AAA games. I could write a whole other article on the subject, but I'd I will stop myself there. Kudos again to momoguru for thinking of this.
Last, but certainly not least, is the price. Astrox Imperium is a steal at around $15 USD. There is so much content and potential in this game that I almost can't believe it is so inexpensive for the amount of effort put into bringing it into early access and the continuing effort now that players can grab a copy of the game. I sincerely hope that the developer has every success both financially and personally with this effort. May the release of the game be everything he hoped for and then some. Well done!