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Space Rangers (Windows)

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Released
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75
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Nate Wolff (12)
Written on  :  Nov 20, 2010
Rating  :  3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars

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Summary

Interesting space adventure/economy, but ultimately leaves you lost

The Good

Most of the game automates well. Ship auto-pilot is great, at least outside of combat.

The economy works well- if you or AI ships buy goods the price will go up. If you sell goods, the price will go down.

I liked the gear system for the most part- the # of unique items is fairly limited so you generally only have to watch for how big that specific one is and whether it's been enhanced already (+x in green, if it hasn't you can buy an enhancement at a Scientific station).

Blowing up an enemy is very satisfying.

The Bad

The game is fairly difficult even on Easy. There are no 2nd chances- your ship blows up, your game is over; make the wrong quest decision, you might die too. I finally thought I had upgraded enough to be able to kick some butt, then I found out the aliens had scaled in power too :/

There are no directions in English. It would be nice to know you can access Storage on-planet by going to the Ship screen, then Ctrl-click/drag an item toward the Sell button for example. Or you train skills next to your portrait from some rarely used screen (Ranger Ratings I think).

I'm not even sure what you're supposed to do to win. All I know is if you die before you win, you will achieve a negative score that gets zeroed out and defeats the point of having the scoreboard.

Trading didn't seem rewarding at all and combat early on is suicidal. Suggestion- ask planets for missions to get money so you can upgrade your ship. Do that a lot.

There are some Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-esque quests where it seems there is only 1 outcome you can succeed with. The game lets you repeat it (when you die or fail) until you finally get it right, but it's a lot of text and aggravation over and over that adds nothing to the game. Getting sentenced to prison is an example of this, but at least that one has several outs.

Traveling between systems gives you an option to enter Clusters and begin 1v1 battle with gameplay like Asteroids on crack. Why you would do this escapes me and is another thing that seems it should not have made the game. You can ignore that and autopilot past the clusters though. Or better yet you can turn the Cluster screens off altogether in the option menu and just get a loading screen when you warp to a new Sector..

Space combat gets pretty tedious- offense pwns at first, then, defense overpowers offense to the point where it becomes a numbers game to win any fight. You can just land on a planet to escape and heal to full (yes that means your non-Klissan foes will do that constantly). Your prey will often keep looping back to the nearest planet until you give up- or even warp to another sector (using fuel) and turn around to warp back (using more fuel) potentially ditching you as your tank runs dry.

The auto-fight feature will get you killed in the 1-v-Many battles that dominate Klissan system wars. The alternative is trying to micromanage distance moved in hopes that you stay in range to shoot in the next round, that doesn't work well either.

The Bottom Line

This game is like Sid Meier's Pirates set in space, with an evil army closing in on you, less fighting between nations, and more ship upgrades.