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SummaryA Mostly Overlooked Gem
The GoodWeird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is, first of all, a labour of love. It's a love of science, of science-fiction in general, of Star Trek, of B movies, of pulp magazines, of works of Douglas Adams and of rogue-likes. How else they could put so many little things in a game which is so simple gameplay-wise? When so much heart in question, it is no surprise that one feels like a kid, sitting in a cardboard box with a pot as a helmet on his head, ready to explore the vast unknown while playing this game. Gameplay is simple: You command a vessel, there is a time limit and you try to collect as many things as possible and get back home before your time runs out. Everything is randomized but there are some (not many) quests, that usually involves greater threats than usual. There are ship components to pick up, alien ships to recruit, artifacts to use or plunder. When you encounter hostile forces, you go to the battle screen, where you command your ships in a very simple pause-to-give-orders interface. If you are lucky, you'll vanquish your foes and get back to Hope, your home system. Then you get a new title depending on your score and the ship you picked. A short game can be completed in 10 minutes and a long one in 30-35. It is also easily moddable, although there are only a handful of good mods. This bite-size fun option has made this game my Solitaire since 2005. There is a sequel coming out soon but I still recommend this to everyone.
The BadLike most Rogue-likes, you can die in a yet another stupid death but this is not a problem, it is expected. The problem is, some battles can not be won without certain weapons and/or equipment without losing ships. And the weapons and equipment you need may possibly be on the planet which is guarded by the fleet you can't defeat without the weapons and equipment in question. No amount of planning can change that. It adds to the challenge, yes, but can be a bit annoying. There is one flaw of this game which I just can't find an excuse. Weapons and equipment have 1 to 5 stars indicating their effectiveness. Sometimes you get weapons with the same amount of stars and make the matters worse, same function, for example, point defense. You'll just have to try them out. This becomes a bigger problem when it comes to shields and other components where it is harder to distinguish the results. The number of quests are very low and they are quite rare. I wish there was a proper campaign mode or a larger pool of random quests.