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Strange Adventures in Infinite Space
September 29, 2009 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is a game of space exploration that can be played in under twenty minutes. Its adjustable difficulty and random maps make it very replayable, and for the first time ever, it's completely free. PC and Mac versions are available.

Plenty of user-made mods are available for download, as well as the full source code.
posted by CrunchyFrog (37 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whoa, Cheapass Games is now making cheapass video games. Nifty.
posted by ignignokt at 2:03 PM on September 29, 2009


They've been selling SAIS for years now. Someone let me know if they can get it to work in WINE, please?
posted by the dief at 2:05 PM on September 29, 2009


This game is very fun, but be warned; if you go in expecting a typical computer game challenge-type experience, you'll be disappointed.

SAIIS's random factors are massively influential. If you don't find any top-tier weapons or shields you'll be helpless against the nastier enemies. There's a ship drive that makes the exploration aspect of the game totally irrelevant.

You could argue that this makes the game unbalanced and broken. And I'd be hard pressed to call you wrong as such. Personally I find it more fun to roll with the punches. It's not about beating the high scores so much as seeing how well you can do with the hand you're dealt (Although topping the board by taking advantage of an early lucky break is fun too).

Because each instance of play is disposable, it can afford to be swingy. And it makes for some fun variety.
posted by Lorc at 2:16 PM on September 29, 2009


See also the sequel, Weird Worlds. I always liked these games for their roguelike feel.
posted by Phssthpok at 2:19 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oops I got confused SAIIS with Weird Worlds. My comments were about the sequel. I've no idea how well they match up with the original game.

I'm about to find out though. Some of those mods look very nice...
posted by Lorc at 2:21 PM on September 29, 2009


The Babylon Project mod for Weird Worlds is excellent.
posted by lumensimus at 2:36 PM on September 29, 2009


Someone let me know if they can get it to work in WINE, please?

Runs fine in WINE 1.1.30 for me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:41 PM on September 29, 2009


Yeah, Lorc's got it right. This is one I paid for, back when it was still a pay game. Each individual playthrough is very quick, maybe 20 or 25 minutes, and which items will show up in the game are totally random. You can be anywhere along a very broad power spectrum, and you're just trying to get as many points as you can with the random stuff you find. Some games you'll end up as the Butt-Kicking God of Battle, and other missions you'll have a BB gun and tissue paper for shields.

Ultimately, it's about time management; given what items you have, you try to choose what will get you the most points in the limited exploration time available. That can be anything from subjugating alien races to forming alliances to simply finding lots of alien artifacts and bringing them back to your home world.

Considering that I was willing to pay for it, I can certainly recommend it at $0. :-)
posted by Malor at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2009


Oops, I may also have confused it with the sequel. I'm not sure which one I bought, now.
posted by Malor at 2:46 PM on September 29, 2009


I bought the sequel and played the crap out of it for about four months.

Well worth it, good on them for playing to the long tail.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:48 PM on September 29, 2009


They've been selling SAIS for years now. Someone let me know if they can get it to work in WINE, please?

It runs fine on Wine v1.0.1 on Ubuntu 9.04. memail me if you want to know how to set it up.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:03 PM on September 29, 2009


I was going to bitch you out when I saw the word "demo", but then (a) I realized this was cheap ass games, and (b) they'll let you compile form source. But don't forget Star Control II!
posted by jeffburdges at 3:23 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


You could argue that this makes the game unbalanced and broken. And I'd be hard pressed to call you wrong as such. Personally I find it more fun to roll with the punches. It's not about beating the high scores so much as seeing how well you can do with the hand you're dealt (Although topping the board by taking advantage of an early lucky break is fun too).

Same philosophy of nethack, though of course nethack is much longer to play through.
posted by heathkit at 3:30 PM on September 29, 2009


Hey, I own a PC so I'll just download the PC demo and....what?! Windows?! Why didn't they say that!?
posted by DU at 3:53 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey it works! Huh. How about that. Thanks for the offers though.
posted by the dief at 4:10 PM on September 29, 2009


I noticed there's a PalmOS version of this game out... smart phones seem like an ideal platform for this kind of game!

Anyone know if there's an effort to port this to Android or iPhone (for free of couse) now that the source is GNU?
posted by keep_evolving at 4:39 PM on September 29, 2009


So I said I was going to try it for a few minutes and then I looked up and an hour was gone.
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM on September 29, 2009


I've played SAIS, and Weird Worlds extensively, as well as the smartphone version of SAIS. It does work very well with a touchscreen - particularly the combat. And, of course, its a full adventure game in (bus-ride/boring-meeting)-sized chunks.

Weird Worlds is actually pretty graphically intense - it almost always made my laptop overheat when run with settings up. Well-done 2d beats 3d any day.
posted by Wulfhere at 5:06 PM on September 29, 2009


...and by smartphone version, I do mean PalmOS. Sorry to get your hopes up...
posted by Wulfhere at 5:06 PM on September 29, 2009


Oh, man, SAIS. The only game I bought for my Palm, way back in the day. It's definitely on the Rogue/Nethack side of games, what with its random generation with very little balancing. I was just thinking about SAIS last week when I was reading Greg Costikyan's presentation on randomness in games.
posted by sgranade at 5:58 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I bought Weird Worlds ages ago and enjoyed it thoroughly, unfortunately I lost the installer and it seems they've changed their store system entirely and there's little hope of me ever getting a copy of the installer again.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes the Starflight/Star Control/Escape Velocity style explore-the-hostile-universe game play but doesn't have the time to indulge in it fully. Ready-made bite-sized perilous universes at your fingertips.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:50 PM on September 29, 2009


This brings me back to my childhood's insatiable hunt for that one perfect freeware game. I got hinged on this for quite a while (my demo version was the full version under a playing time limit). Glad to see it's getting the attention it deserves.
posted by hyrodi at 9:14 PM on September 29, 2009


Shield? What shield? I've got a particle vortex cannon!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:23 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I sold my hyperdrive to the aliens I found at the first star I got to, so that was a pretty short game!
posted by alasdair at 12:39 AM on September 30, 2009


I love the bird aliens. "Here have this rock. I'll trade it to you for that vortex cannon you've got lying around."
posted by Peztopiary at 3:15 AM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's been around for years and it's still this ugly? Yuck.

The fonts alone made my eyes bleed.
posted by rokusan at 5:27 AM on September 30, 2009


Yay! Like many above, I paid for this and will be more than happy to play it again, this time for free!
posted by Shepherd at 6:19 AM on September 30, 2009


I hope you know nothing is going to get done around my house now.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:36 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Makes me pine for Spaceward Ho!

(And more legible type.)
posted by It ain't over yet at 8:21 AM on September 30, 2009


(Isn't someone going to tell me Spaceward Ho! is available somewhere as a free DL for OSX? Or the original MOO?)
posted by It ain't over yet at 10:02 AM on September 30, 2009


I dunno, seems pretty finite to me.
posted by ODiV at 6:14 PM on September 30, 2009


Is there a mod or a buy to take off the 10-year limit? Cause I just wanna explore forever ..I want to ...boldly go ..or something.
posted by The Whelk at 6:24 PM on September 30, 2009


yer.. expanding the size and time limit would be good.. but i guess i just gotta download the new version
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 7:20 PM on September 30, 2009


I played the Mac version a couple times before upgrading to Mac OS 10.6, but now that I've upgraded, all the colors are messed up, making it even more difficult to read. Has anyone gotten it working properly under Snow Leopard?
posted by JiBB at 10:16 PM on October 1, 2009


Love it. It's like "Parallels" (Star Trek Next Gen). Why does the Enterprise always prevail against incredible odds? That's just the one the camera follows.
In a parallel universe, they only set foot out the door before being blasted to smithereens by a vortex cannon.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:57 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why didn't I play this game years ago? This little thing is addictive as hell.
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2009


If you find the Timeless Bauble, don't trade it! Use it (click the yellow box by its name in your ship's cargo) and choose to smash it. You are granted a wish! I usually type "Hyperdrive"....
posted by JHarris at 3:07 AM on October 23, 2009


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