If only I can get that damn slam cannon...
December 12, 2005 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Transcendence. Prepare to waste a lot of time. This free, downloadable game is kind of like Nethack. But re-envisioned as a shoot-em-up. In space. With pretty graphics. And a backstory. And user mods. If any of that appeals to you, download the newly released version .95 and say goodbye to the rest of your productive week.
posted by blahblahblah (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by nicwolff at 11:22 PM on December 12, 2005

I wasted about three minutes. It just wasn't much fun, and I enjoy this kind of game. I'll stick with Sinistar.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:34 PM on December 12, 2005

It was more fun when it was called Escape Velocity
posted by nathan_teske at 11:37 PM on December 12, 2005

Maybe if you guys direct that piss somewhere else you won't get so much splashed on the front of your pants.
posted by 517 at 11:44 PM on December 12, 2005

Perhaps I should have qualified a bit more given the grouchiness of a couple of responses -- this game is definitely more like Nethack (intentionally so) than anything else, with a strong kill-things-get-stuff-so-you-can-kill-more-things element. There are some neat emergent behaviors that occur between factions, items to discover, some missions and quests, "levels" to descend and a whole lot of shooting and looting. Basically, the Nethack/ADOM/Angaband elements translated to a science fiction setting. So, if THAT sounds appealing, this is your game, otherwise, sure, download Sinistar or something. And yes, Windows only.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:50 PM on December 12, 2005

So coasting through space uses fuel now?
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 11:57 PM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

Protocols of the Elders of Awesome - best name ever.
posted by metaculpa at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2005

Thank you
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 12:25 AM on December 13, 2005

Er, how is this like the the great and mighty Nethack?
posted by JHarris at 12:41 AM on December 13, 2005

Yeah, it's like Nethack: Kill stuff. Get their items.

The killing, though, is via an Asteroids-style melee and navigation interface, which might tend to muddy the comparison.

I only just discovered I could dock with the things I (almost) destroy, so I can't say how deep it gets with extended play. But it does have a thriving fan community. I'm sure there are other games approximately like this, but I wasn't aware that any of them permanently owned the category.
posted by dhartung at 1:42 AM on December 13, 2005

Second the EV similarity. It also looks a bit like Star Control II. With the melee stuff. God I loved that game. Still waiting for a decent remake
posted by Dag Maggot at 3:44 AM on December 13, 2005

Dag Maggot, you can stop waiting now. The Ur-Quan Masters is a nearly perfect remake. It's better than the PC version you probably played, because they included the speech from the 3DO flavor of the game. I thought it added quite a bit... the voices are uniformly good. The Spathi, Druuge, and Zoq/Fot/Pik are awesome.

For those who haven't encountered it yet, Star Control 2 stands very, very tall in the annals of gaming. The graphics are a bit simplistic now, but there's a lot of depth to the game. Good stuff. This is a free remake of the best version, so check it out. :)
posted by Malor at 4:42 AM on December 13, 2005

I was successfully aiming for your mouth, 517.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:17 AM on December 13, 2005

This makes me wish I still had the after-dark screensaver, Lunatic Fringe. That game was so addictive I kept around the mac it was installed on long after I stopped using the computer for any other use. this game just ate up an hour of my time, though, to be honest.
posted by Busithoth at 7:59 AM on December 13, 2005

wow. maybe I need to get a mac mini after all...
posted by Busithoth at 8:01 AM on December 13, 2005

I've just gotten myself addicted to Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space (a nominee for the 2006 IGF awards).

The developers call WW a "coffee break game" -- it's made to play in 10-30 minute chunks (or 1 minute if you're unlucky or not careful enough). But it's not shallow; all sorts of tactical depth, and the purpose for all those items, is revealed in repeat play. Particularly in the full version, which has some much more challenging enemies in it.

Somebody recommended EV Nova on a Weird Worlds board for people who want longer games, so I'll have to check this out... thanks for the post.
posted by Foosnark at 9:44 AM on December 13, 2005

Another vote here for EV Nova. It's definitely one of the deepest and most engaging independent releases I've seen, and the spiritual successor to Star Control 2, IMHO.
posted by Durhey at 10:13 AM on December 13, 2005

Star Control 2 was the shizzle. I played it through a half-dozen times, and played it through again a couple more times on the 3D0. A pity that SC3 was so piss-poor.

The only real weakness of SC2 is that the Pkunk ships are much too powerful for their low cost, and the endgame is pretty much trivial with a full complement of said vessels.

I'll have to check out EV Nova; thanks for the pointer.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2005

posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:28 AM on December 13, 2005

Thanks Malor, I'll have to try Ur-Quan Masters, looks pretty faithfull. It would be nice to see a new "re-imagined" version of StarControl II with updated graphics etc.

It was the depth of gameplay and immersive universe that made the game great. And why, in my opinion, games like Quake suck the big one. (ducks)
posted by Dag Maggot at 3:51 PM on December 13, 2005

I thought it was Transcend. (Kinda cool idea, but only 3 levels so far.)
posted by mrgrimm at 5:21 PM on December 13, 2005

Orz are *happy campers*...

That's got to be one of my favorite alien races anywhere in SF. Genuinely alien, and quite mysterious, and scary, but at the same time fun as can be...
posted by jiawen at 10:41 PM on December 13, 2005

You are so many *lonely* *juicy* *bubbles*. It is so sad.
posted by juv3nal at 1:02 AM on December 14, 2005

posted by jiawen at 10:56 AM on December 14, 2005

I should have posted these earlier...

First of all, subspace / aka continuum.

The other one that used to be a Microsoft game, but is now available free and cared for by the community is Allegiance:

And there's always empirepoker.com :/
posted by joecacti at 2:55 PM on December 14, 2005

this is fun, good shit.
posted by Edible Energy at 4:21 PM on December 14, 2005

Oh man, this just ate four hours of my life.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:56 AM on December 15, 2005

Where the hell did my omnidirectional laser go goddammitt!!
posted by Skygazer at 7:14 PM on December 27, 2005

Great game.
posted by Skygazer at 7:15 PM on December 27, 2005

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