Are you looking for an awesome game that will keep you busy for many weeks and not break your bank account? Escape Velocity Nova is the game you are looking for! This $30 game will brighten your day and your gaming horizons for many years to come.
As the third installment of the Escape Velocity series, it has been widely improved since its conception many years ago. I used to play the original EV as a kid, on my old Macintosh Performa. I was also fond of playing simple games like Bandarqq. With new graphics, new races, new ships, and new stories, this game is almost completely different than the original that many hard-core space gamers would remember.
You start off as the captain of a simple shuttle, with only a couple of star systems on your Star Map and from there, your destiny is in your hands. In this overhead 2-D view game, you can be a trader, a pirate, a psychic warrior, or pretty much any other space occupation you could imagine and the game is based upon the choices you make throughout.
There are 6 primary story lines for you to take your pick of: the Federation, the Rebellion, the Vellos, the Polaris, the Aurorans, or the Pirates. Each one affects the galaxy and by extension, yourself in a different way. While you can only play through one of these in a single pilot file, there are opportunities to “defect” to another side in some of the story lines. Or if you choose to, you can ignore the main story lines entirely!
With numerous side missions and two other optional story lines that can lead into the primary lines, you will find yourself busy at all times. Some examples of these are running Courier missions, taking dangerous smuggling runs for Sigma Space, testing new, advanced weaponry for a weapons manufacturer, or even assisting in the terraforming of a dead planet.
Space is a dangerous place in this game, as depending on where you choose to fly your ship, you may find yourself in a bind as you make your hyperspace jump into a system loaded with marauders looking to take your vessel as a prize. Or perhaps you took a mission to aid the Rebellion in their fight against the oppressive Bureau and are not hunted throughout the galaxy? Eventually, you and your fleet may become powerful enough to subjugate the entire galaxy (often attempted, often failed, but completely possible) to your will.
This game is the ultimate in choice. While it seems primitive compared to games like EVE Online or Darkstar One, this game is perhaps one of the few gems amongst the garbage of failed space games. I have never given this game to a friend or coworker and had them tell me, “That game was terrible!” In fact, every person I have ever shown this game, has shouted its praises on the rooftops.
Surprisingly, it has a huge cult following, with users and other gamers making plug-ins to add more content to the game. Finding these mods is easy and installing them is just as easy, allowing you to make your experience even better. Some of the plug-ins are better than others but it is best to read the reviews on each mod before installing them.
Ambrosia outdid themselves with the development of Escape Velocity: Nova. Best of all, you can download the game and play a free trial version that lets you experience all of the spacey-goodness that awaits without paying a thing. Play it for a few hours and I am sure you will be whipping out your credit card to buy the full version and be immersed in all of its atmosphere-free glory.
With a vast galaxy comes a wealth of information. You will undoubtedly find yourself needing the help of one of the numerous walk-through strategy guides found all over the Internet.
Personally, I have probably spent entire weeks of my life on this game, attempting to explore every nook and cranny of a dangerous (and often deadly) galaxy. You will find yourself, much as I did, addicted to this seemingly simple, but subtly addictive and complex video game. Having never conquered the entire galaxy before, I am still struggling to finish this game in its entirety: the domination of an entire society. The most I have ever dominated was a mere 20% of the known galaxy, which is a massive amount of planets and star bases in the game.
Will you fight for good or evil? Will you defend the oppressed people of the galaxy or be their mighty overload? The future of the galaxy is in your hands, to build up or tear down as you see fit.
Whatever you choose, set a course and, as Jean Luc Picard would say, “Make it so!”