From the Collection: Star Traders RPG

By Owen Faraday 04 May 2013 0
Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

So the anticlimactic arrival of Star Command has left you with an unfulfilled hankering to play starship captain. I hear you. Allow me to prescribe something for that: Star Traders RPG.

I've talked a lot about this game over the last year, interviewing the Trese Brothers about their Android sci-fi RPG and babbling incessantly when it first arrived for iOS.

I always front-load my recommendation of Star Traders with lots of caveats. It's just not a game for everyone: it's mostly text and what graphics there are are primitive, to be kind. If you're a slave to pretty visuals then you ought not bother. But in many ways it's Star Command's polar opposite. Where Warballoon's game is beautiful but linear and largely empty of gameplay, Star Traders is downright ugly and full to the brim with interesting decisions and wide-open choices.

X marks the spot. Finding an old pirate's stash on an uncharted world.

Star Traders is set in a seedy corner of the galaxy, far in the future. Like Dune, there's a slightly medieval cast to this backdrop. Inhabited worlds are run by aristocrats and oligarchs or by trading syndicates that resemble the maritime republics. As in Warhammer 40K or Foundation, mankind is on the downward slope of history and much of the technology that makes interstellar commerce possible is poorly understood and not easily replaced.

Your role in this universe is whatever you want it to be. With a ship and crew inherited from your father, you are free to ply trade routes between worlds, become a gun for hire or a holy warrior, an explorer of uncharted worlds or an alien hunter -- or all of those things. If you cross one faction too many times, they'll refuse you the right to land on their worlds. If you force the surrender of a trader with a better ship, you can take it. It's a big game, and one that is continuously getting bigger: the Trese Brothers are tireless in releasing weekly updates for the Android version. They've continually supported the iOS edition as well, despite the impression I've gotten from them that they've been disappointed in the sales of that version.

I love Star Traders. The game is undeniably a little rough around the edges and I don't know if it's a deathless classic, but I do know that it's been on every mobile device I've owned since it came out.
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