Bounty Hunters, Meet Space Pirates And Zombies

By Adam Smith on March 20th, 2012 at 3:15 pm.

You might think that having more content crammed into its galaxies would make Space Pirates and Zombies more expensive but the addition of the free and bulky Bounty Hunters expansion pack has seen the game go on sale and not just a tiny sale. It’s £1.74 on Steam for two more hours, which is a 75% reduction. It’s available at plenty of other places as well but Steam is the only one that has such a sizable discount. More details on what the expansion includes below.

Primarily, it’s the new Bounty Hunter faction, with ten ship hulls, a global bounty/respect system, the ability to hire bounty hunters and more besides. The biggest ‘more besides’ is probably the arena combat, with 150 challenges included. Lots and lots of new stuff then.

This is another in a long list of games I wish I’d been able to spend more time with. You know what they say: ‘an expansion pack is a fine excuse to squander a shrinking social life on a game about space pirates’. They do say that, right?

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43 Comments »

  1. Eclipse says:

    I KNEW IT! Every time I’m on the fence about buying something comes Adam Smith and his pals at RPS and just decide it for me.

    Damn.

  2. pitak89 says:

    I bought this game during the Christmas sale and It is one of my favorite games on steam. Can’t wait to dive into the expansion after work. I actually feel kind of guilty paying such a low amount for the game, since I got so much enjoyment out of it.

  3. Yargh says:

    nooooo! I spent 200 hours getting to the end of this already, how am I to play anything else now?

    • mopajiuw says:

      Wow!This stuff is really cool!
      Celluon Magic Cube Laser Projection Keyboard http://segue.se/xrF

      I spent the afternoon trying to get into this but it is no Space Rangers 2 or Solar Winds.

  4. jimmm25 says:

    This expansion has made me get back into this game, and made me realise how much more fun the beginning is than the end. I probably didn’t enjoy the end as much because I made it too grindy by trying to get an achievement, so my advice, if you get this game, is don’t go for 100% completion at the end! It’s not worth it!

    • Richie Shoemaker says:

      Interesting to hear you liked the beginning. I put a good 20-30 hours into the game and just couldn’t rouse myself to get any enjoyment from it. Friends suggested I persevere as it would get better, but I gave up thinking I was faulty. I was tempted to try again with the new expansion, but I’ll just put it down as not quite my thing and will go back to Starfarer instead.

      • riadsala says:

        “I put a good 20-30 hours into the game and just couldn’t rouse myself to get any enjoyment from it”

        you put 20-30 hours into PLAYING a game that you didn’t enjoy?

        • Uglycat says:

          I did the same thing with Terreria, as everybody kept raving about it, I thought I should keep going in case the fun suddenly popped out.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Hell, I thought the fun of the game takes a dip when the titular zombies get introduced, they’re just not fun to play against.

      Also the penalty for having your fleet wiped out is a lengthy visit to a mining station where you grind rez until you’ve filled your cargo bays. It’s riskless, joyless and time consuming. As if the regular game wasn’t grindy enough.

      • Chris D says:

        I’ve done my share of mining base grinding too but actually I think there’s a better way. There’s a bunch of missions you can do with a single fast, preferably cloaked fighter such as destroying cargo, retrieving artifacts etc. Doing a few of these is probably a more enjoyable way of getting your resources back up to a reasonable level.

        The other piece of advice is, of course, don’t get completely wiped out if you can help it, though I realise that’s not an entirely helpful thing to say.

  5. Metonymy says:

    More specific changes here:

    http://www.spacepiratesandzombies.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2847

    There were some complaints about the grindy-ness in previous news articles. Here’s some basic ways to avoid that:

    -Level 0 civilian bases are an easy resource for ship blueprints, especially at level 25+ stars. (Level 0 bases are instantly rebuilt when you return to your mothership.) Drones are very strong early on, especially with cannon research.
    -Don’t farm reputation or items, just get stronger ship blueprints and continue to max out a weapon type, engines, and hull.
    -Switch to a bomb ship if you can’t beat a powerful shooter-mount ship, the explosion will disable it.
    -If you run completly out of money, convert all ships to ‘high cargo’ and go afk next to a friendly level 3 mining base.

    • Baines says:

      “If you run completly out of money, convert all ships to ‘high cargo’ and go afk next to a friendly level 3 mining base.”

      While Rez is nice in theory, I think the resource system is flawed in practice.

      You build some ships, do some missions, and mine to fill your stores. Then you get new ship designs, spend your rez, and eventually mine to fill your stores again. If your fleet gets wiped out, then you mine for an hour or so.

      Goons are almost as bad. Whenever you are below max, you look for a map that has a bunch of life pods in a debris field. If worst comes to worst, you look for hotel planet mission.

      Both are just grindy. The only “risk” is running out of a resource inside a battle. If you run out of goons, then your ships perform worse. If you run out of rez, then you can’t build more ships. But once you are out of battle, you can safely restock either. The game could auto-restock you after each encounter, and it wouldn’t make a difference beyond greatly reducing the amount of time spent to beat the game.

      Even blueprints are a bit grindy.

      The worst is the endgame, where you expend large chunks of resources to upgrade systems. Repeating the same handful of missions, repeating the same handful of liberation battles, system by system, until you get so bored that that you decide to take on the final boss battle.

      • Metonymy says:

        While I agree there are other ways it COULD be done, I personally agree with this way of doing it. The entire game can be won without losing your biggest ship. Rez is the game’s way of insuring you don’t endlessly fight battles that are in fact, too difficult for you.

        The gameplay associated with goons is how many are you willing to sell off. If you sell them all and then start losing badly, you got what you deserved. Farming goons should never take place, beyond simply installing tractor beams and cleaning up after battles.

        • Baines says:

          But farming Goons does happen. The game makes it easy, and the reinforcing system endgame appears to assume that you are doing some form of it.

          The life pod debris on some maps holds a pretty good number of goons, all patiently waiting for you to harvest them. These debris fields are fairly common.

          The resort systems have a mission built around no-hassle harvesting of goons. It isn’t as common as the life pod fields, but you can get larger goon counts for even less effort, as you just park on the base and vacuum everything that comes your way.

          You can keep yourself in good shape from grabbing survivors from ships and bases, but you definitely can farm goons, and some situations favor you for doing so.

          When it comes to selling goons, the only reason to sell them is for items that are too time consuming or expensive to obtain otherwise. If you want to improve relations, it can be faster to buy off a side with goons and then farm them than to find and do enough relationship missions to get the same effect. As for converting between goons and rez, outside of a quick need or a severe difference, I never saw the point as you could farm both when necessary.

      • Chris D says:

        I certainly recognise the situation you’re describing. My first playthrough went along those lines too. I’ve started a new one though, and while I’m still only around level 25ish so far I haven’t had to grind at all.

        I think most of the grind is probably avoidable once you know what you’re doing. You get a handle on how the different systems work and pick up a few tricks that make your life a whole lot easier. I think the problem is that while you’re winning it’s easier to keep winning but when you’re losing it’s easy to fall into the cycle of grinding. Especially because you naturally become impatient and then push it a bit more than you really should.

        The game would probably be kinder to kill you more often. Dying and reloading from the autosave is considerably less of a penalty than losing all your resources and having to build them up again.

        I’m not saying the game should get a free pass. First impressions count and players really shouldn’t have to slog through before they learn enough to make the game enjoyable. I can’t really blame anyone for deciding they’ve had enough. On the other hand I think the game does enough right that for those who are enjoying it that it’s worth knowing that the worst of the grind can be avoided once you know how.

        • Baines says:

          Yes, a lot of grind is actually a phantom (or the result of trying to get the Steam achievements.) But the first time you play the game, you don’t know that there is a lot of stuff that you don’t need to do. You don’t know that there isn’t really much reason to explore all (or even most) of the systems. You don’t know that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you until the endgame, and there the mechanic to befriend/strengthen changes. (On my first game, I wasted a lot of time and effort befriending and building up the inner system, because it looked like it might be a good thing to do, only to have the endgame toss all that work out the window with a timeline jump and arbitrary new status quo. Sadly, while the endgame system was a little faster, it was also more repetitive and more boring.)

          That reloading is better than rebuilding itself makes it seem like the system is flawed.

  6. Kdansky says:

    I played the demo, but the control scheme just did not grow on me. I would also recommend to try the demo, as I ran into significant technical issues. I love the premise, but somehow it just doesn’t work for me as a game.

    Also, the writing is supposed to be funny, but it makes me cringe more often than not, and it needs an editor for brevity (and spelling). Everything is long-winded, there’s not much of a point to most text, and really, being short and concise makes everything much more of a joy too read, and its generally not actually that well-written. Now you might want to tell me that’s not the point, but there’s so much text, it really is not a good idea.

    Note that this post is deliberately written in a similar style. If it bothers you, then… “and in the game.” Obligatory lame meme included!

  7. B1A4 says:

    I bought it, because i thought that SPAZ is new Space Rangers. But i gave up after 7 hours. Not enough fun. Space Rangers 2(Reboot) is still superior. Well, next time I hope.

    What is this starfarer?

    • Tiax says:

      It’s a game currently in alpha which is already really fun to play and which I (and I’m not alone on this) find *much* better thant Gratuitous Space Battles, Space Rangers 2 and SPAZ.

      There’s two “Wtf is Starfarer” on youtube which give a good idea of the game, even if TotalBiscuit plays extremely badly.

    • Fwiffo says:

      I’m looking forward to Starfarer too. Hopefully it can pull off everything else past the combat engine too.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    “This is another in a long list of games I wish I’d been able to spend more time with.”
    Jup. Me too. :(

  9. Fwiffo says:

    The big mistake people make when initially looking at this game is that it’s a simulation. It’s not. It’s a top down shooter first and foremost. I think the lack of complexity is one of the game’s biggest pluses. Not that it lacks a good amount of depth though. There’s a lot of choice in designing your fleet.

    The two guys who made it are really good chaps too. Even on the steam forum for the game one of them constantly posts, listening to complaints and suggestions – even going so far as to give out personal fixes to people’s technical issues.

    He posted a heartwarming tale of their struggle to get off the ground here. It’s worth an article in itself if you ask me. http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2411076 One thing MinMax are good at are generating goodwill it seems!

    • Chris D says:

      It’s a bit of an odd one actually. If you’re in a fighter then yes, it’s a shooter. If you’re in one of the larger ships then it’s really more of an RPG, reflexes will help you less than having your ship set up well and having a decent plan of attack.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Even the small ships seem too slow to really avoid incoming fire, never mind that they’re too small to deal decent damage.

        • Chris D says:

          Upgrades are your friend. But yeah, while it’s more of a shooter in a small ship you can never really ignore the RPG elements entirely. Also beware of putting too much armour on a fighter if you haven’t upgraded the engine properly and make sure you’re not picking up too much rez if you want to stay mobile.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Even The Colt can actually deal tremendous damage with the right guns/config. It just goes kaboom quicker than a huge size ship(unless you’re good at evasive maneuvers and patient enough keeping zombies at bay).

  10. jamesom says:

    Speaking for myself I love it. Got about 40h, with 1.5 playthroughs.
    Amusing writing, fun gameplay and nice looks. I got it the day it came out, it’s well worth full price if its the type of game you like.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I hope the ending does not involve a Space Child/God Man asking what colour skittles you want! I forgave the first game I saw use that. Think it was the Dues Ex game. It was a given for the ending I guess. Even Stalker at least gave you the ending that was hinted in the entire game, “There is no wish granter!” (unless you get the secret secret ending!)

      Well, I’d still play SPAZ even if it does end with skittles. I mean, it’s much more Space Opera than the RPGs we see today. I wonder how someone would end a Sci-Fi RPG? Me, I’d end it with the protagonist fighting above earth with a fade to black/FMV with “we fought to the end”. I mean, no one’s foolish enough to try to add a starchild in the last fight in this day and age right?…

  11. Yuri says:

    Bought this yesterday on a whim. Love RPS for the recommendation today, since it confirmed it wasn’t a bad purchase. <3

  12. Kyrius says:

    Shut up and take my money!!! Wait… you don’t need it?

  13. Teovald says:

    I bought that game during the christmas sales but I have not been able to play to it even once. It just crashes at startup :(.

  14. andytizer says:

    Thanks I almost forgot to buy this today.

  15. Zarunil says:

    A great game just got greaterer.

  16. JFS says:

    It’s a little sad they don’t get this game fixed. I bought it before it shortly before it came out, and it ran better then than now. It’s got problems with certain graphics cards, it doesn’t support more than one CPU core, it’s got problems with Avira software and it turns into a stutterfest as soon as zombies or lots of projectiles appear (a little like Binding of Isaac). I love the style of the game, I like the gameplay, but this is the one game where I’m a little miffed I pre-ordered. Then again, it wasn’t exactly expensive even at that point.

  17. TechnicalBen says:

    Thank you! Registered here just to say… Bought this with 30 seconds left on the sale! Been waiting to get this for ages. Especially looking forward to it as I enjoyed “Gratuitous Space Battles” even though that game lacked direct control over ships.

    Thanks for listing this deal I missed on Steam!

  18. Iskariot says:

    Of course it is not perfect, but it is fun enough and for this price you would be a fool not to buy this. Unless of course you don’t like this type of game at all.

    For me this was the first game I bought online on Steam and I do not regret it for a second. How could I? Even if I played it for 5 hours (I have put in 15 now) it would be totally worth my money, considering the fact that there are game companies out there who dare to ask 50 bucks for a measly 6 or 7 hours of single play gaming.

    There is something about the atmosphere, the radio chatter etc that somehow reminds me of other, quite different games like the Elite games and Hardwar. I wish that a new Hardwar or Elite would use some of the tech upgrading and research ideas in this game.

    From a 50 buck game you would be right to expect a whole, whole lot more, but for a game in this price segment you get a whole lot more than you could reasonably expect. And these 2 guys are dedicated to improving on this already fun game and they are loyal to their fans.

    I think this is a very good buy. Well worth the money.

    And to be honest, I hope that guys like this will one day build me a successor to Elite or Hardwar. I would sell my 7 souls for Hardwar 2, or Elite 4.

  19. RegisteredUser says:

    This game no regret; this sentence also no verb.

    Love those guys.

  20. BobsLawnService says:

    I don’t get it. I spent the afternoon trying to get into this but it is no Space Rangers 2 or Solar Winds.

  21. Nate says:

    SPAZ is quite fun. Did 2 full playthroughs. Not sure I’m going to do a third with this bounty hunter expansion.

    Played another somewhat similar indie game, Starfarer, too much recently. Starfarer combat is much more tactical, less arcadey. Its in beta though. No where near release.

  22. olpolpolpolp says:

    http://lnk.co/ILTHN
    this stuff is very cool