Bon Voyage: Weird Worlds – Return To Infinite Space

By Adam Smith on December 3rd, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Before we fell in love with FTL, we fell in love with all sorts of other things that involve spaceships and random encounters, because we’re the sort of chaps who crave excitement and reckon that spending your entire life on one planet is cowardly. Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is the second game I thought of when I first read about FTL – Space Alert was the first – and although most of the similarities don’t quite penetrate to the hull, the randomised galaxy, node-hopping and portion-sized play are common to both. Weird Worlds fits a coffee break rather than a lunch break and isn’t permeated with anxious doom, but it’s worth a look. Particularly for the next 85 hours when it is available at a price of your choosing at IndieGameStand.

The game has just been updated to 1.30, although I’m not entirely sure what has changed from the previous version. Maybe they took out all the spaceships. I hope not!

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36 Comments »

  1. GeminiathXL says:

    Wahey. Didn’t even know it existed. Keep ‘em coming!

    • jessicahutchins7 says:

      If you think Roy`s story is super…, last munth my cousins best friend basically made the small fortune of $6343 working a seventeen hour week from there apartment and the’re buddy’s mother-in-law`s neighbour was doing this for 10-months and worked and got paid more than $6343 in there spare time on their computer. the information from this address.. http://www.Google.MEL7.CoM

      • Bester says:

        That’s…good to know….

      • antoniodamala says:

        Jeez these spams are getting nasty in here

        • Baines says:

          I don’t know which is worse, that the bot is complicated enough to reply to the first comment, or that the bot isn’t complicated enough to at least use the name of the person it is replying to.

          I’m also pretty sure I’ve blocked several different “jessicahutchins”, each with a different number on the end. So I guess in a few days we’ll start seeing jessicahutchins8?

      • AngoraFish says:

        I’ve been intrigued at the phonetic spelling. Curious.

      • Lev Astov says:

        If you’re going to make stuff up, couldn’t you at least make up slightly closer relations than your cousin’s best friend’s buddy’s mother-in-law’s neighbor?

        Also, I like the specific number they made and the capitalization of the link.

  2. SquareWheel says:

    Was also in Indie Royale’s “May Hurray” bundle.

  3. Vinraith says:

    I highly recommend playing the demo. Any comparison to FTL is very misplaced, IMO. This is a 30 minute casual lunch break game. If that’s what you want, that’s fine, but people should aware of what they’re getting.

  4. mckertis says:

    Its a shame that the combat in this one is so bad. Good thing its rather rare, though.

    • Lim-Dul says:

      Yeah, the combat i pretty clunky. I played this game years ago and loved it though.

      A general tip for the combat is to fire at empty space – A LOT. It will allow you to pre-emptively fire your weapons beyond your ship’s usual combat range and stop it from getting in close when usually it’s not the option you should be going for.

      • Lorewin says:

        Another useful tip is that you can distract enemy ships with fighters, allowing you to get flanking shots (most ships have fewer, if any, rear firing weapons), and peel ships off fleets.

        The Zorg fighter with its blink drive (and a shield enabling it it take a hit) is particularly good for this, but any of them will work with practice.

        It’s also worth paying attention to which weapons function as point defense and keep one on a ship with a good arc to protect against incoming missiles.

        • Lim-Dul says:

          The Zorg fighters are utterly brilliant at that. When micro-managed properly, they can take on almost any other ship in the game, just by abusing blind spots. I remember creating custom battles to find out how many ships (and of what type) I could defeat with 2-3 Zorg fighters. =)

  5. Javier says:

    First game I thought of while playing FTL was Flotilla.

  6. Scratches Beard With Pipe Stem says:

    I played this game and it reminded me of Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures — designed to generate short, completable games.

    Are there any other games out there like that? (besides FTL)

    • Lim-Dul says:

      As Javier pointed out above Flotilla has a slightly similar vibe to it although the meat of that one is Homeworld-like ship maneuvering on a tactical scale.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Oddly, I could never quite reconcile Flotilla’s tactical side with the campaign. The tactical side was meaty and satisfying and it was a genuine delight. But I was too invested in the tactical side and the twists in the campaign came across as too much of a punch in the gut sometimes. “Wow, I just spent half an hour to take down that battleship with two frigates and come out without damage, I’m awesome! … Oh, dear, a saboteur space chicken has just blown up half my fleet between battles.”

  7. greenbananas says:

    Really like this game, good to see it in the news again following the success of FTL. Great replay value and infinitely moddable as well. Has a prequel ([something] Voyages in Infinite Space) that’s rendered rather redundant by this, so nevermind that one.

    Flotilla is another FTL-ish game one might be tempted to try (although those battles tend to drag on forever) and another one FTL reminded me of (even though it’s in a different genre altogether (bussiness sim)) is Gazillionaire. Many hours did I spend in that one.

    • Beartastic says:

      Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, that first one was called. It was amazing, but not nearly as good as Weird Worlds!

  8. Slinkyboy says:

    I bought this during beta and been playing it from time to time. It’s a great game if you love FTL and want more or less.

  9. Fleurry says:

    Okay, this is a huge shot in the dark. But the screenshot to this article reminded me of a browser game that had very similar graphics and font. It was a strategy game played over the course of a week or so. RPS did a couple month week long write up where they played it; I believe they reprinted the series last Christmas.

    Does anyone have any idea what that was called? I’ve been searching and can’t for the life of me remember what it is.

  10. BobbyFizz says:

    Can’t recommend this game enough, I’ve been playing it for years and I still love it.

  11. Bobtree says:

    Weird Worlds predecessor, Strange Adventures In Infinite Space, is available for free: http://www.digital-eel.com/sais/

  12. iucounu says:

    For those of you with fondleslabs it’s out for iPad, though it’s not a very good port (it’s exactly the same as the PC version, and thus the controls kind of suck on a touchscreen.) Still an excellent game though.

  13. Jandau says:

    *confession bear meme in the background* I found Weird Worlds to be better than FTL.

    FTL’s mechanics just feel restrictive. The whole “being chased” thing really annoys me. WW does have a time limit, but it’s generous enough and you can visit every system on the map if you play well enough and have a little luck. It gives more freedom. The combat is different, less about micromanaging tiny stuff and more about fleet tactics. All in all, a great game.

    It does suffer from the same primary weakness as FTL – limited content which results in repetition during multiple playthroughs. However, it doesn’t bother me as much as in FTL for some reason…

    • Shadowcat says:

      Yeah, I’ve been playing Weird Worlds (and before that SAIS) regularly ever since they came out. The average length of an individual game is probably 15 minutes, but I suspect I’ve spent more time in total playing these games than almost anything else I could name; because even though I’ve long since seen everything the game has to offer, it’s short and sweet and I always enjoy playing it.

      FTL doesn’t make me want to play it again. It’s more complex than Weird Worlds, but not nearly varied enough to warrant the 1-2 hours it’s going to take me to get through a game (which I’ll lose). Losing would be fine if I felt inspired to learn how to win, but FTL feels more like the world’s worst checkpoint save two hours before a boss fight, with so much repetition to fight through to reach it that the prospect of a game feels almost like a chore.

      (That possibly comes across a little harsher than I intended. I don’t hate FTL; but as it is, I just don’t want to play it.)

    • Turk Anjaydee says:

      I liked Weird Worlds better as well, though someone really should combine the best parts of each game into one game to rule them all.

  14. BooleanBob says:

    This is a game that gets bandied about as ‘casual’ and ‘snack-sized’ but don’t let that fool you; this game is dangerous. It’s certainly true that a campaign can (and usually will) be done inside of an hour, but it’s addictive as sin, and if you’re anything like me you can lose entire weekends chasing nothing but your high score. Well, that and the diamond-rare coming together of random variables that might let you take down the Precursor ship (or whatever it was called) without having to nuke a star alongside it.

    I never quite managed the latter.

    *Hand twitches over installer*

    • greenbananas says:

      Hint: The Yellow Kawanigi is quite susceptible to black holes and clever use of the anti-grav and the aethric mirror can sort ‘im out for you. That goes for other ships, too.

      Edit- D’oh, you meant the Primordius. He’s a trickier beast, but do-able. You should procure a Particle Vortex (failing this, beam weapons work well against fighters) and have a ship alongside the Damocles using it to take out the fighters. Be sure to mount the fastest sublight engine you have on the Damocles and just ram the bastard. You can also make use of longer range weapons like the multi-missile if you have additional ships. Or even use the garthan mercenary as an additional battering ram. There’s also the Furies (the 1-shot kill re-usable item), and if you can’t find the item you can always wish for it.

  15. malkav11 says:

    Allow me to be a voice of dissent. I find Weird Worlds to be shallow, random, and devoid of actual gameplay aside from the (arbitrary and undocumented) combat. There are no meaningful decisions to make other than where to click next. It really isn’t in the same genre of game as FTL, but even if it were it isn’t anywhere near as good.

    Flotilla is a more apt comparison.

  16. SurprisedMan says:

    Cool, I loved this game. We were thinking about this a lot and also Flotilla when coming up with the choose-your-own adventurey elements in The Wager.

    I love that Weird Worlds have these random meta-plots that might or might not happen and which can change the game quite a lot when they do.

  17. Shadowcat says:

    Regarding the changes in the new version, the readme.txt says:

    ————————————
    Changes in Version 1.30
    ————————————

    - new: Switched from OpenAL to Eelmix for higher quality sound

    - fix: Fixed a potential crash bug involving fleets with no homeworld (e.g. Tchorak, Ravian)

    The forum at the new web site elaborates thusly:

    1. The primary and by far most extensive upgrade was removing OpenAL and replacing it with Eelmix, Digital Eel’s proprietary sound engine developed for Brainpipe and Data Jammers. In the process, the game’s stereo sound was remixed as well.

    2. Ship graphics were brightened to show them off better. The idea had been to have ships be a bit darker looking than the beams and explosions, to set those effects off visually. But the brighter colored starships simply look better, so, lesson learned.

    3. A potential crash bug involving fleets with no homeworld (Tchorak, Ravian) was eliminated. Zap!

  18. Shadowcat says:

    Weird Worlds is basically awesome, and you can’t really argue with pay-what-you-want for a DRM-free game (plus Steam & Desura keys for those who want ‘em), so I really hope that lots of new players discover it.

    (Given that you can set your own price, it’s worth buying this just to watch the battles taking place on the main menu screen — I’ve often thought this would be fantastic thing to be playing on screens in shop windows at night :)

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