Infinite Space 3: Sea Of Stars Launches Into Early Access

By Graham Smith on May 2nd, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Bet it's not really infinite.

I’m looking forward to Galactic Civilizations 3 as much as the next space-mad conquerer, but I’m also worried that by the time its alpha is fleshed out with all manner of alien flesh, I won’t have time to really dig into its deep systems and long campaigns. I think it’s far more likely I’ll find the opportunity to leap into Infinite Space 3: Sea Of Stars, which just hit Steam Early Access. It’s got space travel, combat, strange alien races, and a dynamic galaxy, but sessions with it can also be played and finished in short, twenty-minute bursts. Check the launch trailer below.

Infinite Space 3 is the sequel to Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, a game which tickled Kieron’s fancy not only pre-comics, but pre-Rock, Paper, Shotgun. I know! I didn’t know such a time existed either, but he said that “the game offers variety, excitement, thought and pace all in tiny bundle you can wolf down in a sandwich break.”

The third entry in the series aims to do the same, albeit with expanded modding support, a 3D world (or 3D worlds, rather), and all the other spit, polish and improvements a successful Kickstarter campaign gets you.

If you’re intrigued, the alpha costs £7, and there’s a video development update from back in February that provides some pointers towards the present state of the game.

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15 Comments »

  1. DigitalParadox says:

    Wasn’t Infinite Space a JRPG on the DS?

    • Aerothorn says:

      It was, but that’s just an issue of Sega dubiously taking an existing series name (if Digital Eel were a big publisher and not a tiny indie dev studio, there probably would have been a lawsuit). Strange Adventure in Infinite Space is from 2002, and Weird Worlds is from 2005.

    • Arathain says:

      I really wanted to like Infinite Space (the DS JRPG). It had some pretty neat ideas and systems. A total lack of engaging or likable characters, and dull, random-feeling combat killed off my interest.

      • mechabuddha says:

        I didn’t find the combat random — rather, I found it way too easy once I developed an optimal strategy. Which is making the game a tad on the boring side for me right now. But I still really want to like the setting.

      • Fiora says:

        I really loved it, though it kind of took a few hours to really get going. It starts a bit slow but the plot takes some wonderful swerves after a few chapters, and by the end pretty much goes Gurren Lagann in terms of ramping up the stakes (up to the entire universe, literally). The mechanics can be a bit simple but it’s still one of my favorite RPGs on the DS, if only for having that Space Battleship Yamato-esque space opera-esque aesthetic that’s pretty much unseen these days.

  2. iucounu says:

    So far (and I only played 30 mins) it seems identical to Weird Worlds content-wise but with a confusing 3d map and a much more limited combat mini game that felt like a huge step backwards. I mean, I’m sure it’s going to become a hell of a lot more than what it is right now, but it really didn’t feel worth £7 of anybody’s money at the present time.

    • trjp says:

      I quite like how it looks in the videos – and whilst it might be the ’90s things to do’, 3D does sell your game to people in a way 2D never EVER will…

      Esp in space – which is only big because it has that third dimension ;0

      • iucounu says:

        Sure, but there’s a reason space strategy games consistently flatten to 2D, and indeed why shows like Star Trek do the same kind of thing. It’s really, really confusing.

        The 3D space map sounds a good idea on paper and even looks quite pretty on video. But playing the Early Access build, it’s a mess. The UI is horrible in terms of working out where things are, especially nebulae. You are constantly spinning the map around trying to work out what’s close to you, peering at things from different angles, where as in the first two games it’s at-a-glance.

        It’s very, very disappointing that the Early Access build appears to prioritise these kinds of wheel-reinventing interface mistakes over adding interesting new gameplay mechanics or cargo to the game. Most people who loved Weird Worlds would happily pay £7 for a modpack that did the sorts of things FTL’s Advanced Edition did for free.

  3. ArtyFishal says:

    This game has been on Early Access since April 18. At least, in the US. I don’t know if early access games have regional release dates.

  4. Chuckaluphagus says:

    Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (I guess this is now retconned as “Infinite Space 1″?), despite being lo-fi even when it was released, was absolutely worth the purchase price and devoured a staggering amount of my free time (it’s also now free to download, and they even GPL’d the source code, which is pretty great). Weird Worlds (Infinite Space 2) had all the polish that SAIS lacked (it’s a seriously pretty game) but never seemed to catch on with the modding community nearly as much as the first, which was a shame.

    Given the track record, I jumped to back the Kickstarter for Sea of Stars. I’m holding off on playing it as Early Access just because I’d prefer to see the finished product, though.

  5. lordfrikk says:

    Of all the ways to improve on the original formula, they chose to move from 2D to 3D :( It’s the 90s all over again.

  6. Gargenville says:

    I just spent five minutes finding out what the game I had I thought was Infinite Space really was (It’s Endless Space).

  7. Awesumo says:

    The great thing about Gal Civ 1, (alas not 2) was that the systems in the game were not deep. It was a simple game. The depth came from the diplomacy and decision making… actual important choices that had to be made – not crappy systems like ‘ship design’ that the sequel had, nor the minutia of tiny battles – both of which tend to become simple ‘are you competent’ tests which only matter if you are too lazy/bored and fail them.

  8. trjp says:

    I can’t be the only person surprised to see this appear in a bundle today (Bundle Stars latest offering – £2.99 with a handful of other stuff)????

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