Strange Adventures In Infinite Space! Free!

Not as strange as something I've just thought of.

One Mr Britton starts my day with splendid news. Shrapnel have added to their fine roster of free games. Particularly, the splendid Strange Adventures In Infinite Space by Digital Eel. It’s the precursor to Weird Worlds, which I adored – go see my Eurogamer review for further elaboration. If you can put up with the more retro-presentation, Strange Adventures is a very similar thing – basically a 20-minute top-down Elite clone where you explore a randomly generated galaxy for swag and get home before your mate’s fag break has finished. Get it here and waste some time today. If it takes your fancy, its sequel is still available to buy. Also, Strange Adventures has a hefty mod-scene, so you can expand the free game with more splendid free-osity. Hurrah for Free-osity! Hurrah for Digital Eel! Hurrah for Strange Adventures In Infinite Space! Hurrah! Hurr[Snip! That’s quite enough o that – Ed].


  1. Dreamhacker says:

    Hurrah for 4X! Hurrah for PC gaming! Hurrah for indie-publisher-distributors! Gaudeamus igitur! Vivere dum sumus! Post jucundam juventutem! Post molestam senectutem! nos habitu-

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    I want all of you to play this during your lunch-hour. Seriously, you’ll like it. Or if you don’t, it’s only 10 minutes and you can tell me to sling my hook.


    • Nick says:

      I don’t think the British government will let me =(

      Oh well, I’ll just play it now instead.

  3. Dominic White says:

    The entire concept of the game is brilliant – a self-contained space adventure that you can play in your lunch-break, 5-20 minutes long. Gameplay-wise, it’s closer to Star Control 2 than anything, which is also great.

    The concept is further refined by the sequel, Return to Infinite Space, which isn’t free but is probably worth buying if you like Strange Adventures.

  4. Miles of the Machination says:

    I agree with Dominic, more indie developers need to look at the principal of a quick pick-up-and-play that is different everytime, I guess it wouldn’t always suit a game’s style, but it’s a very clever premise for both maintaining interest and demanding very little. I’m definintely checking this one out.

  5. Jayt says:

    Played it instead of studying, cheers for the recommendation

  6. Tei says:

    Well.. Is part o the history of videogames. But I have never played it. So this is GREAT news.

  7. Orta says:

    I bought both SAIS and SAIS2. No regrets at all.

  8. Karhax says:

    Holy poop, i used to play this game a lot back in the day.

  9. Smokingkipper says:

    Really would like to try it, but the graphics appear to be messed up. I am running Windows 7, XpSp2 compat mode. disabled the windows graphics gibbons etc. Any more ideas?

    Also, is it anything like Space Rangers?

    • Crush says:

      Same here messed up under win 7.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Running Win7 here too, haven’t tried this game but very tempted now it’s free and everyone seems to namecheck the MIGHTY Star Control 2.

      Are you chaps running ATI or Nvidia hardware? Disabling compositing, Aero etc makes no difference?

    • Ben L. says:

      It’s the same old “Windows Vista/7 doesn’t like low color screen modes” problem. I had the exact same issue.

      You can try alt-tabbing, disabling Aero, running in 256 colors, or the only thing that worked for me, killing “explorer.exe” before starting the game. Yeah, I know. It’s silly. Fortunately SAIS source code has been released, so it’s perfectly possible someone could hack in a fix someday.

      • niallquinn says:

        Same here. Disabling any of the mentioned didn’t change anything. What does the trick, however, is killing “explorer.exe”…a strange adventure indeed…

    • rhubarb says:

      I had the same problem on Vista, fixed it by changing from Aero to Windows Standard, rather than Vista Basic.

  10. Frank says:

    Oy! What have Shrapnel done with the excellent Land of Legends? They could at least post it for free if they’re not going to sell it.

    • Scott says:

      Frank, Land of Legends reverted back to the developer and so we can’t offer it for free. GoGamer actually still has some remaining copies for sale if you’re interested in it.

  11. zakkmiester says:

    I’m with smoking
    colors are rather… off
    Fix would be appreciated (tried running in 256 colors, no dice)

  12. Lilliput King says:

    Try disabling ‘Visual Themes’

  13. EyeMessiah says:

    Fun game, worth revisiting. Especially for free.

  14. EyeMessiah says:

    Its sort of like space rangers, but time compressed to about 10 minutes.

  15. postx says:

    I loved ‘Weird Worlds’. The design and writings were one of the best. Not to mention all the tremendous adventures and mysterious artifacts I was getting. If it was only longer!
    I’ll probably try this cus Digital Eel is a fantastic fish.

  16. Dante says:

    Well played Gillen. Well played.

  17. LionsPhil says:

    Woo, yay, houpla, etc. Yes, play this.

  18. JonFitt says:

    I had played the demo years ago, but when I think PoisonedSponge posted about it going free last week I eagerly snapped it up.

    It’s perfect lunchtime fodder, each game can be completed in a few minutes, but every game is different. If I had one complaint it would be that each adventure is usually over just as you’re getting going.

    Weird worlds is looking tempting. I shall read Kieron’s review post-haste.
    Incidentally, I see some of that review posted on the website under “More Praise”.

  19. Cooper says:

    w00t indeed.

    I’d thought about buying this before, but it was a little far down on my ‘list of indie games I’ll eventually try out when I find the spare time or manage to convince the IT here to give me admin rights to my desktop (which they have, yay)’. Now that it’s free, it has just jumped right to the top of that list. I’ll give it a go later – I remember enjoying the little bit of demo I played a while back.

  20. Flappybat says:

    They need to drop Weird Worlds to $9.99 and stick it on Steam.

    • Smithee says:

      Agreed. I loved the demo and played the heck out of it a few months ago. The concept of a 30-minute adventure was perfect, and the little details were great, like finding the Voyager Golden Record with Chuck Berry on it. It fills my need for Space-Rangers-on-a-short-time-budget. Still, for some reason I never bought it , probably because $25 seemed like too much at the time. Drop the price to $10, and you’ve got a guaranteed sale from me.

      On the other hand, I found myself bored at lunch a few days ago (stupid web filters!) and thinking, “I wish I had some more Weird Worlds to play,” so I probably just need to commit and buy it.

  21. jay-walker says:

    There was a banner of this game on the home of the underdogs site and it hung there for a long time. And I made a promise to myself that one day I’ll get it. Now is the time!

  22. Vinraith says:

    I’ve always thought these games were neat conceptually, but they just don’t work for me. The concept of a 30 minute adventure has a certain abstract appeal, but in practice it just means I never really become invested in a given run through and lose interest even before the 30 minutes is over. What’s the point, after all, if everything just going to reset in a few minutes?

  23. The Dark One says:

    I want Metamathic Adventures in Infinite Fun Space.

  24. caesarbear says:

    I also get messed up colors, but I’m on Win XP sp3.

    • caesarbear says:

      I got it to run after trying Ben L’s trick of alt-tabing and killing explore.exe. Thanks Ben.

      First star I go to, I trade some randomly named things with a bird, second star I encounter hostiles. One hostile fighter flees the battle. After destroying the other hostiles I chase the fleeing ship, but I can’t catch it. In fact I can’t do anything. The tactical combat just keeps going without end. My only option is to quit the game. Fucking pain in the ass for nothing. I think this freebie is best left lost in space.

  25. Shadowcat says:

    caesarbear: I encountered the occasional bug in the weeks that I spent addicted to SAIS (I honestly played this game for more hours than I put into most big-budget releases), but they really were very occasional. Certainly bad luck on that happening on your first outing, but you should definitely give it another try.

  26. Shadowcat says:

    To everyone having trouble with the game… Digital Eel released a modified version of the SAIS source code when Weird Worlds came out. Iikka changed the code to use SDL for the release, so that version might work better for you.

    I compiled it at the time, and made some minor additions (detailed below). You can find that version at ISF.

    You’ll need “SDL libraries” (241K) and “SAIS 1.601” (197K). Unpack them both into the game directory, and then just run sais.exe instead of strange.exe. You could try using a more recent version of the SDL libraries if you still have problems, but these were the ones I compiled against.

    The additions are:

    1. Command-line options.

    -w : run game in window (this version defaults to full-screen).
    -mod modname : bypass the mod selector, and start modname directly.
    -title title : name the window title (useful in conjunction with -w)

    The latter two are mainly useful when creating shortcuts for specific mods.

    2. Custom “sounds” directory for mods (or rather, mod-makers).

    Works just like the “graphics” and “gamedata” directories, in that you need only include the new sounds (but maintaining the correct directory structure as used for the default sounds), and the defaults will be used for everything else. (n.b. Iikka actually did most of the work for this change by porting the game to SDL in the first place).

    I didn’t change the in-game version number (I hadn’t formally assigned a version until writing this), so it will still say 1.5 when you play.

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    phuzz says:

    Thanks for that, now I can play at work :)

  28. Shadrach says:

    And while you’re there do give the excellent WinSPMBT and WinSPWW2 a go, ridiculously detailed ww2 turnbased games. Hex ftw!

  29. Pod says:

    I remember this game havning an advert on the frontpage of HOTU for years. Played the demo a few times because of that!

  30. Rosti says:

    My (new found) love for this game is boundless. Thanks, Gillen. Thillen.

  31. jay says:

    This is great. When I have money I’ll have to get Weird Worlds.