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Troubled Space: Contested Space Releases Demo

Are you suffering from space fatigue, internet? Have you had this year’s fill of laser beams tearing through hulls, venting oxygen and assorted organics into space? Are you somewhat tired of torpedoes, rockets and missiles? Perhaps that would explain the hardships facing Contested Space, the charmingly low-poly combat space sim Adam posted about a few weeks ago. Its aim is to start as a simple combat game with territorial mechanics, something akin to the very basics of Eve’s nullsec system, and then evolve into something systemy-er if its popularity is large enough.

To begin with it was after $26,000 and after a strong start looked sure to make it. It levelled off very quickly though, and now its future seems unsure, with a scant four days to go. Sole developer Matthew Haralovich has released a lot of content (including a demo) since our initial look, and you can check it all out below.

Mmm, pew and, indeed, pew. As well as the above trailer there’s been all sorts of custom ship designs from the community posted onto the Kickstarter updates page. There’s also your expected Greenlight page, boasting trailers and screenshots aplenty. Most importantly, however, is the prototype demo requiring both a connection when playing and a registered account due to connecting to the server to upload ship designs.

The ship designer is excellent, allowing everything from simple fighters to giant space stations to be created with ease. With enough skill (or a couple of algorithms) you’ll soon see fleets of pop-culture references coursing through the air. It’s simple to use, too, as seen in the trailer below. The mirror tool is simple but effective, letting even artistic dunces like me create something that doesn’t make the average humanoid want to vomit up his lungs. Most of all I think I love the strong colours, being the perfect ally to the blocky ships and giving each a distinctive style without, again, any artistic talent required.

Unfortunately, the game part isn’t nearly as impressive. It works as a concept and is fun for a few minutes, then the basic nature of it and dodgy stability let it down. Combined with the construction tools it wasn’t a mistake to release this early version in an attempt to garner more interest, but those who aren’t interested in the build-em-up side of things might be turned off. I’d recommend giving it a shot to see if overlooking it – perhaps in favour of the neigh-infinite number of spaceship Kickstarters in the past 12 months – was a mistake for you.

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