Space Rogue Is FTL x Space Rangers x Retro-Futurism

Space Rogue! It’s not a roguelike but an “RTS game about the infinite universe” with a golden age sci-fi aesthetic, and its developers are “trying to combine the crew management of FTL: Faster Than Light with space exploration of Space Rangers”. The trailer below does a poor job of communicating either – it incorrectly makes it look like you control a single person boarding corvette-like spaceships – but it does a good job of selling the fabulous art style.

The game’s website offers further clarifying and contradicting information to what you’d likely infer from the trailer. Mainly, that it’s set in a procedurally generated universe, that it has space battles, the aforementioned ship management, plus the ability to land on planets. It’s being made by Red Beat, a small Ukrainian studio who were unknown to me till now but previously made tower defense game Prime World: Defenders. Space Rogue is their first independent project.

Refreshingly, it’s not asking for any crowdfunding money to aid in development – at least not yet. The game has been under production since at least the start of the year, though the trailer seems to contain ‘target render’-style footage and at least some of the screenshots on the Space Rogue website seem to have been drawn over in Photoshop. That matters less when it’s simply an old-fashioned game announcement, and not one which wants your money.

It matters less still when one of the released images is as fun as this poster:

Which is almost as good as the cover image for the last game called Space Rogue, a game designed by the man who would found Looking Glass. There’s also more of this type of lovely retro sci-fi art on the development team’s ‘inspirational art’ Pinterest.


  1. RedViv says:

    Raygun Gothic Space-Rangers-ish Roguelikelikelikelike
    *grabbiest of hands*

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      When I saw the header image I almost just ignored it. I’m so glad I checked out the rest, gosh.

  2. Moorkh says:

    Having done their research on inspirations for art styles, one’d think they might have googled their own game’s name ideas before deciding on one that I believe EA holds the rights to…

    What’s the deal with usurping existing game titles anyway? Not enough words in the English language? Anyone here able to provide the scoop from a legal perspective?

    • RedViv says:

      Nope on the Origin->EA bit: These folks own it.

      • Harlander says:

        Since the search times out after a while, I’ll clarify: “these guys” are Red Beat, the developers of this new game.

    • Lanfranc says:

      Trademarks don’t last forever, they expire if they’re not actively used and renewed. And it may not have been registered in the first place. In that case, since there hasn’t been a Space Rogue game for 25 years, the name is probably abandoned by now.

      • Moorkh says:

        Thanks. But what does that mean? Taking this example, if EA was to do a Space Rogue 2 now (beware!), would they get into trouble because someone has trademarked it since?

  3. Schiraman says:

    Aw man, the original Space Rogue on C64 was awesome – basically Elite with improved graphics plus a top-down RPG element where you could get out of your ship and explore space stations and things.

    • apa says:

      I guess this is not a remake :( Devs, better check the name because that’s a trademark/copyright issue right there.

    • Sandepande says:

      I was instantaneously in joy when I saw ‘Space Rogue’. Not that the concept isn’t alluring, but “procedural” is not automagic (Diablo 3’s “randomly generated” terrain is pretty much not very random at all, except in the Rifts). And the copyright, unless it’s expired, is problematic.

      Hoping for good stuff.

      • Gnoupi says:

        Diablo 3 is not really a good example of generated terrain, admittedly. On the same genre, torchlight 2 did a much better job, in my opinion.

    • frnknstn says:

      This makes me sad. It’s worse than S2’s apropriation of the name Smite, this time it’s a game I actually loved.

      I take it this puts the final nail in the coffin of a GOG rerelease of the original Space Rogue? I remember the game’s box containing awesome extras, like a novella and papercraft models of the game’s ships.

    • cyphercolt says:

      link to
      Loved that game back in the day!

  4. noisepassfilter says:

    Although it’s not what the mise en scène suggests, but I suspect the the guy boarding the shipped the enemy (presumably) from an event, where the player controls the people already on the ship.
    When viewed like this, the trailer seems to more accurately portrait the described premise.
    Me thinks.

  5. BockoPower says:

    This reminded me of The Mandate. Anyone knows what’s happening with that game?

  6. Turin Turambar says:

    “The trailer below does a poor job of communicating either – it makes it look like you control a single person boarding corvette-like spaceships ”

    It’s the other way, you control the corvette and their crew. It’s the typical FTL event where you rescue someone and he is crazy and attacks you.

  7. JFS says:

    “Early 2015”, so, in six months? I don’t think so.

  8. Bonedancer says:

    This looks good; I’d be a bit concerned by how fast those first two crewmembers went down though. I’d want my guys to at least be alert to the possibility that the space-stranger might be unfriendly.

    I played a lot of “Prime World: Defenders” – it was a fun little tower-defence game with a nice art style. The CCG-lite (no actual-money purchases) loot drops and semi-randomised levels gave it a lot of replay value.

  9. gnodab says:

    Had me very excited with the headline and pretty pictures, immediately lost me at RTS…
    I guess I’ll have to wait then and grumble on about the lack of turn based Space RPGs

  10. shinkshank says:

    Ooh, pretty. The smoothness and artstyle make me think of Evil Genius, Keeping my eye on this one.