Freeware Garden: Astrox

Wow. Having failed to play Elite: Dangerous and having recently been told that ignoring such games as EVE Online was criminally silly, I had forgotten just how compelling open world space trading and combat games can get. And, unprepared like this, I ran into Astrox and barely made all the deadlines I was supposed to.

So, after what must have been over 20 hours of playing a freeware game in a browser tab, I can safely tell you that Astrox is indeed freeware. Uhm, yes. And wisely single-player only. Also, a game that plays quite a bit like a third person version of classic Elite with bits of Homeworld thrown in.

Mine asteroids, refine and trade their ore, buy upgrades for your ship, hunt pirates in the procedural star systems and you’ll have only scratched the surface of this wonderful game and maybe gained a couple of levels.

Dozens of missions, jump gates, further systems, the discovery of lucrative trade routes, bits of plot and much more lie ahead. Provided you wisely buy new modules, engage in rudimentary crafting, train yourself in the laboratory and, should you make enough money, purchase a bigger, more powerful ship, that is. Oh, and knowing when to switch off the auto-pilot and manually handling the most taxing of the battles.

Add in a universe that feels alive and filled with things to do, an excellent atmosphere and you’ve got a beautiful game you can lose yourself in and construct your very own myth. Maybe even survive long enough to buy your freedom from the Corporate Federation and stop breaking rocks in outer space.


  1. Tkrens says:

    Sounds splendid my good fellow. I will play it promptly. Wait, Kongregate? :( I’ve never been fond of that particular website. Everytime I visit that place the site changes its language to German . And I’ll have you know I am not at all German. Though those fellows sure have tasty sausages ;)

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Also beer.

    • SuddenSight says:

      I have found the languages on various websites to be somewhat bewildering.

      For example, Steam keeps switching to Polish even though I have never been to Poland nor speak it. And I happened to be in China when Google launched Google Plus, so now my Google Circles are forever named in Mandarin (“朋友“ for friends and so-on).

  2. Beowulf says:

    So, it’s like Elite, but more engaging?

    So far I’ve spent maybe up to 6h in E:D, straight after launch and haven’t touched it since…

    Sure, dogfighting is good and all (which can be said about whole lot of space-sims), but space trucking is not my cup of tea, I guess.

  3. dontnormally says:

    The creator has a youtube channel:

  4. Miths says:

    I just played the first 20 minutes and that initial impression – from the very first minute – suggests it’s essentially a simplified browser version of EVE? Similar camera and movement system, the target list and selection, modules, the station menus.

    Not necessarily a bad thing at all, and though it’s too early to say it looks like it’s an impressive feat for a one-man project, but it definitely screamed EVE knock-off rather than EVE inspiration to me (which the article author might also had chosen to comment on if he hadn’t been “ignoring EVE”.

    Anyway, my perception may or may not change once I’ve played some more. It certainly seems like a compelling browser game.

  5. peterako1989 says:

    browser based? eeeeW

  6. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Have played this for about 90 minutes…really loved it. Simple, yet fun. What a great little UI; everything’s self-explanatory and right where you need it.